Yet again, a gif has been made to perfectly match my life. I’m Will Smith up there.
Adulting is hard.
I have been trying to decide if I’m writing and sharing this part of my life or not. I keep going back and forth for fear that people will be like, “OH MY GOSH STOP WHINING. DEAL WITH IT AND MOVE ON.” But what I’m about to tell you isn’t that easy for me. I know I’ll get there eventually, but for now, I’m a hot hot emotional and physical mess. I’m the person who has to talk about my pain, issues, struggle, worries, etc. I HAVE TO talk about it or I’ll explode. The problem with this is that a loooot of people are the exact opposite. When you’re someone like me, you hear things like, “You’re always sick. There’s always something wrong with you.” What that immediately does to my brain/heart is make me feel like I can’t ever say out loud what I’m struggling with because I’ll be seen as the overly negative girl who always complains. If you can’t complain/vent/express yourself to family and friends, then who can you talk to? Doesn’t that seem depressing? That’s my current struggle. I’m always telling myself, “Don’t tell anyone how you feel. Keep it inside. Stop whining. Stop complaining. No one wants to hear about your problems or pain. You’re so negative. Get it together. Someone has it worse than you. You’re being a baby. Change your attitude.”
Well, I’m here to say that I have tried to stay quiet and it makes me feel dead inside. I get angry and sad and depressed when I feel like I can’t talk about anything I’m feeling. I don’t need it to be every conversation I have with someone, that would be too much, but when it’s a part of my life, it’s going to come up in conversations with people. Blah. I’ll figure it out someday, but for now, I’m reeeeally trying to not talk about it in person, but I chose to write about it here, in my safe space, because writing seems to help me process things and find solutions. Also, if you don’t want to hear about it, you have the choice to not read this blog post…versus when people put their whole lives on Facebook statuses and you have to see it every. damn. day. Oh, crap–hopefully you guys don’t feel that way about me! Hold on, let me now overthink that for a minute in true Carmen fashion…
Holy Hannah…GET TO THE POINT, CARMEN…..
Okay, so if you have been around me or reading my social media posts (that are probably too negative and in your face…sorry about that) in the last few years, you’ll probably remember that “there’s always something wrong with me” and the fun part is the doctors always said, “tests came back totally normal.” That’s when I would cry and say, “BUT SOMETHING IS WRONG, I KNOW IT. THIS ISN’T NORMAL.”
I have 2 major issues that I’ve dealt with my whole life and both involve my head.
1. I’m ALWAYS dizzy, lightheaded, sick after every meal, migraines almost daily and I always feel like I have to lay down.
2. I have insane pressure on the back of my head if I ever try to lay my head down or basically push on it in anyway. It will feel like someone is crushing my head. Basically, I haven’t been able to lay flat on the back of my head on a pillow for longer than a few seconds without discomfort for like…17 years? It wasn’t always this bad, but has gotten progressively worse the last few years. I’m at the point that laying my head back to rest on the cushion when I’m sitting on the couch, or on the head rest in a car, or on a pillow in bed, is just too much for me after a few seconds. I stopped getting massages and doing things that require me to lay on my back because when I get up, it takes sometimes 5 min or so to get my head back to normal and for the dizziness to go away enough that I can walk away comfortably, although I’ll feel the pressure on the back of my head for the next half hour or so.
More recently, I have started having issues with my ears. I purposely didn’t tell anyone because, again, there’s “always something wrong with me.” I didn’t want to add anything to the list.
For about 6 months or so I’ve noticed the ringing in my ears getting louder and louder and it is sooo annoying. I also will have times when all of a sudden, my right ear gets right funky with hearing. It will suddenly start to ring lightly, but then it’s like I snapped my fingers and everything in my right ear is muffled. It’ll sound like I’m a mile away from everyone on that side of my head. I can still hear, but it’s sooo muffled. It’s weird. That will last for sometimes a few minutes or even a day or two. Once I can hear normally in that ear again, it’s like sunshine coming out after a storm. I love it!
In April, my left ear started feeling like it was full of water. IT DRIVES ME INSANE AND RARELY EVER GOES AWAY. No matter what I do, the feeling won’t go away. I tried home remedies, but it always felt like it needed to pop or clear, and would allllmost get there, but then it wouldn’t pop. The worst is that if I move my head at all, I will feel that “water must be in my ear” feeling, so ya know…moving is annoying now. Haha.
Lastly, the newest ear thingy I have is the “heartbeat in my ears” sound. You know when you use a doppler to hear a baby’s heartbeat when you’re pregnant and it’s like a “whooshing” sound? *WHOOSH WHOOSH WHOOSH* — well, that’s what I hear every day now. It’s not all day long, but sometimes it lasts for quite a while and it’s on and off all day. The worst for me is when I’m laying in bed. It gets so intense and loud in my head that I feel like I might go crazy because it’s like my entire head is pulsating. BUT the good news is that I thought I was actually crazy and that it wasn’t really happening… until trusty Google showed me it was a real thing and then I went to my doctor for help. Yay for not being crazy…unless you count the fact that I’m actually sort of clinically crazy…but that’s for another post.
So, a few days ago, an old FB post popped up in my memories from 2 years ago. This is exactly how I felt so often and no one ever had an answer…until now. When I saw this post after talking to the doctor, I cried. FINALLY A CONNECTION!
Okay, so, connect all the dots with the issues I listed above, then add in all these new ears problems…and the doctor finally had an answer for me…
I have Meniere’s Disease.
Yayyy! Wait, no, not yay? I mean…Yay, I have an answer, but WHAT THE? I HAVE A DISEASE?! Insert excessive Googling. It makes sense, though. I’ve dealt with all sorts of weird symptoms for years and never knew why it was happening, such as–
-Sometimes when I get up from bed to walk to the bathroom, I can’t for the life of me walk in a straight line. No matter how hard I try, I end up walking to the left or the right.
-A few weeks ago, I was standing in my bathroom getting ready at the mirror and out of nowhere, I fell over. No warning, just fell backwards, but luckily Josh was there to catch me.
-I am chronically dizzy or light-headed and especially after meals.
-I have phases when I feel like I need to lay down just about every day because my head just “doesn’t feel right.”
-Fatigue, brain fog, nausea, eye pain, and the list goes on.
Okay, now compare that list to the list below that I found when I was Googling Meniere’s – yes, I Google everything.
I FINALLY HAVE ANSWERS! I’M NOT CRAZY! I’M NOT A HYPOCHONDRIAC!
I have cried happy tears and sad tears. I’m so grateful for answers, but also really stressed about the reality of it all.
So, now what? Let me tell you in the form of David gifs…my second language.
Well, there’s no cure.
That’s when my stank face appeared when the doctor told me that. Excuse me? Google it. I think you’re wrong, Doctor man.
Most people who have this super fun disease will lose their hearing. That will come in handy when I no longer want to hear people speaking to me.
Now, let’s talk treatment. Here’s a summary of my conversation with my doctor.
Dr: So, there’s no cure, but there is a treatment that could help.
Me: What’s that? Don’t tell me to change my diet.
Dr: Well, it’s a very very low sodium diet. Basically no salt.
Me: Umm, yeah, sooo do you want me to be unhappy for the rest of my life? I’m not joking. I love salt. I put salt on salt. No. Nope. I can’t do it.
I already have a huge list of foods that make me sick in different ways that I need to avoid, but then add LIMITED SALT/SODIUM to that list and if I’m being honest, it makes me want to quit altogether. I quit food.
I haven’t really been eating much this last week. I usually wait until 5 or 6pm and then force myself to eat and then get sick.
I’m a terribly picky eater for a “healthy” diet because I hate vegetables. I know this is entirely a ME problem and I need to magically change my taste buds. It just also makes it pretty difficult when everything else in the food world seems to make me sick.
The main foods I can’t eat right now are:
-wheat/flour/spelt/rye (which means any breaded meat as well)
-peppers, romaine lettuce
-strawberries, grapes, peaches, mangoes
-ham (and most meats if they have seasonings/sauce)
It’s just so hard for me to eat normally now. Do you know how many things have sugar and wheat/flour and milk in them?! Eating salty/sodium-filled foods makes me dizzy within minutes, but you can guess how many times I stubbornly ate an entire bag of Doritos despite knowing what would happen afterwards. I’m a smart one.
Anyway, if you’re still reading through all this negativity, you’re a trooper. I know I’ll get it down after a while, but making a huge lifestyle change is terrifying to me. It’s going to affect my social life which sadly is 99% food-based. HA!
So, here’s my request, can I have a request?– if you have recipes for meals that are sugar free, wheat/flour free (or just gluten free), pepper free, milk free, and very low sodium…send them my way!!!
I know I can do this, I’m just reeeeeally struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel at this point. I’m a Negative Nancy. Debbie Downer. Cranky Karen. It won’t last forever. I’ll snap out of it soon.
BRING ON ALL THE POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS AND VISION BOARDS AND SELF-HELP BOOKS!
So, there ya go…there’s the update on my hot mess health.
Oh yeah, and if you’re wondering about the pressure in my head thing– I am now on the waiting list for a neurologist for all the head problems. Funny thing is, Meniere’s is treated by a neurologist more so than an Ear, Nose, Throat doctor. I also have another MRI on Halloween day to confirm if the last MRI that showed issues with blood flow in my brain is accurate, or if it was just a blob on the MRI, which can happen sometimes. I’m REAALLLLLY hoping that there’s a connection between the back of my head issues and the Meniere’s disease, so that they can magically both be fixed! Here’s to hoping!