Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Life is what you make it...

Just like the song said, Life is what you make it. Sometimes you need to take some time to readjust to your new circumstances. Once you’ve taken this time, you need to decide how to move forward. Sometimes you might need to eliminate things or figure out how to do them for the new you. I think this applies in many areas, but I am talking about dealing with chronic illnesses.

It’s easy to give up and do nothing, believe me, I have in my past. I was fortunate to have a husband who could care for me. Something changed inside me and I decided that I wasn’t going to stay in bed any longer. I found a local writers group and I joined despite overwhelming anxiety. This was the best  thing I ever did for myself. I really need to get involved like that again here in Vegas.

I do get out of bed every day even though most mornings I am dizzy. I get out of the house too, but lately I am worried about the dizziness I am fearful of doing something simple like walking the dogs. I am unsure if this is anxiety or self-preservation or laziness... Maybe a combination of all.

The bottom line is if I let the Ménière’s rule my life, I will suffer and so will everyone around me. I need to make changes. I can begin by taking the dogs for a walks. Maybe short at first and not when I am constantly dizzy, but definitely when it subsides usually later in the day.

While I work on this, I keep making plans with friends, plan vacations with my husband and enjoy life when others are around. I make sure everyone is aware of my problem, so it is less stressful to do things with others. Unfortunately for the dogs and me, they are too small to be of any help if an episode should happen when I am alone.
Remember you have the power to make your life worthwhile. So, go out and live it. Figure out how to work around your obstacles. I did take the dogs for a walk recently as shown in the above picture. Baby steps to a better life!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Ménière’s Disrase - What is it?

I feel as if I should explain what Ménière’s is...  I have been talking about it, but have really said much about it. It is basically a debilitating inner-ear dysfunction, but what does that mean?

For me it started with tinnitus. At first I would hear music over and over, but not constantly. I’m not sure when the music stopped and the continuous buzzing began. It happened sometime when the locusts were inundating our town. It was winter when I realized I still heard them, but they had died off. So my ringing sounds like locust, though higher pitched at times and it’s ever present.

Then the dizziness began. There were times I could not get out of bed because the room was spinning. In between these episodes, I would get the feeling of tipping over, or lightheaded feeling. The most unsettling thing was a drop attack, where I fell down for no reason at all. Also, unsettling, was getting slammed into walls. These might have been drop attacks, but I had a small house, so I hit walls when I was slammed backwards.

Nausea accompanied the dizziness. Stress made it worse. It was very stressful calling off work or leaving early because of the dizziness. I quit my job. I stayed in bed most of the time for almost two years. At some point, the symptoms lessened to where I only tip a bit here and there. The ringing has not ceased.

Unfortunately, my dizziness returned along with nausea at Disneyland. I thought I was going to have to go back to the hotel, but I managed to sit for an hour or so and they subsided. I enjoyed the rest of the day. (Pictured above: Ariel and me.)

The important thing to remember if you or a loved one has this awful disease is that it’s different for us all. I hope this helps you to understand what I go through at times and what others may be going through.

Love, Peace and Light!

Cruise Fever

Since my first cruise in October 2013, I have been bitten by the cruise bug. Here we are on Carnival Liberty dressed for formal night. I knew then that Ralph and I would have an adventurous life together and we have.

We have been on four cruises so far, including our port packed southern Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Fascination last May.

Here we are in St. Lucia in front of The Pitons. We took an island tour. My sweetie was a trooper, since he was still recovering from a broken leg. (He broke his fibula & tibia.) We’d have to go back to the cabin early so he could put ice on it to take the swelling down. That did not stop him from being cheerful or doing activities, which we kept to tours of the islands. 

Our next cruise is coming up in April to Cozumel and Progresso. Since we have been to Cozumel, we will be going to Mr. Sanchos Beach Club as we did in May of 2016. We are still debating for Progresso Yucatán. I want to see the ruins, but it is an all day event.

A couple of days ago, I found a great deal on a cruise to Cuba. So, I am going to book it tomorrow. It’s on Carnival Paradise which is a small ship. It is the same class as our honeymoon cruise, but it is supposed to be getting upgraded next month. I really enjoyed the smaller ship. There is less people and it’s easy to get around.

This will be the first time we’ve taken double cruises. I wish we could take more than one all the time, but one of us works. Ralph wants to get some camping in this year, but this second cruise might change his plans. 

The one thing that concerns me is the resurgence of my Ménière’s symptoms... how will my inner ear react to being on a ship? In the past it has not been bothered at all. Wish me luck. 

Have you been on a cruise? If not do you want too? I used to think I couldn’t afford it, but you can put down a deposit and pay off over time. That is the best part and once on board you eat free. It is more cost efficient then most vacations.

Peace, Love and Light!


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Play Time

I try to live a semblance of a normal life. With this in mind I have been bowling. With my arthritic hands, finding a ball to fit is a challenge. Oh and I need a light ball... the 10 pound balls have small finger holes.

It is fun to get out of the house to do something I used to love doing. I was never very good, but that’s not important. The important thing is to have fun. The fluorescent lights are a challenge when they bother my inner ear, but I push through, stopping when I need to. 

My husband and I have many things we like to do. I intend to keep on hiking, swimming, and camping. I haven’t attempted these things since my symptoms have returned. I know I’ll figure things out as I need to, so that we both can enjoy ourselves.

I have a walking stick that will help keep me balanced, as well as take stress off my knee when the osteoarthritis acts up.

What are your hobbies? Is there anything you do to compensate for your illness? Please feel free to comment. You might have some life hacks that may help me or others and that is the point of my blog.

Love, Peace and Light!


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Flu

The flu bug has struck our home. My poor husband and brother were miserable. They looked like they were sick. My sister-in-law has been ill too. I think the flu skipped me, but I have been sick too. The doctor said mine was unseasonable allergies, but he prescribed the good stuff, since I already was taking the allergy medicine he was going to prescribe. So I got Prednisone & a Z-Pack. 

It has been cough city here in the Trushaw/Kelly household. I am surprised any of us got any sleep. Finally, after a weekend of cancelled plans, we are on the road to recovery.

Being sick made my Ménière’s Disease worse. My head has felt like it was weighted down. When I moved the world would appear to sway or dip. Throw in an occasional spin and that has been my world. Since I was “not sick”, I became my husband’s caregiver. Making him tea and taking his temperature, getting him Tylenol.. Anything to get him on the road to recovery.

Unfortunately for him, it made me irritable and not fun to be around. Noises have been amplified and it makes my ears hurt. I was asked if this was a new development. To which I replied no. I usually ignore it or subtly adjust the volume on radios and tv. The illness has made it worse though.

It’s difficult not to whine and I really do try to act as if everything is normal. But there are times when I can’t. Fortunately, I haven’t had the constant spins or drop attacks that I had when I was first diagnosed.

Fortunately, we are on the road to recovery and we can resume our regular life. I hope you are staying healthy.

Love, Peace and Light!

Saturday, January 13, 2018


This was me in October 2013 on my first ever cruise. I had just lost a bunch of weight through the course of a year. I weighed about 160 here and down from over 220 lbs. 

How did I do it? 

After my second husband died, I had very little income... I had to eat on a budget. I’d buy vegetables, meat, eggs, milk & cereal when I received my disability. I made big batches of soups and froze them. This way I ensured I didn’t starve. Yes, a soup diet began me on my journey to weight loss. In March of 2013 I joined a weight loss challenge where I learned about nutrition and began exercising. I met a great group of women whom I started walking with and along with the exercise and yoga, I kept active on a daily basis. 

I didn't eat fast food for a year, I did occasionally eat out, but I made healthier choices. I was on the road to health. My fibromyalgia pain was gone, the arthritis while still there didn't hurt as much with less weight. Reflux went away. I still had down days after overdoing things, but those were happening much less. 

Fast forward to May of 2014, I moved across the country to be with the man whom I married last February. Our active lifestyle doesn't always permit time for home cooking. And I began eating fast food again. That coupled with leaving my support group of exercise buddies behind, I have gained weight, not quite as much as I was before, but it seems to be climbing a bit year by year. I weigh 206 right now, down from 218.

Ralph and I decided to start taking our life back by watching what we eat. With the return of my Meniere's Disease, exercise will be interesting. Some days I am afraid to walk, but I know this is self-defeating and I need to do it for me. 

In the meantime I am going to continue to get healthy and enjoy the life that God has given me. Wish me luck! 

Thursday, January 11, 2018


Let’s talk about the elephant in the room... Anxiety! Anxiety causes many problems for everyone. I think the worst thing anxiety does is that it stops us from doing things that we want. Anxiety is a self-feeding. Just the feeling of my heart beginning to race can make me more anxious. Which in turn can make my my other symptoms worse.

It took me awhile to figure out this vicious cycle and how to stop it. Believe me some days it is a battle to not give in to anxiety.

Anxiety is actually one of the easier symptoms to manage once you learn to recognize it and what works for you. My first full blown panick attack happened before I had any of my other issues. I was driving home, as I had for a year, and suddenly did not recognize my surroundings. I ping-ponged back and forth on the road to my apartment for an hour before I recognized where I was at. This happened frequently back then, but I quickly determined that I needed to trust my original judgment and continue in that direction. It took less time for the anxiety to pass. This lesson is something that I carry with me now when dealing with more serious problems like vertigo.

If I allow the anxiety to take hold when the world shifts, I would be unable to function. Instead, I stop what I am doing, even if just mentally, (This might only take seconds.) and take deep breaths in through my nose and out through my nose. I focus on slowing my heart rate while mentally forcing my body & mind into a state of calm. If I am somewhere safe, I will meditate, otherwise just slowing my breathing helps calm the panic.

If I didn’t have this technique down, I might never leave my house. The anxiety of what could happen would paralyze me to the point of being unable to function. It would cause even more anxiety, because I’d worry about disappointing others. The anxiety would cause my dizziness to worsen which would make it difficult to get out of bed.

For me anxiety is the most important symptom to learn to manage and the easiest, since this one is truly a case of mind over matter. To illustrate let’s take my panic attacks when driving and what I learned from them.

Recognizing symptoms of anxiety.

  1. Elevated heart rate
  2. Faster breathing
  3. Brain Fog
Actively stop the panic attack. Take deep breaths slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth. Just this one simple thing will help lower your heart rate and in turn reduce the brain fog. Also, it will stop making an attack of vertigo, for instance, worse. I am not saying the attack will stop, but hopefully by eliminating the panic it won’t worsen. If you allowed the panic to rule the vertigo would be at it’s worse.

I know that this post sounds preachy, but I wish that someone had taught me how to take out the anxiety from the equation. Believe me it is not always easy to separate the anxiety when you are having symptoms of your illness, but with practice you will be able to do so.

I think I said that I meditate when I can. Meditation is a practice that is a good habit to get into. I can hear the grumbling now... But I can’t focus on anything for more than a couple of minutes. Well, neither can I. Having ADD makes it difficult, but all I do when my mind wanders during meditation is acknowledge it and start again. I prefer guided meditations or focusing on a flickering candle. It makes it easier to reign in my thoughts. And slow, deep breaths are the key in meditation, so by paying attention to your breathing it helps focus the mind.

I hope this helps.

Love, Peace & Light!


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Disneyland & Ménière’s

Our three day weekend of adventure began at Universal Studios in Harry Potter World. We had a fantastic day, which involved too much walking. My arthritic feet ached and all my muscles were on fire due to the Fibromyalgia flair that comes with overdoing things. Unfortunately, this can vary from time to time, which makes it difficult to gage when enough is enough. Usually I don’t realize that I’ve overdone things until the pain begins. 

When we got to our hotel room, I was in so much pain that I took a pain killer. I fell asleep, but awoke in pain so I took a bath, which usually helps ease my sore muscles. While relaxing in the tub, the walls started moving up and down. I knew this was part of the Ménière’s, so I just tried to relax despite my gurgling stomach. 

I told my husband and friend that I should probably stay in the hotel and join them later, but Ralph looked at me like I was crazy. So, I went. The first ride was a big mistake and I may never go on it agin, though I love Space Mountain under normal circumstances. It triggered an episode of disequilibrium along with nausea. Though I walked through the line st Star Tours, I exited the other side. I sat on a bench waiting for them to come out hoping to get things under control. When Ralph and Colleen  finally made it out they wanted to shop in the gift store, but I had to find somewhere to throw up. That wasn’t easy as the trash cans openings are on the sides and I couldn’t speak to ask for help. I must have looked atrocious with sweat dripping down my face and I’m sure I was positively green. I know I was embarrassed, but almost past the point of caring when I did throw up. 

The point of telling you all this is to say once I had this episode, I washed my face and rinsed my mouth and went back out to enjoy my day. Believe me it is really tempting to curl up in bed and wait to die, but I would have missed out on Disneyland Christmas at night, not to mention disappointing my husband and our friend. I made sure Ralph stayed close in case I had vertigo and I sat down when I needed to. We also went back to the hotel room for a bit and I took a nap. I awoke ready to start again.

On Monday we went to California Adventures. Though I was sore, I did not have another Ménière’s attack, except the occasional tipping to one side or another.
I hope everyone had a fabulous holiday! Have a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

My Crazy Life

With the re-emergence of my Ménière’s Disease, I wanted a venue where I can share my experiences. I live a pretty good life. I have a loving husband, though he doesn’t always understand my limitations. We travel and play. I do not work, which lowered my stress level tremendously and as a result my symptoms lessened as well. In addition to the Ménière’s, I have Migraines, Lichen Sclerosis, Mitral Valve Prolapse, Asthma, Allergies, Endometriosis, Osteoarthritis , Psoriasis, Hiatal Hernia, GERDS, and Fibromyalgia.

I do not want to use this blog to whine, though I think when things are bad that is a tendency. I want to show you how I deal with things, so that I can enjoy life. Everyone is different and we all learn to cope differently. My illness is not as bad as some. Please don’t use this to compare yourself or your loved one to me, we all cope differently. I found that eliminating stress is a big help in managing my symptoms. I’ll get into details in a later blog. 

I am 53 years old. I married the love of my life in February 2017.