Friday, February 27, 2009

One type of Meniere's disease surgery

In the fall after my first attack since the gentamicin injections my doctor suggested Endolymphatic Shunt surgery. This is major surgery which involves a good deal of downtime. At first I agreed to the surgery. At that point I would have agreed to most anything I was so desperate. The doctor told me that there was 66 percent chance of success and probably no hearing loss. I was okay with that.

But when I went home that evening and started to search the net for information about the surgery I found that not everyone was enthused about this surgery. Some of the websites even said that it was better than nothing. Now I was confused. I decided to get another doctor’s opinion. He had nothing but praise for the doctor but reaffirmed what the websites were saying that the surgery was not very effective.

I canceled the surgery and I’m glad I did. The moral of this story is to always do your own research and have at least one or two second opinions from other doctors.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Gentamicin Injections

Since I haven’t had any big attacks since the beginning of the year and only a few small dizzy spells that went away quickly, I’m wondering of the gentamicin injections are finally working.

I had my first injection at the end of June last year. I researched on the internet all that I could find on gentamicin injections. I found that there were usually three or four injections in the ear that had the Meniere’s disease. And the injections were relatively painless. The success rate was high.

I was nervous on the day of the first injections. I didn’t know what to expect. The injections were to be given in my left ear. I asked the Doctor how he could be sure that my left ear was the problem. He told me that since I had lost a good deal of hearing in that ear that more than likely was the bad ear.

Before the injection the doctor numbed the eardrum. It was a freezing sensation that was very uncomfortable. Now it was time to put a tiny hole into my eardrum. I had my head tilted so I couldn’t see the needle. My wife, who was in the room, told me that it was good I didn’t see the needle.

The pain was intense, maybe it was just me but it hurt quite a bit. After that, the gentamicin was shot through the hole. Part of the medicine drained out through the Eustachian tube into my mouth. Very unpleasant! If that wasn’t bad enough I started to become dizzy. The doctor told me that was normal and the dizziness would go away in a few minutes. It did.

At that point the procedure was done and all that I had to do was keep my head tilted to one side for 45 minutes.

I had a total of 4 injections with two weeks between each one. After the last one I felt that my MD was cured. That feeling lasted about a month. For the next three months I had some of my worst attacks.

But now 6 months later I am feeling much better. I can’t say for sure if it was the gentamicin or not. I’ll keep you updated.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Is Meniere's Disease really a disease?

Meniere's Disease is a idiopathic condition - translation nobody know the cause of it. There are plenty of opinions of why it happens to certain people. It could be an injury, or a virus in the inner ear or something that no one has ever thought about. I know in my own case that it came about when I had a car accident. One of the first ENTs that I saw balked at that idea because the wreck that I was in wasn't that bad. But I find it strange that I started to have attacks right after the car wreck.
Now I have also had a history of ear problems since I was young I don't know if that is the reason that I am stuck with this MD stuff.

I haven't been feeling bad lately so ( knock on wood ) maybe I'm getting better. Maybe.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Salt the enemy of Meniere's Disease

One of the first ENTS that I saw told me that a reduction in salt was vital to minimizing the attacks of Meniere's Disease. I thought that wouldn't be so hard. I would stop using the salt shaker and cut out a lot of my sodium. Of course that's all wrong. Salt or sodium is in most ever foods except raw vegetables and fruit. The recommended range for sodium for a MD sufferer is between 1000 and 1500. A piece of pizza with no topping can have as much as 1200 mg of sodium. And if you have toppings that could go over 2000. That's just one slice!

And forget about soup, especially soup in a can. That's about 1000 mg right there. Any processed food has a lot of sodium in it.
The food served at restaurants are usually filled with sodium. Unless you know the chef and ask him to prepare something low in sodium then you will blow your sodium quota in one meal.

I tried to maintain a low sodium diet but it was very difficult. And frankly I don't think it helped my Meniere's Disease either.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

working on my balance

I went to the dizzy and balance clinic today for my first rehab. There wasn't really any rehab just a day of answering questions and taking balance tests. Out of a score of 24 my score was 11. Not good. I have to at least reach 19 to be considered someone who isn't at a risk for falling. I think that the score was so low because I was taking my time with certain tests involving turning quickly or looking from left to right or up or down. I know in the past these movements have been triggers for the Meniere's disease. As a matter of a fact when I got home I was a little lightheaded like an attack was going to happen.
Anyway the Technician that I am going to be working with gave me some exercises to do to strengthen my balance. I'll give them a try. I have another appointment in 2 weeks so we will see if that helps any.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The past two days have been rough and I don't know why. Maybe its stress or maybe its something I ate that was way too salty. But I doubt it.
I have read a lot about MD over the past few years and it seems the more I read the confused I am. Maybe its the brain fog that supposed to come with MD. I don't know. It couldn't have come at a worse time for me. I have a young son and I'm fifty-one years old. If I lose my job who is going to hire somebody with my health problems.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Well I don't know if the meds are working or not. I had a rough time driving to work. The worst part about it was a wreck on the interstate. I sat still for quite a long time. That always scares me.

A good website that I stumbled upon is
http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/balance/meniere.asp The national institution on Deafness and other communication Disorders. It has the basic information on meniere's and other inner ear disorders

Videos on Menieres disease
http://www.dizziness-and-balance.com/sitedvd.htm ( if you don't have a fast connection it may take some time to open the files )

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I think the t-bio and the diuretic are working...

I think the t-bio and the drug regiment that I am on now is working. But then again maybe I'm just going thru the ups and downs that are typical of meniere's disease. Yesterday I didn't feel that great and today I'm still feeling like I could have an attack. The difference between now and a few months ago is that when I felt like I was going to have an attack I usually did. Now that isn't the case.
I have a doctor's appointment and an appointment with a balance clince next week. I have been keeping a journal since the beginning of the year for the doctor to look at. Hopefully he can see a pattern because I can't.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

I haven't had an attack in awhile

I haven't had an attack in awhile. I 'm continuing my medication regime. Even my driving to work as been better.