Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Oh vertigo!

Meniere's Disease:  a incurable disease of the inner ear that causes spontaneous vertigo along with fluctuating hearing loss, ringing in the ear (tinnitus) and sometimes a feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear.

For the past several months I've had all the above symptoms except the vertigo.  As of Saturday I can add vertigo to the list.  I was sitting in my chair, had a sudden increase in ringing in both ears and felt like I was sinking into my chair.  Then came the dizziness and the nausea.  And let me tell you -- I do not like being nauseous.  Not one bit.  I went to bed, slept for eleven hours and woke up feeling normal.

Mind you normal contains moderate tinnitus and aural fullness in my left ear.  But, thankfully, normal does not yet contain dizziness and balance issues.

Sunday I stayed in my pajamas and laid low.  I was afraid to go out as I'm not one to cause a scene.  And I believe falling over in Costco, vomiting and being carried out would constitute a scene.

Monday morning I rolled over in bed and bam -- another episode.  Thankfully Mr. Peculiar had the day off.  He took the kids to school and, again, I slept.  After another couple of hours back to normal.

Yesterday I managed to take the kids to school.  And I managed a trip to Joann's.  But I was afraid -- afraid of  sudden dizziness, afraid of nausea, afraid of causing a ruckus.  If this continues it will become very  debilitating -- sheerly from the not knowing.

Last night my left ear was roaring.  I felt a little off balance. But I went to book club anyway (we were discussing The Fingersmith by Sarah Waters).  Why did I go?  Because I'm not ready to give up my life.  I'm not ready to submit to this insidious disease.  And it was fine.  I was fine.  In fact today I have less ringing in my ear.

The problem with menieres is there is nothing they can do.  "They" being the medical professionals.  They give you a diuretic and tell you to lay off salt.  Off on a wing and a prayer.  It will get worse before it gets better.  Better is total ablation of the inner ear (i.e. no more vertigo but no hearing either, oh and your balance may never be the same).  Fun, eh?

In an attempt to stave off the inevitable I'm trying a new diet, a low glycemic index diet, that might help.  The key is to keep blood glucose at even levels and therefore prevent spikes in insulin.  Hyperinsulinemia (high blood insulin) may play a role in the tinnitus and vertigo.  Emphasis on the may.

As of Monday I am eating every two hours.  Holy moly -- it's going to be hard to be food creative when eating this often.  Balanced fat, protein and carbs with each meal.  Which reminds me -- time to eat my oatmeal with nuts and berries.

Wish me luck!



Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this. I hope you're able to figure out a way to manage this where the symptoms disappear. And I totally applaud you for not giving in and giving up your life! Don't do it. Stay out there--keep doing everything you do.

melissa said...

It sounds like a hard journey. Good luck.

Shalet said...

Thank you ladies. I will manage one way or the other. It certainly could be worse.

Tammie said...

good luck you! your ear issues (simply put) have been in my thoughts lately. hang in there.

and how was the fingersmith? its been on my to be read list for some time.

Anonymous said...

I was just diagnosed with Menieres too - long, long process but now that I know what it is and am taking the water pill and something called clonazepam and lowering my salt, caffeine and alcohol it seems like my balance is getting worse - my main symptoms were always the two day long vertigo spells but now, with the treatment in place for a week I feel "sideways" all the time- Anxious to hear how your diet helps- good luck :)