You might remember me telling you about Mr Frugal and the way that Meniere’s Disease has affected his life. Well, there’s been a development that I thought you might want to hear about because it’s made living with Vertigo, Tinnitus and Menieres Disease whole lot easier for us!
He was diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease a good few years ago now and at the time, he was told that there wasn’t very much that could be done to help him which we accepted and did our best to live with it. I’ll be honest though, it’s not been easy for him and it has had an inevitable effect on our whole family.
The reason he was diagnosed with Meniere’s Diseases was due to the fact that his hearing was getting worse, his vertigo attacks were becoming more frequent and the tinnitus was there constantly. I can’t even imagine living with one of those symptoms, let alone all three.
The Hearing Loss
A recent hearing test showed that although he could hear well in one ear, the other ear had significant hearing loss. This has meant that over the years, he’s struggled to hear a lot of what’s going on around him, especially in places that are quite noisy anyway. I often see him asking someone to repeat what they’ve said once or twice but if he still can’t hear after that he has a certain smile that he does which I know means that he’s given up trying to make out what’s been said but to anyone else, they might think he’s been rude which is so far from the truth,
A big vertigo attack comes on in seconds and he just goes pale, starts sweating massively and within minutes he’s throwing up uncontrollably. When there’s nothing left to be sick, he needs to be helped to bed where he’ll sleep for at least 4 hours to sleep it off. When he wakes up, the vertigo has usually gone but he’s left feeling lightheaded and weak. Also because he knows that the attacks often come in clusters, he’s very wary about moving too fast or doing anything for days afterwards in an attempt to prevent another attack. He does have tablets to help with the sickness but they’re only effective if he takes them quite quickly after the attack which often isn’t possible. He has smaller attacks on a daily basis where he’ll have 5-10 seconds of dizziness but even these small attacks have an impact as he never knows if they’re going to develop into a full-on attack. Living with Vertigo has been horrible for all of us, especially him!
Tinnitus is the sensation of hearing sounds inside your ear – the sounds can range from ringing, buzzing, hissing or even whistling sounds and can be intermittent or continuous with varying volumes. Mr Frugal’s tinnitus is quite loud and is pretty much continuous which I really can’t even begin to comprehend.
So, what’s changed?
A couple of months ago, I heard about some new treatment for Meniere’s Disease which involved some sort of operation that would basically have made Mr Frugal deaf in his bad ear which wouldn’t be great but would stop the rest of the crap he has to put up with. He went to the Doctors who had never heard of this treatment but did agree that they would refer him to a specialist to see what could be done.
We had the initial appointment where the Doctor performed some sort of manoeuvre on him which looked very odd – he was basically laid on a hospital bed with his head held hanging over the end of the bed at about 45 degrees downwards. They manoeuvred him through various different positions which made him feel a little dizzy as they were doing it but at the end, they said that should help massively with his vertigo. You can see what I mean about the procedure here.
He was then fitted for a hearing aid which he was told would not only help his hearing but would also help with the tinnitus which would honestly be life-changing for him! Unfortunately, it was a 2-3 month’s wait for his hearing aid to arrive so we went away that day feeling cautiously optimistic and a little confused about the procedure he’d just been through.
Since that time, he’s had just one mini vertigo attack and no major ones which is just amazing news but it’s too soon to tell if the procedure was able to help on a permanent basis and with the bigger attacks as he’s gone this long without having the debilitating kind of attack before in the past. It’s a brilliant sign though that the smaller attacks seem to have stopped though so we’re feeling pretty good about that.
We finally got called back to get the hearing aid fitted last week and it’s had an instant effect on his hearing and therefore, his life as a whole. Within minutes it was apparent that he could hear a lot better although it’s a bit difficult right now as his brain is used to not hearing anything from one ear so it’s having to be retrained which can take a few weeks apparently. Right now he’s hearing a lot of background noise which is apparently because he’s so focused on thinking about it with it being new – it takes a few weeks for that to stop so we’ve been told.
The tinnitus has already been drastically reduced and that should get better from what we’ve been told, as his brain gets used to hearing from both sides now, it will start to tune out the tinnitus which will always be there but won’t be something that he’ll notice very much at all hopefully.
He’s been given exercises to do to centre his balance better and they recommended something like Tai chi or Pilates but I highly doubt that’s going to happen. All in all, though, it’s looking good so keep your fingers crossed for us!
Don’t miss out on future posts like this – receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address here and hitting subscribe. You can also follow me on Twitter, BlogLovin or Networked Blogs and I’d love to see you over on my Facebook page and on Instagram