Sunday, June 30, 2019

Tough Morning

About four a.m., the vertigo started. “Fuck,” I said aloud. Fortunately what I thought would be a full blown vertigo attack only turned out to be about six rotations. Unfortunately, I keep having mini spins. These spins are as violent as my full blown attacks, so I am layed up in bed. (Like my Southeastern Ohio vernacular?)

I am going to rest this morning. I am afraid to go to church. I try to not let the anxiety stop me from doing things, but I’m not stupid. The mini spins are unpredictable and so far I’ve had about 3 an hour. It’s now six thirty. Hopefully, I can rest and feel like my “normal” self by the time Ralph gets home from work. Yes, you heard that right... he has to work on a Sunday.

So, now I am wide awake. It’s hard to sleep, because closing my eyes during vertigo makes me nauseous and it’s happening too frequently to fall asleep. Hopefully, now that I decided to skip church, breakfast and had to cancel another blood donation, I will be able to sleep,

I think my trigger for this episode was my GERDs. I threw up last night and it went through my nose. Now the nose is congested. And I am spinning. Coincidence?

My balance is off this morning, which isn’t surprising as the vertigo is violent. I am not nearly as bad as when I have a full blown attack, but not great either. My ears are full and the tinnitus is louder than normal, I am surprised I can hear. I can’t even describe how my head feels accurately, but I will try. It’s like it’s stuffed with cotton and a vice is squeezing my head and it’s not a migraine for a change. My thoughts are disjointed, otherwise known as brain fog.

Hopefully, I’ll feel better later. We want to see a movie. I already keep canceling movie dates with my hubby and friends, because I am too dizzy to drive myself and the brain fog makes it difficult to pay attention. I need all my faculties when I get behind the wheel, which was only for a couple of hours on Wednesday.

Wish me luck. I hope you are spin free!

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

It’s the Little Things

This week had been a hard week for me. Constant dizziness, tinnitus is loud and my ears are full. I had a bit of clarity this morning when the brain fog and dizziness cleared up. So I went to Walmart to pick up my medication which had been week. This is the first time in weeks I felt safe to drive. Unfortunately, it didn’t last, but I made to and from the store.

I still am able to do things with my husband and my cane helps. Most of my days are spent at home watching television or reading or writing. I am happy, just not independent.

Today I bought tickets to see Wicked. That made me so happy. I have been wanting to see this show for years. We have a couple more concerts coming up this year. We just went to see Barenaked Ladies and Hootie and the Blowfish. I wasn’t feeling my best, so I brought my cane to help with my balance.  I loved the show, especially the Barenaked Ladies.

So it’s the little things that help me get through the bad days. There are always bright spots. I want to tell anyone who has a lot of bad days to take the so-do days back and enjoy the good days. There is always light after the dark!

I hope you are spin free!

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

Saturday, June 22, 2019

How Many Places Do I Need To Tell My Story?

So yesterday I discovered, Medium. Here is their description: Welcome to Medium, a place where words matter. Medium taps into the brains of the world's most insightful writers, thinkers, and storytellers to bring you the ...

You can read stories by others and write your own. I wrote this yesterday and have one follower already. I hope my story helps others with debilitating diseases to not stop living. Occasionally, we need someone to remind us that we can have fun.

I will try not to neglect my blogs. Though summer time makes it harder as I am busier. Thursday we went to the Las Vegas Aviators game. It was a lovely night even for this wobbly girl. We had front row seats right above the dugout. My main problem was the net to protect us from balls kept moving and disturbed my equilibrium. I had to focus on my breathing to keep from panicking whenever it moved. It took some effort, but I managed to enjoy the game with more issues.

Sometimes desensitization helps. Sometimes you need to practice for awhile before things don’t trigger anxiety which in turn triggers dizziness. It’s one of those vicious cycles that I can break with repetition and breathing exercises.

Anyway, I digress. Check out Medium. It’s an interesting site.

I hope you are spin free!

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The Downside of Ménière’s

I know I post about my adventures all the time, but living with any chronic illness is not always easy. I don’t post much about the days when my bed is my only friend. I don’t post about being unable to drive anymore, because dizziness is an almost everyday occurrence. It would endanger more than just me if I were to get behind the wheel of my car to drive.

Unfortunately this means plans have to be canceled. Sometimes even if I have a driver, I cannot go. Like yesterday, my world was a bit topsy turvy, not exactly room spinning vertigo, but the world kept shifting. I didn’t feel safe to be out in public even with my trusty cane. Today is more of the same and though it’s early I had to cancel my plans with a friend. I hate being unreliable, but there is nothing I can do about it.

Today might be a bed day. The bad thing is that I think this is allergy/sinus related. My ear hurts and there is a stabbing pain behind my eye. Unfortunately it is triggering the Ménière’s and I am miserable. On the bright side other than mini spins, I am not having a full blown vertigo attack. Is it weird to say that I almost prefer the old days when I’d have a full blown attack and a couple of bad days, but then I’d be back to normal. Normal except the tinnitus and the occasional off balance moments. 

The mini spins are easier to handle on a day to day basis, because they don’t create more of a problem. The full on vertigo I experienced when I was first diagnosed was hard. During one I wish someone would end it for me. Even though I know I am lucky because I only get nausea during these attacks other vomit and worse during them. Still the room spinning for hours is difficult to get through. Then the hangover after is nearly as bad, because every movement feels as if another round of vertigo will strike, not to mention the light and sound sensitivities and constant off balance feeling. 

This is my life and I make the best of it, even when it means I sit on the sidelines like I did at Dublin Castle when Ralph and Colleen took a tour. I was having frequent mini spins and just being out was a struggle, but I did it and I survived. I even enjoyed myself a bit.

I hope you are spin free. 

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Traveling with Autoimmune (My Ireland Trip)

This trip was a mixture of fiascos and some good times. I started out by losing my passport in Gatwick Airport after going through the passport check. We looked everywhere, but couldn’t find it, nor had it been turned in. 

Many people have asked me how I traveled to Ireland without my passport. I went in through Belfast on EasyJet (On the Ralph and Rita Show, I said RyanAir, but that was a mistake.) Within the UK, you only need a photo ID to travel. I know I should have dealt with my passport in London, but it was a weekend with a bank holiday, so I chose to go to Ireland where all our plans were. 

Unfortunately, the stress put me in a depression and made me dizzier than usual. It is why I didn’t think about making an appointment with the embassy without prompting. I don’t know if my traveling companions noticed, because I am a good actor. (Most of us with chronic illnesses are.) Usually unless I mention it, others don’t notice.)

This is the first picture we took in Dublin. The bus from Belfast let us off in front of Madigans, so we took the opportunity to have our first Guinness in Ireland. (Why does Guinness taste better in Ireland?)

My husband likes to try to do as much as possible on a trip as possible, whereas I’d rather be more relaxed. Living with Ménière’s and Osteoarthritis has made it difficult to be on the go constantly. What is not far for Ralph may kill my feet. Plus I am out of shape due to be dizzy and unable to walk on most days. I do try to walk the dogs when I’m not dizzy. It’s a bit scary to be out by myself, not knowing if I’ll have an attack. I try not to dwell on that, but I don’t take chances on days when I am just dizzy.

I had too many mini spins (short vertigo attacks) on our Ireland trip. Even one episode in a restroom where it went on for several minutes so that I was afraid I might be having a full blown vertigo attack. Thank goodness, it was just a longer mini spin. And we were at the hotel with no plans.

We visited Dublin Castle, but I was having frequent mini spins, so didn’t go on the tour with Ralph and Colleen.

We visited Trinity College, The Book of Kells which were interesting. I loved looking at the colorful doors on the houses and business of Dublin.

The Game of Thrones tour and the Giants Causeway was interesting. I wish I didn’t have this damn disease, because I would have loved to climb those rocks. Instead I just soaked up the view. We rented a car to go to Kenmare and to see the Cliffs of Moher. Had a flat on a tiny one lane road in rural Ireland. It was too foggy to see the view at the Cliffs. We were lucky to see the road in front of us. I finally called to schedule an appointment at the US Consulate, so we had to leave the next day. I am afraid Colleen was pissed at me, but as I said the depression insulated me from the urgency of the situation. Depression is a sly beast.... People thinks it all about being sad and suicidal, but it’s much more.

Because you can’t travel to France using an emergency passport, I traveled home by myself via Calgary. My feet thanked me for it, because I didn’t get to sightsee in London or Paris. And I learned that I can travel by myself as long as I don’t stress out to cause myself to have an attack. This is where years of practice in relaxation and mindfulness comes in handy. And being prepared helps too. I set up wheelchair assistance, chew gum or suck on a hard candy on takeoff and landing, and make sure I have rescue meds, though all I have is Meclizine and it doesn’t seem as effective as it did 20 years ago.

All in all I had a great experience. It would have been better without the depression fog, but we squeezed so much into our time in Ireland. I don’t know how long this bout of depression will last, but it will not keep me down anymore than Ménière’s, Fibromyalgia or Osteoarthritis and my other junk does. 

The bottom line is to live your life, don’t let your health stop you. 

I hope you are spin free.

Love, Peace and Light! Rita