Sunday, May 30, 2010

Meniere’s disease and the dex steroid injection

When ever I hear about Meniere ’s disease and injections I think of gentamicin. Actually it isn’t a pleasant memory either the pain was terrible or it took awhile to take effect. But anyway there is another type of injection and that is with Dexamethasone steroids, I wrote about that awhile ago but recently someone wrote that they had some success with them.


Daniel Pancy was kind enough to tell me how the dex injections had worked for him…

David


I get my DEX steroid injection in my left ear every 6-8weeks but usually more to the 6 weeks side of the period. I have a tube in that ear with makes delivery really easy. I figure I have been on them for about a year now, as long as I get results my ENT will continue to have me get them.


They tried the Gent to deaden that nerve many many years ago and it failed to do that. The DEX is not intended to deaden the balance nerve, it calms down the vestibular system. I respond very well to steroids for Meniere's symptoms. The DEX stays inside of you middle ear and really has no side effects except it may lower blood pressure in women; at least that is what I have been able to find.


Take Care,


Daniel

I don’t think that my doctor ever mentioned steroids to me but it sounds like to can be effective for some folks. And I imagine that the tube in the ear would make the procedure a lot less painful that having a needle going through your ear every time you have a gent injection.

By the way, the past 2 days haven’t been too bad, although I haven’t done much and I haven’t driven that far. My gent an injection is on June 9th so that should be interesting.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Meniere’s disease and disability

If you have read the past few weeks’ posts then you know that I have been having a relapse regarding my meniere’s disease. It all started about a month ago when I thought that the culprit was pollen and when the pollen went away so would the attacks. Of course it didn’t happen that way the attacks got worse and then 2 weeks ago I had my worse attack in 2 years. I have been missing a lot of work so I decided to once again go on disability.

While I am on disability I am going to have the gent injections again. Hopefully I wouldn’t have to 4 shots like I did before. The first one is on June 9 and I am already dreading it! I know that not all people who receive the injections have such a bad experience with them. Unfortunately I did.


How long will I be on disability? I really don’t know it took a couple of months to get over the injections the last time so it may be a while. The one thing that I will definitely cut back on will be my driving. I had one bad experience with driving after an injection and I don’t want to have another one. I might try to do some of the VNS exercises to strengthen my balance; I don’t think that it would hurt.
I’ll keep you posted.

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Meniere’s disease and Zofran

After my last attack I wrote a post on finding a quick medication to relieve my meniere’s disease. One of the suggestions was zofran which I had heard of before but I didn’t look into but it certainly seems to help some folks.

Here is part of the email that suggested zofran…

I wonder if you know anti-nausea drug zofran. My ENT doctor prescribed it, and it really works for me. Before I knew this drug, once vertigo started, I used to vomit until my stomach became completely empty. Now, when I feel that it is coming, I take one tablet, and it prevents me from vomiting, though it does not stop vertigo. I still have attacks frequently, but not vomiting is a huge relief.


Zofran is an anti-nausea drug that is used by folks that have just had surgery and it is used by cancer patients after chemo. You are supposed to take the medicine before chemotherapy. I have read that some women take it while they are pregnant to reduce morning sickness. Zofran is taken by pill form or water soluble. Like all drugs there is side effects, make sure to check with your doctor about them.


As far as zofran for Meniere’s disease it sounds pretty effective although I have read that it is more expensive than other medications. Right now the strongest thing that I take for nausea is phenregan and to be frank with you it hasn’t helped that much in the past 2 weeks.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The stages of Meniere’s disease

Since I have started this blog I have been very fortunate to have informative and articulate readers who have left wonderful and helpful comments. Last week before my attack I received a comment from Jeff, someone who has given me a lot of information about Meniere’s disease plus great personal perspective. He suggested that I write about the stages of Meniere’s disease and he gave me a useful website about the stages of Meniere’s disease.

The first stage consists of dizziness or vertigo lasting anywhere from minutes to hours. I certainly can attest to this stage because when I became my meniere’s journey the attacks were often and without warning but most of them lasted for hours. This is when I first heard the term Meniere’s disease from one of the first ENTs that I saw. I did have a little tinnitus but not that much, at least I can be thankful for that.

The second stage according to the article is when the hearing loss and tinnitus intensifies causing hearing problems. I definitely had hearing problems and as a matter of fact my hearing in my left ear is still getting worse. But the tinnitus usually only occurs when an attack is imminent.

The third stage is the burnt out stage of Meniere’s disease where the hearing loss is severe and the vertigo is mild or have ended completely. I wish that I was in that stage and I thought that I was about a month ago but the attacks that I have had in the past week shows me that my bout with meniere’s isn’t over. I have had some people tell me that their meniere’s was dormant for many years only to come back, not as bad as before but it still comes back. I would like to see my meniere’s go away for about 40 years!

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

The recovery period after a big Meniere’s disease attack

Well, I think that I am now completely over the attack of the other day. As I wrote in the last post it had been awhile since I had a Meniere’s disease attack that bad. I forgot how long the recovery period of a big Meniere’s disease attack was. I guess that it took about 2 days before I could turn my head without becoming light headed. I hope that this was just a minor blip in my adventure with Meniere’s disease.
 I hope.

Don’t get wrong, the attack that I had the other day wasn’t the worse that I ever had. In 2008, I had many that topped this one. One in particular lasted for many hours, and that was after I had an injection of phenregan in me plus two IV bags. I went on disability right after that. That attack could probably be attributed to the gent injections which I had a few weeks before, speaking of gent injections I am seriously considering getting another shot. I swore after the last one that I would never have a needle stuck in my ear again, but if another shot might help I’ll do it.

As all of you know there is no telling how the meniere’s will affect you from day to day. You just have to do the best you can.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Is there a quick medication to take during a Meniere’s disease attack?

If there is I could have used it yesterday. On my way to work I had to pull over because I felt like I was about to become dizzy. I wasn’t nauseated yet so I took an Antivert. I sat in my car for about 15 minutes and then started off to work. I thought that was the last of my attacks for the day.

I was wrong.

Around 4 o’clock my vision became a little wavy and I became light headed. I took another Antivert; I thought that would save me like it did in the morning. This time it didn’t. The room started to spin and didn’t stop for twenty minutes. I sat quietly staring straight ahead; unfortunately I had to go to the restroom. It took awhile to walk there and get back, but there wasn’t a problem. Then when I sat down the spinning returned this time with nausea. I throw up a few times and then just sat there for another 2 hours. This was the worst attack I have had in 2 years.

I wish that I had the phenregan with me although taking it by mouth might not have worked with such an upset stomach. Which leads to me to a comment that I received about a form of phenregan that can be rubbed into the wrist that would have certainly helped me yesterday.



This is from Sandie Moore…

David,


I take only Meclizine and wear the Transderm Scop patch for my Meniere's. I have never been able to nail down any triggers for my attacks. they happen when they want to. I have never used much salt, and stress comes and goes but is cannot be connected with my attacks. I had a mastoidectomy with a permanent tube put in, in 1986 and that worked wonders. But I still have attacks from time to time. I get off the medication when I feel I can because I know I build a resistance to it. Some days I take the Meclizine morning noon and night. I will wear a patch if I am feeling extra woozy. About the Phenergan, I had mentioned in a reply to an earlier post about how I have it in a cream to rub on my arm. As you know, once the vomiting starts there is no use in taking anything by mouth so this works in that situation. I get it from a compounding pharmacy, the name on the prescription is promethazine and they put it in little syringes I rub onto my wrists. I have not been to a specialist in about 20 years and just get the RX from my family Dr. Wanted to share about the phenregan.


Sandie


Thanks Sandie, for the info about phenregan next doctor visit I will definitely ask about it.

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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Becoming immune to my Meniere's disease medications

The other night after I got home from work I got on the computer to check my email. I guess it wasn’t more than 10 minutes before my eyes started to shift and my head started to feel light. Luckily I was able to get upstairs and in bed before the room started to spin. That hadn’t happened in a while. And I started to become nauseated, I took a Phenergan and laid back down. I didn’t throw up but I don’t know that it was the medication or I just caught the attack in time. I have to wonder if my body is becoming immune to my Meniere’s disease medications.

As I have written in the past, I take valium every morning and a supplement. When I get to work I take a diuretic and that is all the Meniere’s disease meds that I take. I also take medicine for a few unrelated illnesses. I would like to think that something else caused my attack the other day. Was it something I eat? I don’t think so or maybe it was stress. It is hard to say.

I really don’t want to change my meds around because when you do that you sometimes run into problems, like side effects. Unfortunately most of the meniere’s meds that I have taken are also sedatives, which isn’t too good for me because I also suffer from sleep apnea.

I certainly know of other medications for meniere’s that I can try. If I get another attack I might have to go back to the doctor and see about changing my meds. I hate to do that but with meniere’s you have to do whatever it takes.

I’ll keep you posted.

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Stress triggers my Meniere's Disease

I was reading an article last week about Kristen Chenoweth, a Broadway actress and singer who also is a Meniere’s disease sufferer. Amazingly she is still able to perform despite living with the side effects of meniere's. The way she controls Meniere's is through a low salt diet, lots of rest and avoiding stress. If you have read my blog in the past you know that I don't think much about a low salt diet, but avoiding stress and getting plenty of rest makes sense to me. Especially the avoiding stress part because stress, at least to me, triggers Meniere’s disease.

Stress is a part of everybody's life, no matter who you are. For some folks handling stress is easy and it doesn't affect them in the least. They hold their emotions in check and work through any problem that comes their way. As for the rest of us stress is always a challenge, even if the stress is about things that we have experienced before. We let our fears and emotions get the best of us resulting in the usual physical side effects that come with stress, sweaty hands, nervousness, anxiety, headaches and other things that upset you. Of course with Meniere’s disease stress can cause the dreaded meniere's attack.
What do you do about stress?

I heard of some people having good results with yoga (I never tried it myself) and exercise like walking or running can be very helpful. Meditation and self hypnosis might be beneficial; it would certainly be worth a try. Personally I like to walk because it seems to pick my spirits up and clears my mind to see problems and situations in a better light.

Finding a way to deal with stress is in everybody’s best interest especially those with Meniere’s disease.



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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Positive reactions to the meniett device and Meniere’s disease

I have written in the past about the relatively new meniett device. I have had people ask me if I had heard any thing positive about it. I did receive a couple of comments that were positive.

First a quick recap of what the meniett device does. The device fits in your ear and the air pressure that it delivers into the ear drum somehow reduces the fluid in the inner ear. This is supposed to help with the Meniere’s disease. I had a prescription for it but my insurance wouldn’t pay for so I really can’t make any judgments about it.

The first comment is from Nicki of Nicki of the peripheral view, a really good blog you should check out.


I have been using the meniett for 5 years. it has done wonders for me in controlling the vertigo. For example, while I was pregnant with my son, pre-meniett use, i had to leave work on disability because I was so sick. While I was pregnant with my daughter, after starting the meniett, I worked right up until the end of my pregnancy. The only times i would have vertigo would be when my tube came out of my ear which basically renders the meniett worthless. Once my tube was replaced, i would be fine again.


I am still using it now and although i am having major disequilibrium problems and am out of work once again, I credit the machine for keeping me from being sicker.

Another comment that I received about the meniett device comes from Mike P

I have been using the Meniett for about 4 months now. Between that and Usana supplements that I take I can honestly say I have never felt better. I have suffered with MD for about 5-6 years now, and during the last 4 months I have taken NO medication. This is comparison to taking diuretics, serf, lorazepam and countless other prescriptions during the last 6 years. I have been feeling a bit full in the ear and a bit light headed the last few days, but I think my ventilation tube in my ear is either plugged or fallen out. Off to my ENT tomorrow to find out. I would encourage anyone who can to try the Meniett!



Thanks Nicki and Mike!
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