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.