Monday, May 20, 2019

Preparing to Travel

Ralph, our friend and I are leaving for Ireland 🇮🇪 on Friday. We’ll be gone 11 days. We are trying to prepare for a long trip with carryons only. That is one small suitcase and a personal item (like a purse). Fortunately we can wash, so we won’t have to pack the entire wardrobe.

My packing list.

  1.  Medication (Unfortunately, I need meds to breathe and a few others that help me cope with migraines & autoimmune.) plus I will be bringing cold, allergy & sinus pills. Hopefully, I won’t need them, but I am just getting over sinusitis. I put my medication in a gallon bag, so I can get to them easily.
  2. Small first aid kit.
  3. Toiletries. (All liquids must fit in a quart sized bag.) So I have a bar soap, (I love Neutrogena), travel shampoo & conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrush, face lotion with sunscreen, tide (needs to go in this bag too, as does sunscreen if you bring it.) I have hand sanitizer in it too. Brush
  4. Clothes: 2-3 pairs of jeans and 7 tops, a sweater or hoodie, rain jacket/windbreaker, puffer jacket, underwear (I always bring extra.)
  5. Umbrella (It rains most days in Ireland.)
  6. Extra pair of shoes. I’ll be wearing my hiking shoes. 
  7. All travel documents, passports and debit card. We’ll be getting Euros too.
  8. Chapstick
  9. Phone and chargers with adapters for European outlets. (I am still trying to decide if I should bring my iPad. 
  10. Since it’s a long flight we’ll be bring breakfast burritos/bowl for me, snacks and I chew something to keep my ear from popping during takeoff & landing.)

I feel like I am forgetting to tell you something. The carryon luggage has to be less than 15 pounds. So things like my medication will be with me under the seat. We’re getting excited. If you want to follow our journey, we’ll be filming for our YouTube channel... The Ralph and Rita Show. Dublin, Northern Ireland, Drogheda, Kenmare are just a few of our stops. 

I hope you are spin free!

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

Monday, May 6, 2019

Juggling sinus, allergies and colds with Meniere’s

It started with a tickling in the back of my throat on Friday night while at a local ball game. The wind that cooled things off was probably carrying pollen and dust. It didn’t register with me at the time. I just knew that I’d probably would have a sore throat soon.

Indeed I awakened with a sore throat. Add in the pressure in my ears and louder tinnitus and my balance was shot. After going back and forth in my own head, I sucked it up and joined friends at a comedy show, which one of them got for my birthday. It was an enjoyable night. Beginning with drinks in a bar with live music. 

Sunday arrived and even after sleeping in, I still was not feeling better. Still we went to a late breakfast, followed by mass where my friends daughter had her First Communion and then dinner. We were home in time to watch Game of Thrones and A Discovery of Witches. I was wiped out, managing to sleep all night.

I still am off balance and sick to boot. I would like to get some things accomplished today, but I am sitting in my chair hoping that the spins don’t begin. Some not quite a full rotation have been hitting. I am dizzy, which is not the same as vertigo. I think if I allowed the panic to consume me I’d have full blown vertigo, but I am mindful of the panic signs and start to breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth if it starts. 

This disease changes the rules on me constantly and there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason for attacks. Too much salt makes my tinnitus worse, but doesn’t necessarily cause a vertigo attack. Colds, sinus and flu affects my balance and my ears, but doesn’t necessarily cause vertigo. All these things used to affect vertigo, but not anymore. 

I sit here in my recliner with my dog on my head, hoping that an attack isn’t imminent. I can smile, because despite this disease I love my life. 

I hope you are spin free!

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Spoilers or Guesses

I am sitting here, because I don’t feel well today... I have been thinking about this. 

My newsfeed is filled up with people not wanting spoilers for Avengers: Endgame. Though I am not going to see it until Saturday, I can tell you that The Avengers will win. They lost in the last movie (Avengers: Infinity War) and I haven’t heard plans for a third... So they win. Somehow, someway The Avengers will win. 

So aside from telling a line by line plot of the movie, why are people worried about spoilers? We know that the original Avengers survived and we know Captain Marvel and Ant Man will play a part in the movie. 

What we don’t know is if they can resurrect any of the others that Thanos dusted out of existence. We have clues that Doctor Strange who was in possession of the time infinity stone, may be back. Well, because he possessed the stone at some point, so it’s possible that he will be out to assist. He said something to the effect that this was the only way.

So, I say that we know one thing... The Avengers win this time. They lost last time and it’s not in human nature to do nothing, especially if you’re a hero. Or maybe I’m wrong and they lose again. 

I hope you are spin free!

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

Saturday, April 13, 2019

The Downside of Meniere’s.

Last night we went to see Weezer. I rested all day, because my head was wonky. Yes, wonky is a technical term. It means my head was fuzzy, my ears were louder and my balance was off. My balance is usually off, but it was more so. I felt okay when we went to the concert. I didn’t bring my cane, but Ralph was with me. Believe me I held on tight. Since my husband doesn’t like holding hands, I consider it a win.

I may have felt drunk, but I am proud to say I remained upright. I wish I could say the same for the people in front of me. One girl almost fell twice going to her seat. I whispered to Ralph that she was worse than me. The difference being she was drunk and still drinking even before The Pixies took the stage. She left during the intermission between The Pixies and Weezer.

Here’s the downside of Meniere’s... My hearing dropped out during The Pixies performance causing everyone to sound like Chipmunks. This has happened to me before, but usually when I’ve been drinking. This distortion of sound was untimely. Before my hearing distorted my hyperacusis was bad enough to pull out my earplugs. Which I removed during the intermission. I didn’t need them for Weezer.

I made it to the restroom and back with only a little tilting. I am aware I probably appeared drunk to any casual observer. Someone said something to me as I stood in line, but I couldn’t hear her. She looked sympathetic, but probably thought I was drunk. Such is the life of Ménière’s.

The group with the drunk girl, minus her and her partner, returned. The guy sitting in front of me took a tumble  landing in the seats in front of him. Yes, he was drunk. I think what saved him from tumbling into the section below us was the fact that his leg got caught in between the seats. A Good Samaritan came down from the stands behind us and managed to lift the guy up and sit him back down. The guy sat in the same position for a few songs. I think he was scared to move, I can’t blame him. His girlfriend gave him back his drink. Probably good that she carried it.

This is my biggest fear when I go to venues like that. I am afraid of falling. Watching two non-meniere’s, albeit drunk, related people falling, hits home that shit happens and I should just enjoy myself. I am careful and hold onto things as I maneuver around.

I was able to enjoy the concert and could recognize the songs, even though it still sounded like chipmunks were singing. My hearing returned briefly for Rivers Cuomo’s solo. Then it went out again. Despite my hearing and the unplanned excitement, I loved Weezer. They are awesome.

I almost forgot... I wish people would have respect and leave their pot at home. I know it helps many people, but it gives me a migraine. YES, even secondhand smoke. Fortunately, I had my sumatriptan with me and it stopped the attack. Where are the drug sniffing dogs for concerts and such? Pot may be legal in Las Vegas, but not in public! Rant over!

My hearing is back to normal, even my tinnitus has quieted. I hope you are spin free.

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

Monday, April 8, 2019

Social Media

It is Lent and many of my friends have given up Social Media until Easter. I have not and probably won’t until everyone stops using them.

Why? My main reason is that it keeps me connected to family and friends. If you are my Facebook friend then you either don’t have Facebook or aren’t important to me. I say that a bit tongue in cheek, because many of my friends on Facebook, I have never met. Yet I have followed their lives and feel as close to them as if they are a member of my family.

Also, I connected with my husband through Facebook. We knew each other as kids, so when I joined Facebook I friended people that I remembered. About 6 months after my second husband died, I dreamed about Ralph kissing me. I messaged him through messenger. He told me to go back to sleep if I wanted to know how it ended. This made me laugh and I knew that we belonged together, even if it did take him a bit longer to realize it. We have been married two years this past February.

Still I might’ve been able to give up Facebook, until last year... what changed last year? I found a support group on Facebook for Meniere’s. This group understands what I am going through unlike anyone else. You really have to live it to understand that I put on a good front. Even on days I feel great, I still have balance issues. This group gets me and many have my warped sense of humor.

Still some people are okay without Social Media and that is good for them. Socializing the old fashioned way is probably the best thing for all of us. I do some of it myself. But there are days when I am unable to “people” for one reason or another and Facebook keeps me connected. I am not saying you should give up living for social media, there should be a balance. Though chronically ill people can connect through it.

Unfortunately, there are people who like to be negative and troll others to belittle them. I am not talking about healthy discussions, because hearing from both sides of issues is important. I am taking about the name callers and the holier than thou who won’t even entertain a polite discussion without saying you are going to hell. These people should leave social media. Bullying should not be tolerated. There are all kinds of bullying and sometimes a person doesn’t have to be mentioned to bully them.

So, I applaud those who leave social media behind even for Lent. If you are happier without it, then by all means don’t come back. If you are happier without it ask yourself why? We’re you being bullied? Do you have more time for the ones who really matter? Do you have more time to read, take a walk, create something? If so, maybe social media isn’t for you!

As for me, I will keep Facebook until there is a way to keep in touch with my many friends and family from all over the world. I have been trying out an alternative venue called MeWe.. Join me there while they work out the kinks.

I hope you are spin free!

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month. Read or write a poem each day. My friend, Elizabeth Christy, is giving poetry prompts. Though I used her prompt, I wrote a vignette. If you want to try your hand at it the prompt is to set your story in a waiting room and use these words: stroke, empty, rain, mother, space, above, laugh.  P.S. Thanks Elizabeth for getting me going!

A Moment in Time

At the stroke of five o’clock in one of the salon chairs mother glanced at her watch wondering, I am sure, if she would get home in time to cook dinner before her hubby got home from work. Nearby her daughter sat patiently waiting for the stylist to dry her already new haircut. I waited in anticipation of my own shampoo, cut and style, while I debated if I should add a color to it.

Outside the rain kept tempo with my heartbeat or maybe my heart beat to the sound of the rain. This space was almost empty now, whereas earlier it had been teaming with life. The stylists seemed to be on a mission to get everyone out the door by six. 

A stylist glanced my way and then to the clock above my head. She sighed rather loudly. I know I’d arrived without an appointment, but the sign said “Walk-ins Welcome”. I wondered if I should leave or wait to get my shaggy mess tamed? At last the mother and daughter stood at the counter to pay. They looked beautiful with their new doos. I took one last glance at the scene and slipped out the door into the rain, knowing that the stylists were too tired to make me beautiful too. I gave a little laugh as I thought, “They’d have to be fresh in order to pull that trick off.”

Rita L Smith


I hope you are spin free!

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Find Reasons to Laugh & Smile

It’s really easy to sink into despair when you are ill, especially when it’s chronic. But there are good days too. On the bad days it helps me to laugh. Laughter is one of the best medicines I know. Sometimes I laugh at myself. Like one time my speed laces tripped me when they caught my lace from the opposite shoe. I went down face first. I could have laughed, but it was kind of funny, since I couldn’t get up because my feet were then behind me.

I laugh at memes, my pets, movies (Even when no one else does, because my sense of humor is warped). I laugh with my husband and my support group. Sometimes laughter is the only thing that gets me through the bad days. It certainly beats crying. Don’t get me wrong... In the middle of a vertigo attack, I cry, because I forget how bad it is and I don’t know when they will end, but after that, I try to find something to make me laugh. My pets, the tv, or whatever I can find on Facebook.

I am thankful for laughter. It’s funny because I have no sense of humor... well, maybe I do, but as I said it’s warped. Smiling and laughing are essential if you want to enjoy life. I do try to enjoy life. I try not to let my natural grumpiness out. When I get grumpy, my brother says, “I laugh in the face of your grumpiness.” Who can stay grumpy when you hear that and picture my late nephew, Mikey, laughing at my dad.

Anyway, find what makes you smile and laugh. I married someone who does that for me. I hope you are spin free!

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

Friday, March 22, 2019

To Be or Not To Be Gluten-free

For some it’s a choice. For others like me it isn’t a choice. Though to my knowledge gluten isn’t my problem, I can’t have it due to my wheat allergy. I am also allergic to cows milk, so I am doubly whammied.

What is it like to be allergic to wheat or gluten? Dining out is harder. Some restaurants have gluten free menus, while others do not. For some they cannot even have the contamination of wheat (gluten). I am fortunate that a slight contamination does not bother me. I can still partake in the blood of Christ during communion. For me the slight contamination of drinking wine after others who have had wheat does not cause any adverse reactions.

If you are allergic there is a constant vigilance on your part to make sure what you’re eating is gluten free. People don’t even realize that something as benign as a seasoning packet might contain wheat. If your like me there will only be minor consequences, but others will get deathly ill. One would hope that others would be more conscientious when preparing food for their family, but that is not always the case.

Why was I diagnosed with food allergies? I was vomiting frequently and my reflux was crazy. So, my gastrointestinalogist sent me for blood tests. It was a simple blood draw and the lab tested me for the most common allergies.

  1. Cow’s Milk 
  2. Eggs
  3. Tree Nuts: (Brazil Nuts, Almonds, Cashews, Macadamia Nuts, Pustachios, Pine Nuts and Walnuts)
  4. Peanuts
  5. Shellfish
  6. Wheat
  7. Soy
  8. Fish
Once I cut out my food allergies which included most of the tree nuts, peanuts, sesame seeds, shrimp and egg whites, I noticed other symptoms, because they went away. For instance I was having a different type of vertigo than my normal Ménière’s Vertigo. Also, I had constipation and  diarrhea for most of my life... all that stopped when I eliminated my allergens. 

Upon learning that most were just food sensitivities, I could add them back in. Cow’s milk and wheat, however, are allergies that I notice fairly quickly after ingesting. Fortunately, they just cause me stomach pain, reflux and  diarrhea. I avoid them, but occasionally I do get some accidentally or because I was not diligent in asking the ingredients or I am craving a sweet. I am glad my allergies are not severe enough to cause me to go into anaphylaxis. 

Just not having the extra vertigo has been enough to keep me off the wheat and dairy. I miss having a cake or a milkshake, but have found alternatives. My nearest grocery store has a big gluten-free section and even offer vegan cheese. 

The bottom line is that I feel better and I have lost about 15 pounds. Who knew allergies were the cause of my IBS? If you have that and/or reflux, have your doctor check you for food allergies. 

I hope you are spin free!

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Birthday Month

This month is my birthday month. It’s been a fantastic month so far. Penn & Tellers Fool
Me taping on the 1st. A night of celebration as the hubby shaved his head for St. Baldrick’s on the 2nd. Followed by a day at the races. Unfortunately, Kevin Harvick didn’t win. Then this past weekend a staycation at a local hotel, where I was comped and then hit a jack pot. It’s been a great start to the big 55.

Yes, I will be 55 on my birthday! No, it doesn’t bother me. I really love my life and wouldn’t change it for the world. Well, I would eliminate the crazy autoimmune stuff that plagues me, but I am living despite it. It has taught me to appreciate the good days and even the so-so ones and to take it easy on the bad ones.

This weekend... St. Patrick’s Day weekend is the only free weeken for us this month and Ralph will probably have to work. I would like to drive to the winery... my supply has gone. LOL!

I get to see Donny & Marie during my birthday weekend. Though I’ve seen Doony twice, I’ve never seen Marie. I am excited. Then the day after my birthday I am off to visit my family in Ohio. I pray for spring weather and not winter. I have seen it go both ways when I lived there.

I will help celebrate my best friend’s birthday and my sister’s birthday while in Ohio. Ours are just a few days apart. There are a lot of March birthdays! So for all you March babies, whether you are a Pisces or Aries, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Enjoy our birthday month.

I hope you are spin free.

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Rare Disease Day

First I want to send hugs to all who have a rare disease. I wrote this on my Facebook timeline, but need to share with you.

Meniere’s Disease is a rare disease, so much so that doctors don’t know what causes it or how to cure it.  It is characterized by vertigo, dizziness, tinnitus, ear fullness, drop attacks I and deafness.

It is unpredictable with good days and bad days. I look normal even on not so good days. Though you may notice that I tip or stumble or walk like I’m drunk. I have more of these days then even the people closest to me realizes.

On my not so good days, when my ears are full and the tinnitus is loud, my brain feels cloudy. I have trouble concentrating, I carry on especially for fun things. Sometimes I let people know how I feel, just in case it turns into a full vertigo attack.

I have been fortunate not to have had a vertigo attack in public. Mine are usually when I awaken.  I have had mini-spins (one or two rotations) in public, also, wavy walls or shifting floors.

Even on good days the tinnitus is present as are the balance issues. I try to limit my salt intake, which helps with the loudness of tinnitus. It doesn’t seem to affect the vertigo.

As I learn my new normal, I try to enjoy every minute that I can. I have had this disease since before my diagnosis in 2000. Then I had frequent bouts of vertigo and slam attacks. I went into remission around 2012, but came out of remission at Disneyland in 2017. So now I am learning about it again.

My last full vertigo attack was in May of 2018. My diuretic seems to be keeping even the mini vertigo attacks at bay, though occasionally I feel as if my head  went on a quick trip around the room. I have coping mechanisms when out having fun... including ear plugs for hyperacusis, blue light filtering glasses and I rarely do things on my own, unless I am having a really good day. Even then I am not far from home. One thing is certain is that I will survive.

I hope you are spin free.

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a day for lovers everywhere to express there love. It is also a day I looked forward to when I was a kid. You remember making your Valentine boxes so all the other kids could put their cards for you in it. I love LOVE! There can never be too much love. 

So what if it’s a created holiday to sell cards and candy. Use this day to remember those you love, especially yourself! Self-love is the most important love there is. Without self-love you can’t fully love someone else, because you’ll always have that niggling thought at the back of your mind that you’re not worthy. I want you to know that you are worthy and deserving of love. So start replacing negative thoughts with positive ones about yourself! 

And for Valentines Day remind yourself to love yourself and others. Everyone deserves love! Keep that in mind today and everyday! Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone reading this. 

I hope you are spin free!

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

Friday, February 1, 2019


Occasionally someone will remember that I write and have published a children’s book, even though I’m not writing much other than my blogs. Today is one of those days... a friend asked me to read and talk about what inspired me to be a writer for a group of kindergarteners through second graders. Despite my health issues, I said yes. I may need a driver, but I will be there.

I just ordered some bookmarks to pass out to the kids. Hopefully, there won’t be more than 100 kids. I must say I’ve never spoken to a group that large. Kids can be tough audiences or they can be truly awesome. 

Now I just need to figure out what to talk about. LOL! I will probably say that I have been writing stories since I was in elementary school. Push my favorite book series... The Wizard of Oz and Little House on the Prairie books made me want to invent my own worlds. 

I will talk about my love of reading and the ability it has to transport the reader into different times, places and experiences. Hopefully, I can awaken the love of reading in this new generation. 

Now I just need to stay calm and remember to talk slowly and to enunciate my words so the children can understand me. 

Wish me luck. I hope you are spin free!

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Appreciate Life

One thing living with a debilitating disease has taught me is to enjoy life. Yes, I may have to cancel some things due to this disease, but it’s no different than having the flu. The difference is that I appreciate every single good day I have. It does pay to be flexible though.

Having friends and family who are supportive helps tremendously. There were several months, nearly a year, that I couldn’t drive. And friends and family helped me get around. Taking me back and forth to doctors appointments, getting me out of the house. Without them I would have become housebound, because even taking a walk can be frightening when you’re dizzy all the time.

My point is on the good days, even some dizzy days I try to have fun. Most importantly I appreciate each show, each lunch or dinner, each trip and every moment that I am not dizzy. I even appreciate the dizziness and general lightheadedness, since it’s not vertigo. Vertigo is the hardest part of this disease to deal with for me. Some attacks cause severe after affects that last a couple of days for me.

 I really do appreciate the days without vertigo. Sometimes my natural grumpiness emerges and I may not seem so thankful, but I am. I am working on becoming a more peaceful me. I am a work in progress and I am continually changing. I am thankful that I can work on me.

I am choosing to be happy and I appreciate all the good days. Sometimes I may just need to be reminded of this.

I love my life. I hope you are spin free!

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

Friday, January 18, 2019

Living Despite Meniere’s

I think living with a debilitating disease is often about timing. I know I feel better during the day than the evenings. So if I want to do anything it’s best to plan daytime activities.

Now that’s easier said than done, since most of my friends have jobs. It makes socializing harder, but not impossible. I just need to make sure I have a ride if I do evening activities. That’s what husband’s are for...

There are some days that I may have to cancel plans. It would be nice if my disease was predictable, but it’s not. If it’s frustrating for others, think about how I feel. I do not like being housebound. Not being able to drive is difficult. Even on good days I have to figure out how bad the brain fog is affecting me. Today it’s not so bad, but I still began to cook my oatmeal without water.

Imagine if I am driving and I see a squirrel.  🐿  Okay, not really a squirrel, but anything that takes my focus off what I am doing. I could put others in danger as well as myself. So, I rarely drive anymore.

I am fortunate that my brother lives with me and can take me to appointments if my husband cannot. Oh and Uber and Lyft are viable ways to get around.

The days I get out and enjoy myself make it easier to cope with the bad days. Anxiety and Depression are part of life for me, but I continue on.

I have lost 15 lbs in 5 months, because I had to stop eating wheat 🌾 and cows 🐄 milk. It cuts out so much of my previous diet. Strangely enough, I am not constantly hungry since eliminating my food allergies. And I can still have meat, fruit and vegetables.

My husband gave me a Simply Fit Board for Christmas which is helping me get into shape and it also helps with my balance. On bad days I cannot do it at all. It’s kind of funny watching me try to do the twist or even stay of the board. On good days and even my first time on it, I have no problems at all. I think because my brain is already working to keep me upright.

As I get healthier, I am feeling better. Being healthy is not a cure, but it does benefit most of what ails me. For instance, my knee isn’t causing me as much pain since dropping 15 pounds.
I refuse to give in to this disease, but I know there are days that I must. It’s all about balance and realizing that not everything is possible.

I hope you are spin free!

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

Wednesday, January 16, 2019


Ouch that hurts! LOL! Seriously, though... I want to write a nonfiction book. It’s a bit frightening to leave the worlad of fictional monsters to write about me. 

I want to use my experience in living with chronic illness as a basis for a book. I don’t know if anyone would want to read it. The reward will be in helping others. Even if only just one person is helped by my experiences then it will be worth it. 

Now do I pitch the idaa to publishers or just write it? I know publishers of nonfiction prefer to be pitched the idea and an outline. But if I write it first and then pitch the idea, I won’t have to stress about making deadlines.

Decisions... The ideas are flowing so I will probably be able to put together an outline. Since it’s not fiction, I will not be able to use my usual pantser method. 

I have to do one thing that all writers need to do... Put butt in chair and fingers to keyboard. So, I am thinking of a book about living with chronic illnesses. I will be putting me out there for all to see. Can I do this? I don’t know, but I am going to give it a shot. 

I hope you are all spin free!

Love, Peace and Light! 

Monday, January 14, 2019


It seems the trend right not is to declutter. People are determined to downsize their lives by getter rid of things they don’t use or need or doesn’t make them happy. I have been slowly getting rid of clothes that do not fit. Thank God I didn’t get rid of all my smaller sized clothes as I am loosing weight.

The real thing I want to work on is uncluttering my mind. This is not as easy as it seems for someone with anxiety. Everything plays in my mind over and over. 

So my solution is to try to deal with it through humor. I made this meme because someone called me a bitch, because I called them mean.  And now I have as little to do with this person as possible, bless her heart. 

So I guess what I really am doing is cutting out the negativity in my life. Kind of hard when I have a knack of being negative myself. But since I can only change me, that’s what I am choosing to do. 

The Serenity Prayer has been my mantra for years, so I will continue to repeat it as often as needed. 

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.

I am choosing to focus on me and the things that make me happy. I am choosing to eliminate negativity from my life and if this is in the form of people then so be it. It may not be a popular position, but I feel it’s a necessary one. 

So though I don’t make resolutions, I am working on me. I always am working on me. I am a work in progress.

I am still always going to be real, though I don’t go out of my way to hurt others, I also, don’t shrink from calling others out on their bullshit. I certainly won’t tolerate snide comments or backstabbing. I will call it out, but don’t worry because I have no qualms about cutting whoever out of my life. 

This is for me and the happier me that I envision. I think by being truer to whom I want to be my husband will be happier. And that to me is the most important thing in my life. 

I think this is something we all can benefit from. I hope you are spin free.

Love, Peace and Light!  Rita

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Living with Ménière’s 

      My friend Julie White and fellow Ménière’s Warrior from Twirly Girl Art sketched this to show what we go through. She’s an amazing artist. Check out her page. 

I had hoped that the water pill would help decrease my vertigo. I did have some reprieve, but January 4, I had a small attack. It was strange because though it was brief (only a few minutes) I felt as if I was in the after effects of a major attack. Mine usually last for hours.  


I screenshot this from my video after the attack.

Since then I have a general light headed feeling and dizziness. Trying to pick up the dog toys yesterday caused vertigo. It’s frustrating and I feel incompetent or is a better word impotent? 

I am trying to persevere though my head feels heavy. My ears (tinnitus) is super loud and the tones are constantly changing lately. I can deal with the cicadas that never shut up, but not the whirring or test tone noise that keeps popping up. I feel I need to say that I am not suicidal. 

This disease keeps changing on me and it’s difficult to get a handle on it. It’s totally unpredictable. My husband asked, “Do you really think that you could fall in public? My answer is, “I don’t know? It could happen.”

What I do know about it. In the past I have been slammed backwards without warning in public or at home. It’s sort of like the drop attacks except that wall or risers at the store have broken my fall in the past. It’s violent and quick and comes on without warning. The last time I had one was in May before my full blown vertigo attack. That time I did fall because our bathroom is big and I missed the wall. 

I was trying to tell him the benefits of getting me an Apple Watch Series 4. I have been preparing for the days when this disease is bad. I already use a cane on off balance days. I bought a walker with a seat to assist me if things get worse or a lot of standing might be involved. I have yet to venture out with it. 

It relieves my mind to be prepared. Taking away some of the anxiety about a disease so unpredictable is a good thing as anxiety can exacerbate the symptoms. It’s one of my main triggers. 

Each of us have different triggers. There are some things the doctors find many have in common. Alcohol, salt, stress are just a few. Alcohol is not a trigger for me, but salt makes my tinnitus scream. It doesn’t seem to cause a vertigo attack. Stress/anxiety does, so I try to avoid it. 

It’s finally a blue sky day. We’ve had variable air pressure, rain and clouds for awhile. I hope I will get back to normal for me soon. Normal is tinnitus and balance issues. Even when I was in remission, these never went away. 

I could use some peace and quiet, but fear even when I go deaf I will never have silence. The two things I knew about Ménière’s is that I would eventually go deaf and totally lose my balance. I have since learned there is no time table for this. It varies for each individual. There is no cure. Only things they can do to alleviate symptoms for a little while. 

So, here I am trying the diuretics. They were helping or may have been a placebo effect. Now they aren’t. The ENT said the next step would be to try steroids. I am thinking the injections, but she didn’t really say. 

We’ll see. Like I said most remedies are only temporary. But even a few weeks reprieve was better than nothing for me. 

     Also by Julie White. 

I hope you are spin free. 

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

Friday, January 4, 2019

Sleep/Stress-A Neverending Cycle 

I wish I could sleep consistently 5-8 hours a night. Unfortunately, that rarely happens for me. 4 hours is a good nights sleep for me, but even then I don’t feel rested when I awaken. 

This is a screenshot of my sleep patterns as recorded by my Fitbit. You can see how little I sleep. Wednesday I slept really well for me.

I am always tired when I go to bed, I should be able to sleep well. Yet, I don’t. Why? Anxiety often keeps my brain busy going over everything and anything that it perceives that I did wrong or others have done to me. It seems no amount of exhaustion,meditation or relaxation can quiet my mind. 

I have taken Trazodone in the past and it put me to sleep, but if I woke up for any reason, I could not get back to sleep. 

I try to reduce stress in my life. Unfortunately, there is always something that can trigger it. Money is one of the biggest triggers. Family is another. As much as I would like to not deal with people who cause anxiety, I can’t disown family. I can only limit my interactions with them. Sometimes that doesn’t help. 

I am a light sleeper so my husband moving or snoring can awaken me. My bladder is another problem, though it’s gotten better since I am on a water pill. Oh and a cat who meows to be fed at 3 am doesn’t help matters. Dogs wanting in bed who whine to get a light on it are spoiled, but what can I do if I want to go back to sleep? Then said dogs hog my pillows or covers and walk on top of me. 

At least the cat will purr when they lay on me. That is the most relaxing sound to me. I guess I need an app for that. 

Lack of sleep is a trigger for many of my Invisible Disabilities. If I don’t sleep I wake up sore and achy. I feel as if I am getting the flu. Sometimes it triggers vertigo, but more often than not I am just lightheaded or dizzy. Which creates more stress, because I am reliant on others. I like being able to do things on my own, but cannot drive when dizzy.

I think losing my independence is probably the most stressful thing that has happened to me. Stress triggers vertigo so it’s a never ending cycle. Though I have been relatively vertigo free since starting the diuretic, I still get the head pressure and lightheadedness associated with vertigo. Which makes me fear an attack is imminent. It’s a vicious cycle.

Then you throw in people who don’t believe that there’s something wrong no matter how you try to explain it. So stressors are everywhere. I continue to try to educate others about my invisible disabilities and other such things as well. Sometimes, something I say helps someone who has been struggling with issues themselves. That makes it worth it to me. 

So why do I let these things stress me? I don’t. It’s something in my brain or genetic make up that causes these things to stress me. Stress contributes to my lack of sleep, the lack of sleep contributes to my anxiety. It’s a vicious cycle that I want to break. 

I will continue to meditate and use relaxation exercises to try to find the inner peace and place where no stress exists. I have done it before and will again. 

I hope you are spin free.

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Live and Be Happy

Life is not guaranteed. I learn that lesson over and over! My beautiful friend of over 25 years passed away yesterday. 

She was fun with an infectious laugh. She didn’t let anything get in her way of being happy. 

Valerie is the one in the middle. We were all much younger here. I saw her before Christmas and she spoke about the past and how much fun we all used to have.

In honor of my sweet friend, I am going to enjoy my life. I am letting go of old grievances and starting today as brand new! This year will be a new year and I am going to do my best to honor Valerie. 

So Live your life and be happy! Enjoy every moment, because life isn’t guaranteed. 

I hope you are spin free!

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

Happy New Year!