Health problems

Hello everyone… er… anyone?

I’ve not posted in ages, apologies but I didn’t really feel like it and thought I had nothing to say – Thanks to the blogger who pointed out that wasn’t true.

So… the likelihood is that this blog is going to have a different topic base for a while.  It is going to be about coming to terms (or not) with having a chronic debilitating disease … but not alcoholism.

If you know this blog or have just read back you’ll know that I’ve been suffering since October 2017 with really difficult issues around my Ménière’s Disease.  Briefly it is a disease that affects your inner ear the main symptoms are – loss of hearing, distorted hearing, sensitivity to sounds, feeling or pressure or fullness in the ear, severe and violent vertigo, associated “drop attacks” and tinnitus.

In May I had an operation to help.  It has reduced the pressure feeling and the associated “fullness” and discomfort.  But sadly nothing else, in particular the vertigo attacks which if anything continue to increase in severity and intensity.   Because of this I’ve been signed off work since June.   I had a meeting last week with a doctor at my occupational health department.  To cut to the chase she has written to my department saying there is little chance of me returning to work due to the condition I have.   I await developments on that front and will hopefully feel willing to blog on here about it.

How can I describe the vertigo?   I’ll steal from somebody else who wrote for the UK Ménière‘s society….

Imagine being in the washing machine on the fastest spin speed.
Imagine that washing machine being on the world’s most frightening roller coaster.
Finally imagine that rollercoaster is in the roughest sea imaginable on a small vessel being tossed by the waves.

That’s a reasonable description.  I can feel “off” and know they are coming or they can hit me out of the blue – hence the “drop attacks” where I simply feel the world spin and I’m tossed with it to the floor.   When they start everything feels like I’ve gone to 100mph and am spinning uncontrollably.  I normally try to lie on the floor as sometimes that slows and stops it quickly but if not I’ll end up sitting just staring at the floor.  The floor is rotating really fast – often “flipping” so after say about 200° it just flips back to the start – or at least that is how it feels.   I can’t walk and sometimes even crawling is extremely difficult.  Moving my head makes the whole world turn whilst spinning – which is horrid in the extreme.   I get very nauseous and vomiting isn’t uncommon.  Sweating like crazy is quite common too.

After about an hour or so the spin slows and we move to stage two of an attack.  Now this is where nothing is quite still there is some spin but less violent but largely if you can imagine I look at a carpet with a fleck pattern in it – the fleck will appear to be “floating” over the background.  Any head movement feels like my head will rotate uncontrollably and it feels like that everything visually doesn’t connected with my physical movement.

Again normally another hour or so in that starts to abate and I feel more normal can start to slow walk about and move my head a bit and able to look at distant objects without them moving.  But by then I feel like I was hit by a train at some point I feel really fatigued and confused.  I sometimes I have to reconstruct what day it is and where I am and what’s happened prior to the attack in my head.

So that’s what I’ve been dealing with lately.   I’ll continue, I hope, to post more in the coming days.



About furtheron

Music and guitar obsessive who is a recovering alcoholic to boot
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8 Responses to Health problems

  1. I am so sorry you have to deal with this. It sounds aweful.
    Is there some kind of counseling work you can do at home or on line?
    Are you still able to work on guitars?

    • furtheron says:

      Unfortunately I don’t think it is fair on clients to have a counsellor that might in mid session keel over. How would that make them feel? Also the whole thing becomes about the counsellor’s health not the client – the whole relationship balance is wrong.
      The hearing issues don’t really mean I can play much music any more either sadly.

      • Oh, good point. I hadn’t thought of it from that point of view. I had to go through grieving about my loss of music. I still do grieve, but it’s integrated now.
        Just hugs.

  2. This is terrible news. You lick one disease and are cursed with another. It isn’t fair. I’ve had some pain management issues lately but nothing like what you’re going through. I sure hope it doesn’t compromise your ability to play. Hang in there. Post an update whenever you can.

  3. byebyebeer says:

    I can’t imagine what that feels like, but I am so sorry. I hope the attacks lessen. I hope you will continue to write when you’re able. You are missed and beloved here 🙂

  4. Liz Hinds says:

    Oh wow! That sounds horrendous! After Younger Son was born I had vertigo. In bed for a week I finally knew I was getting better when the roses on the wallpaper stopped dancing. But at least then as long as I kept my head perfectly still I was okay. Nothing like you’ve suffered.
    Hope you will be able to enjoy what sounds like your early retirement.

  5. Pingback: Just when you need it… | Guitars and Life

  6. lifecorked says:

    I’m so incredibly sorry to hear this. Take care, get the rest you need and do what you can. Sending positive thoughts and prayers your way.

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