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!