I have had issues for 25 years. Started with vertigo attacks only and some episodes of falling. No one knew what was wrong- even went to Cleveland Clinic. These episodes subsided and then I had a few episodes of fullness and pain in my ear.- again, my Dr. didn't know what was wrong. went to an ENT and had an MRI to rule out MS- said I had some clogging of the ear and did the swallow the water while he blew into my ear and that seemed to work. Was episode free for many years. Motion sickness started to get worse however, but I kept dramamine and compazine in business. The past 5 years I would get spells of nausea and some dizziness but thought it was just a bug- since I teach younger children.
I was diagnosed with Meniere's disease in Feb 2011. Started with a vertigo attach while I was walking to my class at school. One week later the fullness of the ear began, then the tinnitus and the nausea, hearing loss, dry heaves and vomiting. The symptoms became so severe that I had to take a leave of absense for 2 1/2 months. First doctor said nothing was wrong. PCP said the ear looked fine. Then I called the ENT when the tinnitus got to be a jet engine roar in my ear, the nausea was constant, I couldn't hear out of my left ear and I was constantly dizzy and struggling to walk straight. He diagnosed me with meniere's and sent me to another ENT who deals with steriod injections and ITG. My hearing diminished so quickly in a very short amount of time. I have many allergies and could not take many of the drugs perscribed for meniere's; the diaretics were too severe for my system that I was dehydrating and had to go to the hospital for IV fluids. The tinnitus kept me awake all night, and teaching became a nightmare, especially with the loud bells between classes. Got the gentamiacin injection and felt horrible from the start. Ended up loosing my balance on the left side- was crawling to get to the bathroom and was so sick I couldn't eat.- had to go through Vestibular therapy . They were very helpful and was able to walk without assistance within 2 weeks. I tried to take it easy over the summer, but did try to walk about 4 miles a day. Unfortuneately my horizon still bounces when I walk and I have to make a conscious effort to watch where I am walking. I have gone back to work this past fall, but am feeling worse again. Good days and bad days. The weather really effects how I feel, along with stress and exertion. In Nov. went for more testing- with an otoneurologist- Vemp , Rotating Chair, Caloric etc. OMG- I have motion sickness to begin with, but these tests made me feel even worse then when I came into the office. The otoneurologist now has me on clonopen(an anti siezure medication that helps dizziness) in the morning for the dizzines and I have been on Xanax at night to sleep and keep the tinnitus at a lower level. This DR also had a very poor bedside manner. When I asked him if I would get any better he said NO, and when I asked him if I was going to stay the same or get worse- he said that I was going to get WORSE, MUCH WORSE. Needless to say, I am going for a second opinion in Jan 2012.
I still feel lousy most days. I also have had some vision issues and found out that I now also have double vision at 18" and closer- really sucks being an art teacher when I have problems seeing up close.. I am trying to take it one day at a time. Does anyone have any suggestions or words of advice? Is this what I have to look forward to everyday? I can't see at night- walk into my poor dogs in the dark since they are also dark. Got a handycap sticker for my car so that I am close to the entrance of school and shops especially in bad weather and on unlevel surfaces. I am 58 and am going to retire this year, but would like to work part time some where but will be limited in what I can do
Since my last testing 3 weeks ago, I constantly feel like a bobble head doll. Everything is bouncing, especially walking in bright sunlight on down long hallways! Going to Vestibular Rehabto work on the balance, but I am having a hard time turning my head to the side while I am walking. It's like you "can't chew gum and walk at the me time" saying. I was not this bad before. Has anyone had any adverse reactions to the balance tests? How long did it take to get back to where you were before the tests? I even trip over my own feet at times. I have to make a very concentrated effort when walking anymore. Let me know how ohters are coping with this. My balance is totally gone from my left side because of meniere's- so from November till Feb, I lost the little that I had. My hearing loss has stabalized for now, but tinnitus is same 24/7, and the fullness of the ear still fluctuates. I just try to make the best of each day, but sometimes it is hard. I keep reminding myself that there are others suffering so much more than me, and I need to keep this in perspective. I am thankful for an understanding family and friends.
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