Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Be careful traveling in bad weather

For the past three days in the Atlanta area we have had some of the worse winter weather we have ever had. Most winters we don't even have one snow fall but in the course of 3 weeks we have 2 winter storms. The one that started last Sunday dropped 6 to 7 inches of snow on the Atlanta Metro area. I am from Pennsylvania so I know that 7 inches of snow isn't much up north but down here it causes massive problems. We didn't get out of the house for a couple of days because the driving is too treacherous (even if you don't have Meniere’s disease) and where ever you walk would be covered in ice. I stepped out of the house and almost took a spill it definitely reminded me to be careful in this type of weather.

As I have written in the past falling is a great fear of mine. I have had a few drop attacks and have been lucky to have been at home when they happened. With winter weather that is mostly ice driving a car is certainly out of the question for me and even walking outside isn't a great idea either.

So if your winter is bad this year please be extra careful and don't take any chances on the road!

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  1. Hi David~
    I know what you mean about the fear of falling.
    I'm wondering if you or anyone else has experienced what I do?
    When I walk (flat sidewalk) I have to slightly look down, or I lose my balance and am not sure just where my feet are...I also have a really difficult time if the sidewalk slants to one side.
    Any one have this too?
    David~how are your headaches?

  2. I understand that fear of falling... I have it all the time, because even when I'm indoors and in my own home, if I take a step that's a little off, or turn suddenly and there's something blocking my path, I will go off-balance and not be able to compensate.

    Since the labyrinthectomy, and particularly since an additional treatment with prednisone and continual valium for the past three weeks, I am definitely in better shape. I feel more secure on my feet and can get around better and for longer. But today when I was getting out of the car (passenger side) I hit a patch of packed snow and nearly went flying, and I couldn't correct my own balance the way I used to. It's terrifying.

    I'm leaving this Sunday for a business trip to Bangalore, India. I actually swallowed my pride and called the airline to arrange for wheelchair assistance from the check-in counter to the gate, and then during the change of flights in Paris, and finally getting through customs and immigration in Bangalore. All I could think was that I might have a full-on attack because of all the movement, fatigue, and stress of airport travel.

    I cried after I arranged for the wheelchair and someone to escort me. It's a huge blow to my pride. But how else can we function when we've taken such severe blows to our health and well being??

  3. I´s a lot of snow here in Sweden, too, and it makes it more difficult to take a walk. I´m also afraid of falling outside and maybe break a leg but my dog needs his walks every day whatever the weather is like. And that is really a good thing to force me to take the walks. Of course with my cellphone with me and someone to call if something happens.
    Lauri: Walking on flat ground is ok as long as I only look straight forward. Moving my head to the side makes me losing my balance. And a sidewalk slanting to one side is a really tricky surface to walk on. Ít´s like my balancesystem cannot compensate for the slanting and brings wrong information to my body. But my physician therapist has told me that moving my head and walking on unsmooth (?) surfaces is the best way of getting better balance.

  4. I live in N.C. and we too are having much more snow and ice than we usually do. Yuck. I try to stay inside!
    I was just chatting with fellow Menier's sufferer and she's having a heck of a time with all the weather changes. Luckily, this past front didn't hit me too hard.
    When I do have to out I use my walker to walk to and from the car. I don't drive anyway.

    Thanks for the warning, and watch out for YOU too!

  5. @Lauri,
    Slanted sidewalks can be tricky for me too!
    Unfortunately, I still have the headaches. I’m still wondering if it has anything to do with the crazy weather we are having.

    Be careful on your trip!

    Having a dog with you while you are walking is really good. I sure miss our dog who died a few years ago.

    I’ve lived in Atlanta for 28 years and I haven’t ever seen weather like this. My son has been out of school all week! Be careful when you walk because what sometimes looks like wet pavement might actually be ice.

  6. David~
    I was wondering why there doesn't seem to be any further updates on Gene from Yakima who had the first Meniere's implant done.
    Have you heard anything more?
    Since I will be going to see Dr. Duckert at UW Med. Center on the 19th, I will check into that and let you know.
    HOPEFULLY it is still successful!

  7. hey david,
    we got hit by the storm here in n.c. too. messed with my head pretty good for some reason. i get afraid of falling too so i won't go out if i know it's icy. i'm not too worried about it if it's just snow.

    as far as gene goes, the last i heard he still had not had a vertigo attack so he had no news to report. i've been following his thread at i guess no vertigo is good but at the same time, kind of frustrating because no one yet knows if the device is working or not.

    hope you're doing well, david!

  8. David:

    weather does not bother me, David have the drop attacks stopped.
    Will see dr Santina later this month. Dr's are pushing for a vns or laby, but I just can't pull the trigger. How about you, is vns and laby in the future at all?

    David, I often wonder about mm treatment in other parts of the world.

  9. Hi David~
    Just wanted to ask again if ANYONE has had the endolymphatic sac decompression surgery?
    I have to make my decision on the 19th..and I'd really like to hear from someone who has experienced it what it was like, the recovery pain and time, and whether it worked for them?
    Any info on it you have would help too.
    I have to admit I am frightened, but this surgery is not supposed to be as destructive as some..and if it works it will make the difference in my being able to physically work and function again.
    Thanks David!
    Be well~

    1. I had the sac decompression surgery and it did not help. The recovery time is short but the effectiveness of the surgery is controversial. About 2 years later I had the vestibular nerve section and have been vertigo free for 5 years. You could also get gentamicin injections that will do the same thing but with no surgery. However, the injections do carry a higher risk of damaging the hearing more. But if the hearing is lousy the injections are probably the way to go.

  10. Thanks everybody for the comments!

  11. I am back from my trip to India, and it went well. I found that the wheelchair assistance made a HUGE difference. I was relieved of the necessity to figure out where to go, to try to read signs, to get through crowds, stand around for long periods in lines... it was all handled for me, and I could just relax and get out the right documents when people needed to see them, hand over my laptop to security, and just go along for the ride otherwise. It was an amazingly helpful way to make the trip more bearable. I'm very grateful it exists.

    The trip was really exhausting, however, because of the long flights (8 hours to Paris, then 11 to Bangalore) and long hours during the trip, which was for business. When I got home, I went straight to bed and slept for almost an entire day.

    BUT, even knowing all this and the fact that just walking around can be difficult for me, I actually DANCED during the trip. The company we were visiting had arranged for an Indian dance company to perform for us one evening, and the last dance was an Indian variation on a conga line with some other fun things thrown in. And since I was once a very serious dancer (ballet/jazz/modern) I couldn't stand not participating... so I got up there. I nearly fell once, but the other dancers got me back on balance, and it was so satisfying to do an activity I thought I might never try again.

    But back to the topic at hand, I do find bad weather makes a big difference in how I feel (dizzy-wise) and snowy days are especially bad. I don't know why. Going out feels very treacherous now. I had jury duty yesterday and today (in New Jersey, which has had a tremendous amount of snow so far this winter), and I nearly fell twice just walking to my car. Thank goodness the jury duty's over.

    I'm planning to limit my outdoor time as long as there's ice around, and I'm also going to buy a pair of Yak Traks for my shoes to help keep a grip on ice.

    Everybody, be careful and stay safe!

  12. Hi Peggy,
    I am so glad that your trip went well and it sounds like you had a great time. You are right about this being a bad winter, my mother lives in Pennsylvania and it is driving her crazy with all the snow that they have.

    Be careful on that ice especially, thanks for commenting