Sunday, July 29, 2012

Driving, planes, boat rides and Menieres

As I have written in the past I have always had a problem with motion sickness, even before I had Meniere’s disease.  When I was little I would always seem to get sick when we were starting out on our vacations.  We usually went to the beach which took about 8 hours to get there and unfortunately I was sick most of the way! Now with the Meniere’s my motion sickness seems to get worse no matter what the ride is.

I read a comment the other day about a long plane ride and how it difficult to handle. For me even a plane ride of an hour and a half is long. It has been a while since I have been on a plane, maybe 3 years and that was particularly difficult. I’d had to think how long I could last on a plane now without getting sick.

It seems almost odd but the last boat ride that I was on really wasn’t that bad even though the boat was rocking considerably.  (The boat wasn’t big)  I worried that it might make me sick but it really didn’t.

 A couple years ago I wrote a post on a vestibular syndrome called mal de- barquement, where someone feels as though they are still moving after riding a boat.

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Meniere’s disease and Yoga

Meniere’s disease brings on a lot of stress as you well know. If you let the stress go unchecked you are added the risk of other health problems like depression and heart problems, something you don’t need if you have Meniere’s disease. There are lots of ways to deal with stress, anxiety and possible emotional problems, one that you might want to consider is Yoga.

Peggy wrote in a comment last week about how she does yoga, I asked her to write about her views on yoga and she graciously did…

“My nutritionist recommended breathing exercises as part of a regimen to improve my health, lose weight, and reduce stress, and knowing that, I decided it was time to try yoga again. Getting stress under control is important for so many health problems, but I think it's crucial for Meniere's to help fend off attacks and reduce their severity.

I also wanted to start doing yoga because I've had ongoing problems with balance since the labyrinthectomy (and before that following the gentamicin treatments). I wanted to challenge my balance in small ways and try to force my body to compensate for the lack of the vestibular nerve on the left side. The brain will adapt as needed, but my thinking was that if I gave it a little bit of a challenge, it would work harder at it.

I think I was right about that. I do feel a little better equipped to deal with dizzy spells, so I'm not as afraid of falling over. In addition, the yoga I'm doing helps with posture and muscle tone, so I'm stronger and carry myself better. The biggest plus has been a weight loss of about seven pounds so far, over four months, but that's not just due to the yoga. I've changed my approach to eating and buying and cooking food, and I'm using the elliptical trainer three or four times a week.

I don't know how yoga would affect someone who is having attacks on a regular basis, but for me it's been a huge help. At least I feel a lot better about myself and my situation, and the overall health benefits have been great.”

Thanks Peggy I appreciate it!

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Hearing problems, mountains and Meniere’s disease

I don’t know if I am imagining things but it seems that my hearing has gone down quite a bit over the last year. My wife and son have found that they either have to shout at me or be prepared to repeat whatever they are saying to me.  It’s frustrating but after all these years we all seem to be getting used to it, although it does seem that it is getting worse.

The past week we took our first vacation in three years. We went to a favorite place of ours in the smoky mountains (Tennessee) even though there has been a drought in the South all summer the days that we were there rained a lot.  I drove for about an hour and that was about all I could take because of the precipitation and the higher elevation. I know that I have mentioned in a previous post that mountains sometimes have a bad effect on my Meniere’s disease. This time wasn’t as bad although the pressure in my ears made me light headed and my hearing even worse than it has been lately.

Overall I was glad to get away because I hadn’t been out of the house in quite a while.

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Sunday, July 8, 2012

What did you think when you had your first Meniere’s attack?

I remember my first (small) attack. I was driving home and pulled up into the driveway and my head started to spin. I didn’t think much about it; to me I was just a little dizzy. Of course it wasn’t too long after that episode that I had my first major attack and unfortunately it was at work. I thought that I was having a heart attack. The doctor at the emergency told me that I wasn’t having a heart attack which was reassuring but I was still baffled as to what exactly was going on with me.

I didn’t know much about balance disorders at the time and I really didn’t know very much about vertigo. As for Meniere’s disease I hadn’t ever heard the term before.  I was scared this was all very strange and who knew where it would lead.  After I was told by the first ENT that I saw that it was Meniere’s I knew that had to do more than a little research to find out what it was all about.

Luckily we live right now in the internet age where we can communicate with each other about Meniere’s and how it affects our lives.  And that is extremely important for those folks who just recently had their first attack and didn’t have a clue what was happening to them.

So what was your first attack like?

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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Recent weather and Meniere’s disease

The past few days have been very hot down here in Georgia. It usually is pretty warm in July but to have consecutive days over 100 degrees and humidity way up there is beyond normal.  Of course it just isn’t the South that is sweating out this heat wave; it seems to be very warm everywhere.  I know in the past I have written about weather and seasonal changes affecting my Meniere’s disease but this heat is making me a little scared to go outside.

However you can’t stay inside all the time and it really isn’t good to be indoors all day anyway. But if you do go be careful! Like you always hear the folks on the news say drink plenty of water, cover your head and don’t stay out too long, which is pretty good advice.

Changing the subject last week I wrote about jaw pain and how it can affect your ears and possibly your Meniere’s.  This past week I have had problems with ear aches that I think might be connected to dental problems and a sore jaw.  I hate to go to a dentist but if this ear ache persists I’ll have to. By the way I have been putting peroxide in my ear to help with the pain and it seems to be working.  I did a check on Google and there are many references to others who have used peroxide to help with an earache so I hope that it is safe.

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