Sunday, April 24, 2011

Some folks don’t understand Meniere’s disease

Any one that has Meniere’s disease has a great appreciation and empathy for others who are stuck with this disorder. They know what you are going through. From the sudden attacks and the long recovery periods, the endless doctors’ visits and doctor’s opinions we have all been through it. But what about the other folks who don’t have it, do you think they get it? Some do but unfortunately a lot don’t. It used to make me mad that some people including doctors seem to minimize the torment and distress caused by meniere’s disease, but not anymore.

When I first was diagnosed with meniere’s I wasn’t quite sure myself what to think about it. Is it like vertigo but worse than vertigo, but vertigo can be cured and meniere’s couldn’t. It was confusing and it still is at times. What made matters worse was trying to describe the illness to people who have never heard of it before. When I told them that I got extremely dizzy to the point of throwing up they usually agreed that it was a terrible condition. But I don’t think they could understand why there wasn’t any cure and I don’t think that they could realize how it has an effect on your life. I don’t think that most people could understand how difficult it is to live when a meniere’s attack can hit you at any moment anywhere.

One of the biggest problems with meniere’s besides the fact that there isn’t a cure, is that most folks have never heard of it before. I hadn’t and most of the people that I have talked about with had never heard of it either. I don’t know if I have ever seen a report done on any of the cable shows about it either. (at least I don’t remember).

So don’t be concerned if others don’t understand meniere’s disease. The important thing is how you feel about it and what you are doing to get better.

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Inner strength versus Meniere’s disease

It is sometimes hard to believe that I have only had the Meniere’s disease for 7 years or so. It has changed so many things in my life that it seems like I have been fighting it (or living with it) forever. Like most folks who have it I had never heard about before I was diagnosed with it and if you tell someone you have meniere’s disease they probably wouldn’t know what you are talking about. After blogging about it for over two years I have learned quite a bit about this disorder, the worst bit of information, of course, is that there isn’t a cure. But in a strange way having Meniere’s disease has changed me especially with regards to my inner strength.

I always had a lot of health issues growing up, tonsils surgery, appendix surgery, hernia surgery plus constant bouts of the flu and many colds. I wore glasses at an early age also. None of the problems were life-threatening and they could be treated so none of them actually tested me emotionally. Meniere’s disease changed everything for me.

Many folks talk about Meniere’s disease going in stages where there are times when the attacks occur regularly and other times when they seem to have gone away. I think that is are also emotional stages to Meniere’s disease. At first you don’t know what is happening and then when you do find out what you have it gets pretty rough. There is no cure but there are treatments (lots of treatments) some work, some don’t. This is really a confusing time because you don’t know exactly which way to turn. Should I try this or that, what are the consequences of surgery and procedures?

It is a lot of stuff thrown at you, but after while (in my case) your inner strength helps you through all the decisions and questions and anything else that this disorder can throw at you.

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Less concentration and memory with Meniere’s disease

Do you feel that your concentration isn’t what it used to be and do you feel that you can’t remember things whether they are trivial or important? Unfortunately I do. I can’t really blame it on my age because I am only 53 years old and from what I have read memory doesn’t have to necessarily erode as we get older. So can I blame it on the Meniere’s disease, maybe I can indirectly. There are so many problems associated with this disorder that can have an effect on our concentration and our memory.

If you have meniere’s then you know that a good many of the medications make you drowsy. Antivert is a prime example. I used to take it every day to help prevent an attack. That certainly didn’t always work but one thing is for sure, I was very tired at the end of the day. Being tired isn’t good for concentration or memory.

I have written many times about stress and Meniere’s disease. It tears you down and leaves you weak and emotionally drained. Being able to do any task while stressed out takes an enormous effort. Stress seems to be a big issue with everybody today with the economy and the world the way it is. Handling the stress of this disorder and the consequences of it should be a goal for everyone. In my own situation I have recently started counseling in order to control the stress and anxiety that I have.

With all the medications that you take you wouldn’t think that you would have a problem getting sleep, but that isn’t always the case. Even with meds like antivert and valium rest is sometimes difficult to achieve and without sleep your mind isn’t as sharp as it could be.

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Hearing loss and regrets

Hearing loss is common among meniere’s folks as well as many who have reached a certain age. The national institute of Health says that 1 in 3 over 65 have hearing problems and over half the folks at age 85 and above also have hearing problems. My hearing has been going downhill for years even before I was diagnosed with Meniere’s disease. Of course it really accelerated after I had my first attack. As a child I always had problems with my ears, especially ear aches, which had to be some of the worst pain that I had ever experienced because it seemed to take forever for the earache to go away. I didn’t help matters any by using headphones to listen to music, at the time I didn’t think that would be harmful. I don’t have any concrete evidence that it affected my hearing but I think that it did.

My hearing as of late seems to be getting worse, at least I think so. But it is difficult to say because I have been having a lot more buzzing sounds in my left ear which has definitely cut down on my ability to hear conversations and noises in general. And I have also had more problems with my balance and vertigo. One thing that I should add is that I have had a sore throat for a while and I’m sure that complicates my inner ear problems.

I know that hearing loss can’t compare to the troubles that meniere’s can bring (vertigo, tinnitus) but it would definitely be nice to not have to ask people to repeat themselves or having to have the volume on the TV so loud that the walls shake. While hearing aids are an option, in my case I don’t think that they would be effective because my hearing in my right ear is okay.

So what can you do…

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