This is somewhat of a vent/rant...
Since 1998, I have been diagnosed with Meniere's Disease. This disease affects balance/equillibrium and hearing; is associated with tinnitus, brain fog and has episodes of vertigo and vomiting. It is not an 'obvious" illness, although sometimes I wish I could break out in day-glo orange polka dots or something, to indicate that I was ill!!
Most individuals do not understand what vertigo truly is, especially not from the perspective of the one suffering. Most have experienced flu or hangover type dizziness with the room spinning, etc. So they may feel they understand when I say I have vertigo. This is true, in part. Vertigo, at least in my personal perspective, is when the room spins one direction and I spin another. Kinda like a carousel on top of a carousel spinning in opposite directions!
Then, to this "fun" state, add in vomiting, possibly diarrhea (everything gets involved), tinnitus, and at the same time, reduced hearing and inner ear pressure, and you have some idea. This may last from a few hours to, in various degrees, days to weeks.
I have what I call "daily Dizzies". Not really vertigo, but a feeling similar to being on a boat, everything is just...off... I have tinnitus, hearing loss and ear pressure daily.
I require an electronic stethoscope at work and have a hearing aid. These two things really allow me to work and not worry about what I may not be hearing.
Meniere's disease may affect one ear, or both. My variety of Meniere's has affected both ears. I have had bilateral endolymphatic sac decompression surgery in the attempt to reduce the symptoms enough to allow me to continue working. This has been moderately successful. Meniere's can be very light and sporadic or may result in total disability. It affects everyone differently and this increases the difficulty with others in understanding. Medications may be taken to help and they may work differently on different people. I take meclizine PRN, and have taken valium or ativan at times in the past. I don't like the affect that valium, etc., has on me at work, so I don't take it. I also take HCTZ to help lower the pressure in the inner ear/fluid levels.
Those around me have difficulty understanding, as I don't "look" ill (unless I am green/vomiting). I fall often, or barely keep from it; I have trouble hearing and the hearing loss may vary daily. The tinnitus at times is so loud I can barely hear over it. The brain fog is not fun and coupled with becoming older, it can create havoc at times.
Because my balance is shot, I kinda use my eyes to help with balance and by the end of the day my eyes are tired and my balance is worse and I am dizzier and just wanna go to bed, but NOPE... now the family/homelife begins and no rest for me! I still don't "look" ill and its hard for my family to understand, too.
I know that Meniere's will not kill me, unless I get dizzy and fall off something, so I feel bad about complaining about it, when there are far worse, more deadly diseases out there. I just would like understanding sometimes when I am dizzy, my hearing is shot, the timmitus is drowning out the world and I just wanna go to bed!
Enough ranting/venting, and in closing I just want to encourage you to take a different "look" at the invisible illnesses, just cause you can't see it, don't mean it isn't there!!
Thank you for listening.......MDS1