Sunday, March 27, 2011

Being active and having Meniere’s disease

Being active might mean different things to different folks. Does activity just related to exercise or does it have to do with a lifestyle where you do the things that you love to do and keep busy doing them? That is probably what most would consider active where you would keep busy despite an illness or disorder such as Meniere’s disease. The problem with some activities is that they require a certain amount of physical exertion or movement that could trigger a meniere’s attack. The question that I have is does being active actually help control your meniere’s?

A recent comment from Gail got me to thinking about being active and meniere’s…

But back to the reason I checked in with you all today; 3 months post-surgery and I cannot stress enough that being as active as possible is the fastest way to gain your life back, however small that may be each day. On your sad days, just do some head/eye movements. Something...anything....even if it is something so goofy as walking backward into the pantry to reach for the cereal.

I am in YOGA 5 days a week and 2 wks. ago, I downhill ski'd for the first time since the surgery. Wow! I actually ski better than before. Perhaps because I wasn't thinking that I could episode at any time. Back to the YOGA, after only the first class - I had so much more range of balance - my energy level felt like 300% of what I had been.

Thanks Gail for that inspiring comment.

While being active is important, especially doing the things that you love and the things that keep your mine off of meniere’s, be careful not to overdo it especially with physical activities.

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Gentamicin injections afterthought

The subject of Meniere’s disease and gentamicin always seems to garner attention among those with this disorder. I have written quite a few posts on my experience with the shots and how I felt afterward. Since it has been quite a while since I had my last gent injection I thought would share a few thoughts about it now.

In the past 3 years I have had 2 sets of gentamicin injections, one in 2008 and the other set in 2010. I went into receiving the shots with the feeling that there wasn’t any harm in doing them except possibly losing some of my hearing which wasn’t a big concern because I had already lost quite a bit of my hearing in my left “bad” ear. I was told that the whole premise behind getting these injections was to kill the balance in the bad ear and after a short recovery time all my balance would be in the unaffected right ear. That sounded fine.

As I had written before after the first set of shots I had quite a long recovery time that caused me to go on short term disability. My good ear unfortunately didn’t want to pick up the slack and carry the load of my bad ear. After many months things calmed down somewhat, there were still balance issues but not as bad as before. All that changed at the beginning of 2010 I started to regularly have problems with vertigo again and the attacks were as bad as ever. In the spring of 2010 my vertigo and balance problems caused me one again to go on short term disability.

Shortly after I left work my doctor suggested another round of gent injections. I only had two shots this time and they didn’t do anything to help. Looking back I regret having the second series of injections because they did no good and I think that they made my hearing a lot worse.

The one thing that I can’t understand is the fact that I still have vertigo. I thought that the injections would have somehow taken care of it but they didn’t.

One thing to always remember is that a treatment might not work for someone (like me) but it could be beneficial to you.

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Help to curtail nausea

One of the biggest problems that have had when a big meniere’s attack comes on is nausea. The never ending spinning can make my stomach turn over pretty quick. What I usually do is stare at a point in front of me (or the ceiling if I am lucky enough to make it to the bed) and I just stay still hoping it will pass. When I went to the hospital I was put on Phenergan which really helps with the nausea. Of course if you are at home, nauseated and only have the pill form of Phenergan you really can’t try to swallow it because you would just throw it up again. I saw from a comment the other day about someone putting ice on the wrist to help with the throwing up. I don’t think that I had heard about this remedy before.

This is from Violet…

For about 5 months I have been receiving treatment for vertigo/bppv from a dr of physical therapy. I will see audiology and ENT next month for an initial consult. How do u feel right before an attack? I feel giddy and quite off. Then I get sick and all I can do is lay in the dark. Often I put ice/cold on my wrist to quell the nausea. I don’t throw up. I’m exhausted afterwards. I notice that visually busy places make me exhausted as well

That sounds interesting so I looked it up on the web it seems that a lot of folks do use this remedy. I saw this type of remedy quite a few times as a recommendation for morning sickness. I also saw a few site about acupuncture wrist bands. I just asked my wife about it and she told me that at the school she works at the nurse puts ice packs on the kids’ wrist if they feel nauseated. It might be worth a try.

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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Meniere’s disease and counseling

Having Meniere’s disease can put anyone on an emotional roller coaster, you could have several days in a row where you haven’t had an attack and then out of the blue you start to spin and when you are finished your tired and very discouraged. I have been through that vicious cycle many times. As we have talked about many times what it does to our feeling of self-worth can probably be one of the worst aspects of this disorder. Don’t get me wrong the nausea and the spinning are horrible but the after bite of the sting of meniere’s seems to last for a long while.

So what do you do?

A couple weeks ago I went to see a doctor about my balance. He knew from my file that I had suffered from depression for many years and that I was still on anti-depressant medications. He asked if I had still had a counselor that I saw. When I told him that I hadn’t in many years he suggested that I reconsider and seek counseling. At first I didn’t like the idea. But then I thought about how the stress caused by meniere’s had made things terribly difficult for me. If counseling could help with that then why shouldn’t I try it? With meniere’s you shouldn’t turn down any help that you can get.

I have set up an appointment to see someone in a few weeks. I will go into with a positive attitude and hopefully it will do some help.

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