Thursday, April 4, 2013

Something I need you to understand....

Today I had a terrible Meniere's episode.  My head just started to spinning and I couldn't do to anything divert it.   Most times I feel like I can stop it or at least counteract it.  However, today at work, my head just wouldn't stop spinning, and it felt like the whole room was spinning.  It often feels like an earthquake, so I'll look to see someone's reaction {or lack of} and then I know that it wasn't an earthquake but just my Meniere's, again. 
Today, my head just wouldn't quit spinning, so I tried to walk 5 feet to my sister's desk and the room still felt like a Twirl-a-World ride.  Unfortunately, the catch-22 to having these Meniere's/Vertigo episodes, is that they're so stressful and make me very anxious---which stress makes Meniere's even worse.  Oh I hate that part of this disease!  I told my sister to just take me outside, so at least I could escape to a different environment and breathe some fresh air. My heart was racing, my hands were shaking and I could feel a cool sweat start on my temples. I'm thankful I was with my sister.  She's been through these episodes before, with me, so I am incredibly grateful for her patient and calm presence.  My nephews and several close friends have also been extremely understanding.  They know that when I slip my arm into theirs, that my head's in a tailspin and I desperately need them for balance or from collapsing.  Unfortunately, my parents still haven't been able to truly understand that this isn't just an earache. There's nothing painful about it.  
When I initially spoke with my audiologist, he said that this was a condition that normally falls upon older people or those who had some sort of head trauma--both of which, I am not.  I don't know how I lucked out, but I've had it for the past 4 years. Sadly, there's also no cure for this disease {I really don't like that word--it makes it sound contagious}.  Meniere's Disease is like a combination of Vertigo and Tinnitus.  However, my Tinnitus consists of a "roaring"/"whooshing" noise, as if I have a stethoscope in my left ear. Sometimes the noise gets so terribly loud, that the only way I can help the noise subside is by pushing into the side of my neck. It looks like I'm taking my pulse, but it's the only way I can stop this constant roaring noise. Other detrimental factors to this condition is stress {good and bad stress, I didn't know there was such a thing as "good stress"}, sodium, alcohol and nicotine.  Luckily, it's only the first two that I really have to worry about.  
I just wish more of my friends could understand why I suddenly get so dizzy and a cold sweat immediately begins.  Or how nauseous I get when I watch a fast moving or spiraling scene of a movie.  You know that feeling you've been bending down low, then stand up too quickly, and you're light headed?  I get that ALL the time but for long periods of time. I can usually brace myself, but if I'm not careful I collapse to the floor.  Sometimes after a dizzy spell, it wipes me out and I'm left feeling very weak.  
I worry that my Meniere's could get worse.  I use to work at the temple with a woman who also had it, and she had to have her license suspended for a bit because her Meniere's got so out of control, but then it went away for several years. 
I've learned quite a bit from having Meniere's Disease.  I've learned to avoid and handle stress better.  That's been the biggest blessing, most of all.  When I think of all the things I could endure in this world, I think I'd much rather have Meniere's Disease.  When it's at its worse, I like to think that perhaps Heavenly Father knew that this would be the best trial for my life and knew that I would be able to endure it.  That gives me hope for the future.

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