Sunday, April 29, 2012

Amusement parks, motion sickness and Meniere’s disease

When my wife was a child she loved to go to local amusement park (Six Flags over Georgia) and ride every scary ride that she could in one trip to the park. And it seems that she wouldn’t be alone in her love of roller coasters that put you on the verge of throwing up, the lines at the parks would always be packed. One person you wouldn’t have found in line waiting for the roller coaster would be me.  Even without Meniere’s disease I would become very sick even on the smallest of rides.  Of course I have a son who loves going to the park and he knows better than to ask me to ride anything, luckily his mom is a good sport and rides with him. 

I received a comment last week that make me think of amusement rides it was from Linda…

Hi, my name is Linda, I am 50, live in Staffordshire and I have been diagnosed for around 6 years now.
As a child and into adulthood I had very memorable ear infections and general hearing difficulty. My childhood was marred by sea sickness, rotational vertigo and tinnitus. I recall vividly visiting the park with my sisters where they had fun while I avoided the roundabout and the dreaded ‘witches hat’, sitting quietly on a still swing. Until 6 years ago I thought that everyone could hear a noise when it's 'quiet', because for me that has always been normal. As an adult, I always put my odd dizzy spells down to my low blood pressure but I couldn’t explain the vertigo if playing certain video games, the travel sickness and the stress of noisy places.

I can really relate to a lot of the things that she is saying especially about her childhood experiences although I don’t remember any episodes of tinnitus.  Another common problem is also my blood pressure, if it goes too high I get headaches and if it goes too low I get worried because that usually brings on dizzy spells.

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Truck driving and Meniere’s disease

Meniere’s disease can be a real life changer especially when it comes to work. The sudden Meniere’s attacks without any warning (maybe some warning) can cause you great disruptions at work and at home. Your productivity not to mention your safety can be in peril. In my own case I have been out of work for some time and I have been trying like a lot of folks to get on Social Security Disability. While my work  was mostly in front of computer screens (made me very dizzy) I can’t hardly imagine how scary it would be to have Meniere’s and work with heavy machinery or at a construction site.

I received a comment from Don the other day about that exact situation…

I'm curious and would like to hear from other reader's/poster's on returning to work with Meniere's. I have a feeling that my employer won't want me back (understandably so) as my job entails operating a machine, or driving a lift truck. Has anyone else been able to do this type of work? I really would rather be able to work vs. rely on Soc. Sec. but, it will be what it will be.

I can certainly understand Don’s trepidation about returning to work. The thought of having a Meniere’s attack while driving a lift truck can definitely be frightening. But if that is the work that you have been doing for a while it wouldn’t be easy just to walk away from it, although it would be better than having an accident.

What do you think?

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

The invisibility of Meniere’s disease

For ideas about possible posts on this blog or just to continue to learn as much as I can about Meniere’s disease I do a search on Google news on a regular basis. Lots of times there isn’t a lot of new issues about this disorder or stories about it but the other day I found a post on the site about a man who struggles with not only Meniere’s but also back problems as well as osteoarthritis.

He makes a good point about how most disabilities are easily seen by other people…

When someone sees another person in a wheelchair, motorized cart, using a walker or even with a cast on their leg and using crutches, they know right away that person is disabled. However, not all disabilities are quite so obvious.

I think that most of us who have dealt with Meniere’s over the years can definitely understand what he means. It is unfortunate that some people (a lot of people) can understand what we are going through without seeing a big Meniere’s attack.  What can be particularly bad is when even people close to you have a hard time understanding the full impact on one’s life that Meniere’s brings.

Changing the subject just a bit but last week’s blog post was number 300!! It took 3 years to reach that milestone and I want to thank everybody for supporting “My life and Meniere’s disease”

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Sunday, April 8, 2012

What meds I now take for Meniere’s

When I was initially diagnosed with Meniere’s disease I don’t think that I was prescribed any type of medication except a diuretic and a med to help replenish the potassium lost. I didn’t start taking antivert till a few months after that, a doctor in the emergency room recommended it. And yet another emergency room doctor told me to take valium before an attack. I took both of those meds for quite a while but I don’t anymore. I really don’t think that they help much.

As for not taking the antivert I really can’t tell exactly when an attack is going to happen anymore. When they do come on I lie down on the bed and just wait till it’s over.  The valium is another story like the antivert it made me very tired which is bad because I am tired most of the time anyway.

The only Meniere’s type medication that I take now is the potassium saving diuretic triamterene which I do believe has helped me and the great thing about this diuretic is no loss of potassium which means I don’t have to take a giant potassium pill!

The thing that made me think about medication is all the comments about meds that are prescribed for Meniere’s disease. Serc is certainly a popular medication everywhere (except the USA) and there are many supplements like vertigoheel  and gingko that helps some folks but it seems that almost every day I read about a new type of medicine that someone has been prescribed. And that is good news because it means that doctors are looking at Meniere’s from all different angles.

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Ringing in the ears and Meniere’s disease

The sudden vertigo and the intense nausea of Meniere’s disease is difficult to handle (to say the least!) but to add in tinnitus can make it mind blowing. The constant ringing or hissing that at times seems to never end can really drive you crazy. As you know you can have tinnitus without Meniere’s disease and of course you can also have Meniere’s without tinnitus, either way it is a big problem.

Last fall I wrote a post about how my tinnitus was acting up again partly due or mostly due to congestion and nasal problems so it isn’t any surprise that I am having the problem again due to record breaking pollen season here in Georgia.  Because of the early spring and the lack of rain the pollen count has been astronomical. Hopefully we will only have a few more weeks of this.

I had a regular checkup with my ENT the other day and I mentioned the pollen problems. I was given a prescription for fluticasone propionate (Flonase). I am a little hesitant to try it yet because of any potential side effects. The last thing I want to bring on an attack or a series of attacks although I was reassured that it wouldn’t but you never know.

Hopefully this will clear up the pollen problems which in turn will ease up or eliminate the tinnitus situation.  I’ll let you know.

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