Saturday, December 06, 2008

Health Update - Meniere's Disease?

Dear Friends,

I know I am way behind in my blog and will be updating it when I have a good opportunity. My email box is filling up with messages wondering where I've been and I want to thank everyone for their kind words and concern. I am truly blessed to have friends like you, many of whom I haven't met in person yet. I just responded Ethan's mom (see earlier post when I visited with her and E-boy) and thought I would just copy and paste my response here, too.

I have not felt well since I returned home from my trip to Ohio in late September. I had a very bad cold/sinus infection in October and it took me a long time to get over it. At the beginning of November, I went on a 10-day mission trip to Latvia with my husband and a group from our church, the Faithful Men singing group. While we were there I had two very bad vertigo attacks and was completely immobilized in bed in our hotel room for two days. I could not move, open my eyes or do anything without vomiting or having the room spinning on me. At first I thought it was food poisoning but no one else got sick like I did. A friend of mine had some phenergan with her so I was able to take that and survive the long 20-hour trip home.

To make a long story short, after seeing two doctors and going to a therapist, Dr. Merwin, my ENT/CI doctor, has pre-diagnosed me with Meniere’s disease, which is an inner ear disorder that controls balance. If that is the case, it will just be one more obstacle in my life that I will have to deal with. And I'm okay with that.

Meniere's Disease is manageable with a low salt/high protein diet and medicine. I am currently taking a water pill to see if that will drain the extra fluid around my ears. There is no cure for it. I will have two more tests done in the coming weeks to confirm Dr. Merwin's diagnosis (I can't have an MRI because of my cochlear implants so he is using other options). I am starting to have more good days than difficult ones. And will have final results in mid-January.

One of the side effects of Meniere's Disease is hearing loss. Luckily, this has not affected my hearing because of my implants. However, I've gone in the other direction and am EXTREMELY sensitive to sound. I have the sensitivity and volume levels turned way down and it is still too loud at times! Sometimes I just take them off for awhile and work in silence.

So, when I do have my good days, I try not to overdo it and just do the daily tasks that need to be done. With the holidays and year-end business accounting for our business, I have more than I can handle! But, all I can do is just take one day at a time. I used to say that God doesn't give us more than we can handle but over the last few years I've changed my view about that statement. I do think He gives us more than we can handle so we can call out His Name, talk with Him daily and walk with Him. He will be our guide during difficult and stressful times. He is here.

Hope you and your family and friends are enjoying the holidays with anticipation and HOPE. May you have a blessed holiday season, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or other tradition!


Anonymous said...

Laurie, I am praying for you! I can tell you that a low sodium (and caffeine) + higher protein has helped my Meniere's. Ask you doctor about Manganese too (not Magnesium).

Thinking of you!


Danielle said...

I am glad Im the first to write. Well I am happy ur doing a little better. I am also glad you on that water pill I was on it to and for me it didnt work. But we will see! I will keep checking up on you to make sure your okay. take it easy, try not to do so much during the day. I notice when I did 5 things in a row it made it worst for me. Feel better!!! and I really hope dr. finds the answer asap! and if it is Mineres disease it can be treated with pills as u know.

tammy said...

Thinking about you and praying for a peaceful holiday season for you with more good days than bad!

Anonymous said...

Oh My goodness. I'm so very sorry to hear about this. My husband suffers from Menieres. He had a horrible time with it for awhile, but he's doing better on the diuretics. He had to try at least five diuretics before finally finding one that worked. I hope you have better luck with you. You're in my prayers.

Valerie said...

I'm thinking of you and just hope the doctors find the answer to your health issues. It is better to know and deal with it, then not to know.

love ya,

Anonymous said...

Laurie, I'm SO sorry that you have to deal with this -- dizziness and nausea really sucks. It's one of those things you take for granted til you suddenly have to deal with it all the time.

I'm sending lots of good vibes your way and I hope you find some effective treatments soon!

Take care,


Anonymous said...

I read your email then it promptly became buried in my inbox, so this post was a reminder to get on top of that mail issue I've been hiding from :-)

What a bummer! I have occasional vertigo and it drives me nuts, so I can sort of imagine how you must be feeling. I admire your attitude about this and I think that you'll quickly figure out how to manage it. I think more than any other factor, our state of mind about obstacles determines our abilities to overcome them. And with that in mind, I'm confident that you'll be okay. But I'll say some prayers anyway :-)

Love to you and yours. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season. We're moving into our new home in one week!

Kathy said...

Hi Laurie! I to suffer from Meniere's. Mine is bilateral. I hope the dieuretic works for you & that you are having a fantastic feeling day!!!

Abbie said...

Hi honey! I wanted to check up how the tests are progressing!

Susan said...

Welcome to the seasick-on-dry-land
club! Low salt diets are no fun!
Who can eat just one pretzel?
I always get vertigo around the holidays from too much baked ham.
I take over the counter motion
sickness meclizine or dramamine pills. Remember "no salt-no dizzy"