Monday, November 19, 2018

Celebrating Life

It’s been beautiful in Las Vegas this November. Now it’s just light jacket or hoody weather. I have been feeling better than I have in months on most days. 

The Ménière’s and Fibromyalgia still inform that they are still around.

So today as I am about ready to face the treadmill for my stress test, I wanted to take a moment to celebrate life. I have a wonderful husband, pets and family who love me and I love back! 

I belong to a wonderful church community here in the desert. In Zanesville I belonged to one as well. I have a wonderful online support group on Facebook that allows me to talk with others who share my disease. 

I am blessed in so many ways. So I celebrate life today. Life is beautiful if you allow yourself to see the good around you. I try to look for the positives. I’m not always successful. 

So here is my moment today to say Thank You for this wonderful life. I will try to make each day more beautiful for those around me and to look for the beauty even on cloudy days. 

I hope you are spin free!

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

Thursday, November 15, 2018


So Monday started off bad for my hubby. His tire was flat, so he took my car. My car is a pain since they “fixed” the ignition so it wouldn’t slip. It now refuses to give up the key. I know they can fix that problem, but I never got around to it.

It ended bad for him too. Somehow he broke his glasses as he changed the tire that evening in the dark. 

Tuesday didn’t start out much better, as the eye glass place he got his frames from couldn’t repair them & didn’t have that style anymore. We both have appointments for Tuesday. Unfortunately, it will probably be a week before he gets his new glasses.

I dropped him at work and proceeded to Discount Tire to repair the tire. I (we) was fortunate to be spin free, so I could drive. They were busy so I didn’t get out of there until 11:30, so I went to Cafe Rio to get a bowl. Then home to conserve energy so I could pick Ralph up from work so we could go to the Vegas Golden Knights game. Still no spins!

We drove to Born and Raised to catch the bus. It’s so much easier & cheaper than parking near T-Mobile Arena!

The game was awesome especially when #14 in the Ducks helped us make a goal. Our team was working together and playing like a well oiled machine. 

We shut the Ducks out. Here is a compilation video of some of the highlights before and during the game. As you can see the stadium was packed. Sorry Duck fans! (Not Sorry) Some of the cheerleader came up to our section for a period. I think my husband was in heaven. 

The best part of the day is that I only had two mini spins (1 rotation each)! It was the best day I’ve had for awhile. And as I lie here in bed writing this I still haven’t had my usual morning wake up calls of mini spins. So, you see occasionally this disease gives me good days. 

I hope you are spin free!

Love, Peace and Light!


Monday, November 12, 2018

Back in Vegas 

Our late flight gave us the opportunity to visit Boa Vista Orchards yesterday, Sunday. We had a lovely drive through some fall foliage. 

Fall foliage is one thing I miss in Vegas. Our fall is so late and then the temperatures just drop causing the trees to do the same without much color. There is some color change, but not as much as other places. Probably because we are a freaking desert, and not supposed to have trees.

The market was bustling with activity on the lovely fall afternoon. I wore a light jacket, though Ralph wore shorts and a tee. His Goat House Brewery purchase. 


I vlogged for The Ralph and Rita Show as we browsed. We bought honey, apple wine and of course apples. And the traveled safely home in our suitcase. I purchased a reusable zippered freezer bag at the grocery store. Did you know California you are charged if you was disposable plastic bags?  

We stopped on our way back at this little restaurant. I loved it the first time when I didn’t have food allergies. My allergies limited me to sandwiches without the bread, salads or tacos without cheese. Still my steak sandwich was filling if lacking for flavor. Thank God for Worcestershire sauce. You can read my short review on Yelp. 

Then we returned to MaryLu’s house to relax until our flight. We took Lyft to the airport. 

This weekend was particularly bad for Ménière’s. I don’t know if it was the late flights, the smoke in the air or the drop in temperature. Maybe a combination of all three. I pushed through, but also, took a lot of down time. I sat in the car while Ralph went to see the salmon at the hatchery. I went to bed early on Friday. 3:30 pm. And took a nap on Saturday before church. 

I am home now snuggled in bed with the dogs as I write this. Thinking of just staying here until my stomach calls me out of here. 

I hope you are spin free.

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

Saturday, November 10, 2018

A weekend in Sacramento 

We flew in late Thursday night from Las Vegas and after talking to Aunt MaryLu, we went to bed. Ralph and I were up bright and early to take his Aunt to see her trust lawyer. 

Then we stopped for lunch at El Tapatio’s. Delicious enchiladas for lunch for all three of us. 

Pair that with a late flight, and a little grocery shopping and I was wiped out. Before I could head for bed, Ralph had to stop a Moehler Egg Farm for some fresh eggs.

I went to bed around 3:30 pm. Only surfacing for short vertigo attacks and bathroom breaks. I didn’t wake up (for real) until 5 am. My sleep is always spotty. 

My dear husband prepared chili and breakfast while I attempted to regain my balance. We headed to Goat House Brewery, because my dear husband wanted to see the goats and have some beer. It’s good that I checked, because there beer is made with wheat. The goats were adorable. I am wiped out, so I am sitting in the car while Ralph is visiting a hatchery where the Salmon are coming up. We’ll have a video of his adventure on our YouTube Channel, The Ralph and Rita Show. In fact, the Goat House Brewery will be on it too. 

It’s cool in Sacramento, and lovely. The nearby wildfire that took out the entire town of Paradise is making it smoggy, so the skies aren’t as blue as they should be. 

I hope I’ll make it to church, but I truly am not feeling well. Stinking Ménière’s as Ralph would say. 

I hope you are spin free.

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

Monday, November 5, 2018

Trying to Find my Zen

I have been feeling stressed lately. It’s difficult to feel  Calm when my heartbeat is fast. Even when I am still in bed it 96 BPM. When I start moving it will be well over 100. So my sign to stop the anxiety, which is increased heart rate appears to be broken. 

Before you ask, yes I am going to a cardiologist in January. First I have a series of test. I had an echocardiogram, next week is a stress test and in December I get to wear a halter monitor. I wasn’t concerned about my pulse, because I thought it was my Mitralvalve Prolapse. It wasn’t until an actual MVP attack that sent me into vertigo that I became concerned. Hence all the testing.

In the middle of this I found myself in some drama. Maybe I created more in my mind than there needs to be. It sucks when I find myself replaying things over and over. Anything I perceived I did wrong or that others did, replay because of anxiety. This is what we called racing thoughts when I was a social worker. 

So I am beginning to meditate again. Thanks Father Bill at Holy Spirit for reminding me. I am doing things I enjoy like walking in beautiful gardens like at JW Marriott, when I am able. Multiple vacations help me relax. And I repeat my mantra over and over. 

My mantra or prayer (The Serenity Prayer):

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.

The courage to change the things I can.

And the wisdom to know the difference

Hopefully this will lead to a less stressed more thoughtful me. I need to live in the now and forget about the past and stop worrying about the future. I’ve already had one of the worst things any wife can endure... I made the decision to not resuscitate my husband after his third heart attack in less than 24 hours. And I made it through. 

It dawns on me as I am writing this that from September 22 (My late husband’s birthday and our wedding through Christmas, he died on December 20, 2012) are still very tough times for me, so my emotions are all over the place. 

I really need to be mindful that not only do I have this, but that due to fall/winter I get less sunshine and seasonal affect disorder will kick in. 

So, I am off to find my Zen, through meditation, movement and writing. 

I hope you are spin free.

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

Thursday, November 1, 2018

The Balance Act

Living with an inner ear or vestibular issue, balance can be difficult. It’s possible to be off-balance without others realizing it. I tip a lot. That’s right I tip, my arms go out to try to rebalance me. I joke when someone sees that I am practicing my ballet moves. 

Life is all about balance. Find what works for you.

You have to be able to laugh when you have a chronic illness. My late husband taught me to find the humor in any situation. Laughing also helps keeps the blues away. (Not always when you have chronic depression and anxiety.) I think it tricks the brain. 

If you have Ménière’s or some other Vestibular problems, I highly recommend Vestibular Therapy or Physical Therapy. It helps train your brain to compensate. It also teaches you to recognize panic/anxiety attacks that make the actual Vestibular problem worse. This for me was a godsend. 

So how do you live when you have a chronic disease? I know that when I make plans, plans may have to change as I never know from day to day if I’ll be able to stand. Or overdoing it may put me in bed for a couple of days after. (I have fibromyalgia too.) 

Knowing this is half the battle. You and whoever you’re with need to be aware. It helps take some of the stress of disappointing others away. Remember stress makes things worse. This past weekend we brought a friend along in case I couldn’t keep up, So Ralph would still be able to enjoy himself. 

Being spontaneous is good too. If you are having a good day ask your partner or friend if they want to do something. Tell them that you feel great and want to get out. 

Of course there are days when my balance is all over the place, but my head feels good. I use a cane for these times. If I am hiking I have a walking stick. Both are fabulous aids and give me a sense of security. Again it takes some stress away. 

When you have chronic illness(es) you have to pick your battles. Plan for a day of activity and then a day off to recover. If you are already having A bad day say so... Don’t push it. I made that mistake when I came out of remission. And I got sick in public after going on Space Mountain. (A ride I doubt I’ll ever go on again.) 

Unfortunately, we are able to cover up how we are doing so well that others may not know we are struggling. It is our duty to ourselves and others to let the people around us know. 

I have been lucky to never have had a full on vertigo attack in the day. At least it begins when I wake up usually in the middle of the night. It would be impossible to hide how I feel when I have one of these. It’s hard to describe, but it feels worse than being drunk and your balance is null. It takes two to three days for me to fully recover.

Notice my blue light filtering glasses and my cane. 

There are other props that come in handy for Vestibular issues. I wear or bring my blue light filtering glasses and ear plugs with me wherever I go. Lights and noise can be a trigger, so it’s best to try to be proactive with your triggers when you can. I would love to hear how others deal with their triggers, besides avoidance.

Also, I always bring my meclizine with me. I take it if I have a mini spin (a really short vertigo attack) or if I feel lightheaded or dizzy, especially when I am doing something. I try not to take it daily as I don’t want my system to become accustomed to it. 

So you see you can do things while having a Vestibular issue. You may not always be able to do things when you want or as much as you want and there may be a day or more of payback, but it is worth it to me. 

I took this shot from the car. It’s possible to find ways of doing things without really stressing your system. I am lucky that I don’t get motion sickness
Find what works for you, but please don’t give up, because there will always be good days. I know it doesn’t always feel like it. I spent a couple or three years in bed because of Ménière’s and Fibromyalgia. I didn’t have any energy. I only got out to visit family. Fatigue is something you can only overcome by doing things. 

I hope you are spin free.

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

Monday, October 29, 2018

You’ve Probably Heard This Before

Finding true love can and does happen. Sometimes a person can find love more than once in a lifetime. Sometimes I think it’s all about timing. 

My second husband died December 20, 2012. I was heartbroken and numb, but starting to live again thanks to my caring friends in the small river town of Zanesville, Ohio kept me busy so that I didn’t sink into the depths of dispair. 

I found myself getting healthier and happier and enjoying life again. Six months after Ken died, I had a dream. In my dream a friend from junior high/high school whom I’d had an unrequited crush on, kissed me. So, I told him via Facebook messenger. Ralph told me if I wanted to see how it ends to go back to sleep. That made me laugh and we started messaging everyday. 

Our messages soon turn into texts and phone conversations. Finally, Ralph visited me in August and we decided to see where our relationship would go. 

I joined Ralph and his family for Ralph’s 50th Birthday Cruise. My first cruise ever. You might have guessed I am now a cruise addict. Then I visited him for a few weeks over Christmas and New Years in 2013/2014 to see if we were compatible on a daily basis. This was not my worry, but Ralph’s. I had no doubts about where we’d end up.

In May of 2014 we traveled cross country from Ohio to Nevada bring me, my dog and two cats with us. Camping on our way sure tested our relationship. I think if you can camp with someone without killing them then you’re chances of a successful relationship are pretty high. 

At Christmas of 2015 Ralph kept putting little gifts in my stocking. Finally the last one was my engagement/wedding ring set. There was no big dramatic proposal, but I said yes anyway.

We married in February of 2917 in a Catholic Ceremony which was Ralph’s wish. We married in Vegas, but in a small chapel far away from the strip. We’ve been married almost 2 years and I haven’t regretted one minute of it. 

I know Ralph is mine to the end of time! And he’s had me since that first laugh. We have survived through his broken leg/dislocated ankle, my sudden coming out of remission on my Ménière’s Disease and family drama.

We realize as things change with us that we may have to adjust our lives to accommodate both of us and we will handle each thing as it crops up. In the meantime travel, camping and exploring are on our agenda. We are going to have many more fabulous adventures.

I hope everyone finds love and happiness!

Love, Peace and Light! Rita