Kimberly Warner was diagnosed with mal de débarquement syndrome (MdDS) after enduring a traumatic biking accident in May of 2014. The accident caused her to break her pelvis and the impact was so strong that her helmet cracked upon hitting the pavement. Two months after the accident she began experiencing dizzy spells, and strange sensations of movement.
She describes the feeling as if she is constantly walking on a trampoline.
After visiting numerous specialists including a neurologist, vestibular PT, multiple ENTs, and a naturopath, Kimberly still had no answers. She was continuing to experience dizziness, as well as a strong gravitational pull to the right, sensitivity to light and sound, sharp pain in the back of her head, and feeling as if she was constantly in motion.
She ultimately received her diagnosis after finding others online who were facing similar symptoms and addressing the possibility of MdDS with her doctor.
Since then, she’s connected with Sandy Brunner, who also has MdDS, who introduced her to the Vestibular Disorders Association. Kimberly explains how much she wishes she had heard of this vestibular community earlier on in her journey. It may have helped her find a diagnosis sooner.
This film will document how individuals are “grappling honestly and creatively with the limitations of their bodies,” she says.
Instead of shooting on set with a crew like she did in the past, this project involves patients filming themselves day to day. This allows for a more raw and personal perspective on day to day life with chronic illness.
Kimberly explains that for many of those living with MdDS or similar chronic conditions, their bodies appear normal on the outside. That means that their struggles also remain invisible, and the journey of illness becomes even more isolating.
This film will help to change that.
All photos used in this piece are courtesy of Kimberly.