Sunday, December 18, 2011

Bad week with Meniere’s disease

Last week on Monday I was starting to prepare dinner when my head started to feel light and the familiar spinning of a meniere’s attack started. It was strange because it wasn’t spinning as quickly as it usually does when I have an attack and in few minutes it stopped. It really didn’t have much impact on me or the rest of the day. Unfortunately what happened on Wednesday wasn’t quite as simple as the previous episode. It was in the evening and I was sitting on the couch not really doing anything when an attack came out of the blue. It felt like something had slammed into the side of my head causing my vision to become blurred and my sense of control to become lost. I rolled onto the floor and yelled for my wife who knew what was happening.
The whole attack lasted only a few minutes but it was brutal, one of the worst sudden attacks that I have ever experienced. Why did it happen now? I’m not sure but I can certainly speculate about what could have brought it on. Over the past few months I’ve had problems with in congestion, ear aches and headaches. I have taken a lot of over the counter stuff and I can only wonder if that played a part in the attack.
Of course other reasons may be the stress of the holiday season and the ongoing tension of getting on social security disability (I haven’t heard anything in while). As usual it is a guessing game as to what causes Meniere’s disease to flare up.
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  1. A few weeks ago I had something similar, thanks God I was sitting down on a rocker chair. It felt as if somebody or something all of a sudden set the chair spinning real fast. My natural reaction was to hold hard to the sides of the chair. The sensation lasted just a couple of minutes.

    If I would have been standing, my natural reaction would have been to counter the perceive sudden movement, pushing as hard as I could the other way. That would have landed me on the floor, real hard, real fast. Not just a fall, when you just collapse on your own feet, but more akin to throw yourself, as hard as you can to the side; hitting whatever is there and bouncing back to the floor.

    Scary thing. With previous episodes, from the moment they started to the pick of the episode I usually had over 20 minutes to prepare for the worst. This time it just hit me, out of a blue sky. Thanks God I was sitting down...

  2. hello david
    its a drop attack as you probably know, i had one that scared me so much also. it verges on epilepsy as you kinda lose all vision to reality.
    was the freakest thing that has ever happened to me also.

  3. I have experienced that a couple of times, there were episodes that only last a few seconds, but they are strong and come out of no were. Very strange. I have had a couple of bad weeks and now more then ever am I convinced that the bad weather has something to do with that. It has been rainy and gloomy here in North Texas for past 2 weeks and ever since it started, I have felt full pressure and lightheaded-ness. (Even in my good ear, which makes me concerned that i might be getting Menieres In that ear too) The weather finally cleared on Friday and Saturday was the first day in 2 weeks that I feel better. Very strange.

  4. Oh, David, I'm so sorry... those attacks are terrifying. I would guess it has a lot to do with the congestion you've had recently and the stress of the holidays... both are triggers. I'm worried about myself, because I've had a very bad cold for a week and am preparing for the holidays, including a solo at church. Pressure much?

    I hope you are over the cold now and can find ways to relax and give yourself a break. :(

  5. hello
    all these people with menieres and problems in the winter months..
    i wanna give an insight that i beleieve could help some people, and that is keeping the radiators on to a minimum, turning them on for a blast of heat occasionally, and make sure they are off when you sleep. (real log fires are not so bad).
    radiators create dry rooms with no oxygen, they breed bacteria also.
    i know its cold but wear clothes. (i am writing this to you with a scarf on at home:)
    regards and love

  6. My sympathies are with you!

    I am having a roller-coaster ride. Since I first met you and posted a couple of weeks ago, I've had another hearing test to show that my hearing loss is not permanent. It is episodic. I get fullness in the ear. Then I have mild attacks, which seem to last several hours, and then the fullness clears up again. Until the next time. Does this sound familiar to others?

    I am trying to put out of my mind the possibility that I could have more drop attacks, instead of mild ones, when the ear-fullness starts up again. I wanted to drive 100 miles to a Solstice event at the Pacific Ocean today, but I don't dare. I will however treat myself to a short trip to a river's edge instead. Can't shut myself in!

  7. Sorry to hear about your bad week, Last week I had my first drop attack, I thought my first major vertigo attack was bad, but this was unbelievable. Am thinking of sniping the nerve to help with the attacks, have you ever had thoughts down this road ?

  8. Niki, your symptoms sound exactly like what I experienced when I first started noticing Meniere's symptoms in 2000. Unfortunately, mine progressed to permanent hearing loss and frequent attacks of all kinds. I wonder if that is inevitable, or if some people have attacks early on, then never again?

    Anonymous, I think you are talking about a nerve section, a surgery that severs the vestibular nerve without destroying any of the inner workings of the ear. I have a friend who had that surgery, and she has gone back to a mostly normal life. Since then, however, she has lost most of the hearing in that ear anyway.

    How often are you having attacks, and what other remedies have you tried? My doctor recommended a labyrinthectomy to me only after it became apparent to us both that my Meniere's was intractable, and nothing else we had tried was working. Also, my hearing in that ear was almost gone, so the laby made more sense than the nerve section.

    It's a tough decision to make, that's for sure.

  9. Does anyone know what is the break-down of Meniere's cases by severity? It's hard for me, only one month into this diagnosis, to stop wondering how many people limp along as is and how many lose all hearing and have surgeries and such.

  10. I have noticed that I get "warning" signals before a full blown attack. The day before I may have a little dizzy spell or the room spins and it lasts a few seconds. I know that I will have a full blown attack within 24 hours. My biggest fear is getting an attack whiloe driving. Has anyone had one while driving? How do you deal with this?

  11. Hi Becky,
    I have had them a few times while driving and it has been pretty scary. Luckily I was able to pull over in time.