Friday, April 29, 2011

A Beautiful Distraction

A royal wedding was just what the doctor ordered! Sometimes I need a day away from reality and today fit the bill. Being able to focus my attention on a fairytale wedding vs my Meniere symptoms is truly a blessing. Not having to think about all the challenges that go along with living day to day with a chronic condition is a gift. Tomorrow life goes on and I will continue to strive to make my body strong and healthy. I will be forever grateful to my family and friends that continue to support me and love me. Life is good.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Squiggly Eyes, Hyperacusis & What Smells

Identifying and avoiding triggers has become my full time job. I am in constant combat mode every time I leave the house. Being the control freak that I can be at times - I always want to know what to expect in any situation. Sometimes this is not possible.

Like going to a movie and not knowing who is going to be sitting next to me. I don't know why but it always seems to be the adult with the inability to put the smartphone away because their lives are so important they need to text during the middle of the movie or the kid that wears those stupid light up blinky shoes. Certain visual stimuli can trigger a vertigo attack which can put me into panic mode causing me to want to curl up into the fetal position just to avoid the light. Now I know why they put those blinders on horses. I wonder if they make those for people.

I have lost count of how many times I have had to switch tables after being seated in a restaurant. Too many kitchen sounds or sitting to close to the bar with all the klinking of glass sounds - OMG! Wonder what would happen if I just stuck my fingers in my ears and went - la la la la la la. On second thought maybe not - my husband would get up and walk out and pretend he didn't know me.

Is it just me or do people where more colognes and perfumes these days.I walked into our local coffee shop the other day and felt like I was being hit across the head with a two by four. Someone had so much perfume on that you could not even smell the coffee. Which by the way is one of the best smells in the world! So grateful coffee is not a trigger - thank you sweet baby Jesus!

Living with a dysfunctional vestibular system is a challenge.Over time I am learning different coping mechanisms and  things are getting easier. What a journey!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

This Is What Works For Me

It has been just over 6 months since I was diagnosed with Meniere's. What a roller coaster ride it has been!

I started out with such a sense of hopelessness and despair. Feeling like my life was changed forever - for the worst. Having a vertigo attack every week for five weeks will do that to a person. Then I hooked up with an amazing support group. This group of individuals have given me more than I could ever imagine. Having people who you can relate to and vice versa is so important. My hopelessness and despair quickly changed to anger and determination. I will not let this be a life sentence. 

About two months ago I started to push myself more. My first goal was to get out for a minimum 20 minute walk each day. Even if I was feeling crummy. There have been a few days where the Meniere symtptoms were too bad, but once they had settled down I would pick up where I left off and get back on track. My second goal was to eat a healthier diet. I am to the point now where I feel so much better if I eat healthy. The few times I have slipped and eaten something that would not qualify as "good for me" those Meniere symptoms would start to rear their ugly head.. I am finding it easier and easier to stay on track, the longer I follow these two simple goals, because my level of wellbeing continues to increase with each passing week.

My newest goal in addition to the 20 minute walk and healthy eating is to go to the gym 2-3 times a week. Some days I can only work out for 15-20 minutes, while on good days 45 minutes. Today was a breakthrough though! I was able to walk up to a 7% incline and back down for 35 minutes and then do an interval walk/jog for 15 minutes and finish up with a 10 minute brisk level a speed of 2.8-3.0 mph for 2.9 miles. Damn it felt good!

I have decided to not have any invasive procedures done at this point. There is just not enough evidence to prove to me that they are helpful. In some cases I have read that it actually made things worse. I will continue to take a diuretic and follow a low sodium diet because I do believe this protocol has helped.

This journey is not a straight path and it is important to know which direction to take when you come to that fork in the road. I now focus more on what I can do as opposed to what I can not do. Bottom line is I feel so much better these days!

Monday, April 4, 2011

What Did You Say?

I'm not sure what is gong on with my hearing! When I am in a group or speaking with an individual I am finding myself misunderstanding what is being said. Just last week at my monthly book group meeting, one of my friends was telling us about how she has banned her husband from going to the local barbershop (which basically does only two styles of men's haircuts - neither of which are flattering to the male head) so he is to go to a specific hairdresser who works at "Hair Bastards". Thank you sweet baby Jesus - I was not the only one in the group that heard this! We all looked puzzled and asked her when this new shop had opened and where in town it was located.  That's when she reiterated  "Hair Masters". Doh!!!

Then another person in my book group started telling us about this "eunuch" man that was giving a talk at the local high school.  Once again a few of us looked puzzled - not ever having the chance to meet a man who is a part of the "eunuch" community - we asked where was this eunuch from? It was at that point we realized that she had said "unique" but with her accent it sounded like "eunuch". Doh!!!

It's a bit of a relief that my friends experienced this with me because I was really beginning to think I was losing my mind. Maybe this has more to do with AAADD (Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder) than having Meniere's. Focus people focus!!!