Was working on a piece for the blog a week ago when this latest round of Meniere’s fun started. Haven’t had a spell like this in living memory. I’ve had short-term worse recently (a drop attack about a month ago lasted less than 10 hours) but I haven’t felt this ill for this long since I gave up work in 2005.
I have been on the Meclizine for the last few days. The affected ear has been hypertussive (all sound hurts) for over a week now. The tinnitus has been off the charts loud, and I’ve been off and on vertiginous for the whole time. Every thought feels like it has to be forced through jelly to get out of my head and onto the page. More than a week avoiding sound, bright lights, etc. Going a bit stir crazy, I think.
I’m pretty sure this is my allergies acting up. I haven’t been eating or doing anything out of the ordinary that could have caused it. Unless the excavation going on in the neighbor’s back yard is releasing something into the air (mostly joking) I can’t think of anything else that could be the cause.
Which is the big problem with this disease. It just hits you. You’re down, can’t think of anything you might have done wrong, so you play association games trying to figure out what triggered this attack that you’d rather die from than suffer through. That’s how you get to conclusions like low-salt diets and alcohol and caffeine causing the symptoms. The truth is that there doesn’t need to be a cause, and nothing you remember doing actually is as fault. It is a disease, and the symptoms occur because you have it.
Allergies are a known trigger with me, though. Pollen levels for various plants are generally elevated when my symptoms are bad. It was spring and fall pollen season that first triggered symptoms for me way back in the 1980’s and 90’s. To top it off I quit getting my allergy shots a few years back because I had concluded that I wasn’t getting any additional benefit from continuing them. I had been getting shots for over a decade, I really didn’t see the point in continuing.
Given what I’m suffering through now, perhaps stopping treatment was a mistake. Time to head back to the allergist and see if the shots can’t get me back to something resembling normalcy. Shots twice a week again, really looking forward to that. Beats the alternative, as the saying goes.
Woke up to a Huffpost story on chronic pain in my Twitter feed. 15 things no one tells you about chronic pain as a 20-something. I identified with number 4 on the list almost immediately, since the first order of business today was to take my first shower since Friday or Sunday. Given that I can’t remember when it was, combined with my inability to stand my own smell, today is shower day one way or the other.
It was glorious and at the same time frightening, since balance in the shower is of paramount importance. I try not to think about how clean the shower walls are when leaning on them. Cleaner than I am after 5 days, in any case. Now back to vegitating and re-watching last season of The Walking Dead. Prepping for next season early, since in my currently hazy state I barely remember watching the episodes before anyway.
I posted this on the 13th of July. It was July 8th when I started the piece I wanted to write next. Today (July 21st) I finally got out of the house and went for a three mile walk. First time I’ve gone on a decent walk since (checking Endomondo) the 10th. My how time crawls when stuck in a rut. Felt like it had been a month or more. Got dizzy while walking but I’ll take it. Best day in over a week so far.
I gave up updating this every day that I felt moderately well enough to write. On my birthday it was a month since I wrote this piece and today (August 22nd) I felt like writing; felt like writing if only my ears would stop trying to pop out of the side of my head.
I received a brand new Nexus 5 for my birthday, and that has kept me beautifully distracted since I got it. I can finally play some of the games I’ve been wanting to play and install several apps that just were too big for the HTC Evo Shift that I’ve been using for the last two years. My heartfelt thanks to the friends and family who made the gift possible. It really was the only thing I wanted, one of the few things I can use while essentially bedridden for days at a time.
But I don’t write on a phone, I write on a keyboard. I have to feel well enough to get out of bed, not collapse in the easy chair with Netflix to comfort me, sit down in front of a computer or with a laptop and write. Then I have to have something in mind to write about.
Back to the ears again. Pressure and sensitivity to sound again today. The tinnitus drowns out thought and makes long chains of reasoning virtually impossible. Next week I will go to the allergist and probably get myself tested again, start shots again. I don’t know what else to do, so I’ll return to allergy treatments and see if that helps.
Just felt like letting everyone know I was still alive. Here’s a picture of my dog wearing my walking hat to cheer everyone up;
My Blog entry on Treating Meniere’s & Its Symptoms. A frequently referenced post for me.