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Old 04-01-2014, 08:38 AM
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Ayatollahgondola Ayatollahgondola is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2009
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A Life Interrupted

Many months ago, I let it be known that I had became ill, and that it was a somewhat life altering illness. I also mentioned that I was withholding the information regarding this malady because I am normally a street activist, and that I was a little fearful making my weaknesses public could increase the chance that they might be taken advantage of in situations where passions run high, and personal combat surfaced. I have changed my attitude about this now, partially because I've gained some footing on my problem and have felt a little better lately, and also because if people don't know what's ailing you, it's hard for them to be of any help when you need it. And I may need it, because while I'm not cured by any means, I'm not too sick to just hang up my credentials for good, and sitting here while our country gets ravaged by corrupt politicians and greedy, power lusting entities as opposed to doing something about it while I still can is working against my health by way of stress and anxiety.

I'll start with the diagnosis. The medical establishment's diagnosis. (More on why I clarify this later).
Meniere's Disease.
It's been around for a century or more. It's a condition that affects the inner ear (balance and perception), hearing, and eye to balance coordination. Those are the primary parts of the body that are affected according to the medical establishment. But many of us diagnosed with Meniere's are reporting a wider and commonly occurring range of symptoms. Meniere's Disease is more a consistent set of circumstances as a diagnosis than anything else. They rule out other associated causes such as tumors, syphillis, and anemia. They don't know what causes it, and there's no cure at this time. When I mention no cause, I should say they do know some reasons for some of the symptoms, but don't know what propels that in the first place. Tiny capillaries in the inner ear burst, and those are the things that control your balance, and the nerves they service are well connected to those that feed the hearing information into your brain. The medical establishment reports the following consistencies:
Intermittent or constant hearing loss ranging from mild to severe
Tinnitus ranging from mild to severe
Vertigo ranging from mild to severe
Loss of balance ranging from mild to severe
Eye to balance coordination ranging from mild to severe
Sound sensitivity ranging from mild to severe
Vomiting during episodic recurrences
Fatigue during or after episodic recurrences
Hearing loss from mild to severe, and ranging from temporary to permanent

I've had all of this, and still have some. The vertigo was some of the worst, as that knocks you down hard. I couldn't walk or even stand upright during what they call "episodes". It is often referred to as the falling sickness from years past. Even laying doesn't relieve it, nor does crawling, moaning, or anything that I've tried. These bouts with vertigo started out nearly unnoticed, but as time passed, A big one hit, and then the episodes escalated in frequency, duration, and scale. During these episodes, the hearing also takes a hit and damage occurs that you either recover from or not. In short, I had 30 minute episodes of vertigo say twice a week and they kept escalating to hours long episodes twice a day. I suffered an intense one while I was driving the truck with a trailer behind me on my way to do a job in Santa Rosa one day, while I was on the Yolo Causeway no less, with no place to stop and extreme difficulty staying in my lane. Not only was this the first time I had it happen while I drove, but it was the first time I had two episodes in one day. It happened on my way home from the job too, and fortunately I was able to make it to my daughter's workplace just south of there and she took care of me until I could drive again. That caused me to stop driving any distance and I realized I could not take on any significant work for now. It was a wise choice too, because escalate it did. My wife would come home and find me on the floor where I may have been for hours, because movement during severe vertigo makes it worse. She'd wake up in the night or wee hours of the morning to find me crawling to the bathroom so as not to vomit all over our bed or carpet. And unfortunately, the poor gal was helpless to do anything for me besides facilitate my move between spots of misery. In addition, she had to try and communicate with me while I couldn't hear much of anything

They give drugs like Valium and Antivert to try and buffer the vertigo, but by the time you notice it, you should have already have taken the meds. They prescribe diuretics as a primary attempt to prevent it, but that has left a lot of us with less than desirable results. Supposedly by reducing your body's ability to retain water will prevent the little capillaries from bursting, but this doesn't seem to work for a very large portion of us, and brings side effects that can actually trigger the episodes. Surgical procedures are next, and that usually leaves you deaf, and may only lead to a reduction in episodes, but not stop them. There's not a lot of help on this front from the medical establishment at this time

The likelihood is, that Meniere's disease has more than one cause. From what I've been reading, I'd have to believe that all of us who have the symptoms didn't get it the same way. And I would also have to deduce that all of us don't have all the exact same symptoms, with the exception to the major ones involving the balance and the hearing loss. So that brings us to the hearing loss first. I have, shall we say, significant hearing loss now. And it's a loss that I couldn't afford. I was already completely deaf in the right side from a viral infection back in 1989. That wasn't at all related what's happening now, but having two ears and losing the hearing partially or completely in just one, is not as bad as losing partial hearing in the only good one you have. At this point, I still have some hearing, but things like watching a movie and carrying on conversations in less than ideal conditions are pretty tough. At this time, I have decided to learn sign language while I still have some hearing left. It might make it easier to learn. While before I had perfect hearing in the one good ear, a hearing aid wouldn't help the bad one because the nerves were a total loss. But now a hearing aid in the impaired ear is probably going to help

Getting back to the cause and symptoms, I mentioned that all of us were not reporting the exact same effects and symptoms. There's a culture of sufferer's out there who have pooled our resources and are beginning to see some similarities which have seemingly led to help. Meniere's has more than one associated driver. Soldiers have been diagnosed with it after being nearly blown to death by explosives, but people not having been the victim of such a tragedy get the same symptoms. What many of us are finding is successes by changing diet. Now doctors will say that too, but only so far as salt is concerned. They tell you to eliminate all salt intake. But we are finding by practical experience, that it is linked to your digestive tract in some form, and that salt is just a minor player. I remember telling my doctor that this thing started out in my stomach, but they treat that as two different issues as opposed to one, and no matter what I said, they weren't listening to me about that, until I got a bit forceful about it. I wasn't eating, and lost the desire to drink too, and food was moving through my system at what seemed a geologic pace. My stomach always felt swollen, acidic, and bubbly. Unfortunately the doctors tend to believe that is a result of the Menier's Disease as opposed to the cause. Not that vertigo wouldn't make you sick, it sure can, but I was only a little sick at first and had no real vertigo, and the hearing loss was so minor as to be an annoyance. The GI tract problem was first. Anyway, the short story here is, I started a log of my daily intake, and read up on anything that looked like a significant link. Over the past two months I have been able to get my GI tract on track a whole lot better than it's been in a year, and my symptoms of Meniere's have planed out significantly. I'm still pretty deaf, but the damage during the bad period is likely permanent. Those are tough nerves to heal, which I learned when I lost the first ear decades ago. But the vertigo has subsided. It's pretty minor at this point, and I feel some strength returning. Three months ago I was unable to work a whole week, and sometimes a whole day. I wasn't sleeping a whole night for waking up dizzy and vomiting. When those episodes happen, you are left drained of energy so much that your facial muscles would droop. Now I'm able to perform exercises every day to the tune of 150 plus windmills, 40 push-ups, 40 sit-ups, 50 deep knee bends, 40 leg lifts and more. I previously had this internal strength I used to tap into to move equipment that weighed as much or more as a car. I lost that, but I think it might return now. The recovery has not been easy, as I had to pay a lot of attention to what I eat, and give up a lot more than I already have. It's hard, and takes will power to beat hell, however that vertigo gives you one hell of an incentive.

I'm not cured by any means. And as some stories go, people have reported getting better for years and having it resurface doubly so. I'm not ruling anything out, but I see an unmistakable connection to my Meniere's symptoms and my GI tract improvement. I still have some balance issues that must be planned around, as there is still the eye to balance thing that can trigger vertigo, and some positions that are uncomfortable in that regard. Maybe they get better, and maybe no, but I'm more confident now about venturing out alone again, and soon I'll be driving truck and trailer. This malady has left my business, what was already left of it anyway, in shambles. As many people know, my wife had to have major heart surgery right in the middle of my own problems. Fortunately the worst of my suffering was not during the worst of hers, as I was able to take care of her while she convalesced, and then she was strong enough to care for me while I couldn't walk, or cook, or even eat. But I feel hopeful about the future at this point, and feel the need to resume some battle position here at Save Our State. Life is short and you have to fight when you're able, because it's even harder to do when you're dead or dying.

Keep fighting, and keep watch for our efforts out there. We'll be back


Davi Rodrigues
AKA AyatollahGondola

Last edited by admin; 04-01-2014 at 09:10 AM.
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