A Year Ago Today

  
Happy Wednesday Y’all!

I’m in the air, heading back from Cedar Rapids, IA, where I pulled off a surprise visit to see my family!  We had a blast during my stay and it was a blessing to be able to spend time with my sister, her hubby, my nieces, nephew and my parents.  Leaving is always the hardest part! 

Taking a last minute trip across the country is not something that “Aunt Missy” would typically do.  I’m a planner by nature so spontaneous does not typically reside in my vocabulary. When the idea popped in my  head the day before I left (yes, I said the day before!), I shared it outloud with my coworkers and friends. Immediately, they all encouraged me to “GO”…”Just do it Missy”…. “you only live once”…  That last statement so true and profound. Why you ask? Because it’s true! And because on June 17, 2014, I recieved the most unwelcomed surprise of my life that changed me…and changed my life forever.  This surprise humbled me and made me realize “you only live once”! 

On this day last year, it was a sunny, humid Tuesday.  Same as today. I will never forget how I felt that day. All day… My ear felt full, I couldn’t get it to equalize and I felt like I had been sitting on a boat and couldn’t get my “land legs”. At work I kept commenting that it was bothering me, but I had no clue as to what was about to happen to me.  

Late afternoon, I drove my boyfriend to the airport and decided to go home and lie down after since I wasn’t feeling the best.  Which is not like me as I’m never still long enough to nap.  I slept several hours that afternoon and awoke to the most out of control feeling of my  life.  Something that I never want to relive.  Ever. Again.  

When I woke up, naturally I needed to use the restroom.  So I hopped up from the couch, but only to find myself immedately back on the floor.  As I tried to get up and walk, I continued to fall.  I would go side-to-side as if on a boat that was severely rocking.  I couldn’t get my balance, I would continue to fall to the ground.  I crawled back to my couch trying not to panic.  I decided to phone my mother who lived a half hour away to let her know what was happening.  She asked if I wanted her to leave immediately to come to me and the independent side of me said “No, I’ll try again and text you”.  Dumb move.  As I tried to make my way back to the restroom, I began to have drop attacks.  I couldn’t recover from them, I couldn’t walk.  They continued. It was worse than any roller coaster ride or drunk anyone could be on.  There was no control.  Once again, I managed to crawl back to my phone to call my mother.  The first words out of my mouth were not pleasant. Uncontrollable vomit.  And it wasn’t stopping.  The hardwood floors were moving like escalators, they wouldn’t stop.  My house was rocking and spinning, it wouldn’t stop.  And my mother arrived to find me hanging over the back of my sofa with vomit everywhere.  I was physically debilitated and there was no relief in sight.  

Mom was so patient and worked to get me in a position that would allow me to stop spinning temporarily.  That position was holding my head to the left side as my right side was the problem.   I had slept on the right side and it was the side that had bothered me all day.   If I moved my head even slightly right or left I was uncontrollably vomitting.  It was like living a nightmare that I’ll never forget for the rest of my life.  One that I hoped was only temporary and I would never experience again.  

After 12 hours of vomitting off and on and not being able to keep any medicine in my system, my mother gave me two options:  1) Ambulance ride (Ummm heck no. I’m not riding on my back flat in an ambulance) or 2) She would drive me to the hospital with my trash can in tow. But that would require me walking, which wasn’t working for me.  I chose number two.  My sweet Mom helped dress me and somehow got me to that car.  

Y’all!! I know you’re thinking “oh, how sweet”…and it was! But it was SO embarrassing.  As a 36 year old woman, having to have someone help you to the bathroom, dress you, help you walk was an extremely humbling experience.  Man or woman, having to depend on someone else for simple, daily things while debilitated is gut wrenching. 

When we arrived to the hospital, I immediately received great care.  The physician got me pumped full of meds and helped me  to focus and work through the vertigo. He shared with my Mom that my ears were full of fluid and he wasn’t sure if I had acute laybrinthitis or something more.  He put me on a driving ban for a few days and let her know that I would need care as my balance had suffered.  Once again, forcing me to depend on others. For an independant woman it’s not only physically crippling but also emotionally. 

I followed the doctor’s orders and the medications afforded me good rest.  The following morning I woke up thinking all will be better.  But, not so much….. My balance was terrible, I was hardly mobile.  When I made it downstairs, my mom began talking to me.  As she continued to talk, I realized something that set me into panic mode yet again….  I couldn’t hear her!!  I mean I could hear her….but I couldn’t hear her.  My right ear was blocked, there was no sound. I felt completely deaf in that ear.  The nightmare continued… 

After a month on steriods and multiple hearing tests, my hearing did not improve.  I was referred to a phenomenal ENT but everything he was recommending was not working.  I became increasingly frustrated, scared, nervous as to if this was going to continue to happen over and over, and worried that my hearing would never return again.  I was becoming increasingly frustrated and depressed.  I wasn’t Missy at all.  

After months of research and doctor visits, I had pretty much diagnosed myself but was in denial that it could be. If I didn’t have labryinthitis and my hearing wasn’t improving, all signs pointed to Meniere’s Disease. And there was not one.good.thing. about this disease. The blogs were depressing, the ENT’s are not as familiar with the disease, family doctors had no clue and worst of all, the words:  No Cure.  The words continued: unknown causes, unknown triggers, unknown treatments and the question of if existing treatments truly work.  There were many unknowns. The depression slowly continued take over. 

After inquiring on Facebook as to if anyone had experienced or heard of this disease, I received a recommendation to a specialist in Raleigh, NC.  Fortunately, this specialist visits Greenville, SC once a month where I happen to reside and decided to accept me as new patient. My first visit was August 8, 2014, almost two months after my initial episode. Upon arrival, I felt extremely nervous that he would think I was crazy. I felt no one understood. And this doctor will think, “Here’s another patient diagnosing herself via the interwebs”! I felt irritable and angry that I had to be there and then suddenly it hit me… “Missy, you wouldn’t be here, in this place, in this specialist’s office, if God did not intend for you to be here”. A sense of peace came over me and I felt at ease.  And then the doc walks in to introduce himself and he immediately announces that I have Meniere’s Disease. Ohhh boy, it has been confirmed.  It’s official. Like official, official. And not just in one ear but both ears. I’m bilateral. No more calm.  

My life that day, once again, changed forever.  I would be living with this debilitating, incurable, and unpredictable disease for the rest of my life.

And here I am, one year later, sharing my long and very personal story with you. And as I reflect over this year of doubt, fear, worry, and change, I can confirm with you the following: 

  • God is GREAT and HE is the GREAT Physician
  • Life is truly short and you only live once.  Make the best of it and be spontaneous!
  • I don’t care about the small stuff that I did before or what other people think of me
  • I will invest in relationships that are good and healthy
  • I will be more empathetic to others in need
  • I will serve others 
  • Money is not everything. God provides all that you need
  • I will continue to be obedient to the diet and treatment course
  • I will continue to invest in my health. We ALL should be aware of what we put in our bodies
  • REST is everything
  • Managing your stress and getting rid of any stressors is key (Tough but necessary)
  • Spending quiet time daily in the Bible and with The Father has helped to change my perspective on life and my circumstances
  • It is important to find genuine friends that are a strong support system. They empathize not sympathize – BIG DIFFERENCE
  • That you have to love life and everything you do – Truly LOVE it!
  • Embrace your circumstances and take it all in… In one, big, giant inhale! 
  • Breathe in life and love your many blessings… even your circumstances are gifts! 

I can confirm that this week was one of the best weeks and gifts in my life… a simple, last minute trip to Iowa with family!  One year ago today changed me….. but ultimately, for the better! 

Spin Ya’ Later Y’all,

ūüĆÄThe.Dizzy.Chick.ūüĆÄ

What is Meniere’s Disease & How It’s Impacted My Life

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Happy Sunny Sunday in the South Ya’ll!

It’s an absolutely gorgeous Sabbath in South Carolina and I plan to soak up every bit of it! So thankful for the sun after a gloomy week filled with chaos and significant Meniere’s symptoms. Which have now so kindly introduced themselves almost daily to my left ear (blah!… more like $%&*#!!!). The struggle is REAL y’all… but I’m not giving up the fight!

This morning after our Pastor’s service I was thinking about Grace and how God carries us through the struggles in our lives. This disease has been no different and I try to remind myself that there is purpose for my pain. Some days I get angry, some days I’m depressed, some days I yell, sometimes I don’t like myself or anyone. Just keeping it real here…. I feel like no one understands.. NO ONE! But today I was reminded how very wrong that I am. God cares. God knows. God loves me and his GRACE will CARRY ME through the days ahead.

For example, yesterday (another gorgeous day in the South), I decided to give running a try again. I was anxious, fearing that I would have vertigo half way through, or that I would lose my balance and fall in the road or that I would simply not have the mental stamina to make it through. I muscled through the emotions of never trying again OR…I could pray, lace up my shoes and hit the pavement (figuratively of course, not literally!). Finding my strong, I chose the latter! And I’m proud to share with you all that I ran 3.2 miles without stopping and was beyond thankful to have God’s love, strength and grace to carry me through every “erratic heart pounding” beat of the way! That’s right y’all!!! My heart rate was ALL jacked up and through the roof! But nothing could take away the fact that I had just completed a task that seemed defeating earlier in a week of grueling headaches, high pitched ear ringing, prednisone, sleepless nights, stress and what feels like more hearing loss. Post run, I acquired what was close to becoming a full blown Migraine. But nothing could take away the confidence that I gained by trying. That “I can do this”, one step at a time….

Many ask what is Meniere’s Disease? And then typically follow it with “I’ve never heard of that before” … Well you’re in great company because until it left me debilitated for days, brought me the joys of tinnitus, lack of balance and vertigo (sarcasm of course) and ultimately hearing loss, I had never heard of it either. It’s often hard to explain the impact it has made on my life because it’s an “invisible” disease. People can’t look at me and see the suffering. But, if they could look in my head, there’s an uninvited party happening and it never stops! It’s made an impact on me physically yes, but even more so, emotionally. The self confidence to keep working at things that were once somewhat easy for me, some days, feel utterly impossible.

In an effort to help others understand this disease and this dizzy chick’s head a little more, I decided to do some research to help unpack in basic terms Meniere’s Disease and how it impacts others daily. My hope is to bring more awareness to this often misdiagnosed disease that if left untreated, can lead to a debilitated life. So in short, here goes!

M√©¬∑ni√®re’s dis¬∑ease
ňĆmńĀnňąyerz d…ôňĆzńďz/
noun
a disease of unknown cause affecting the membranous labyrinth of the ear, causing progressive deafness and attacks of tinnitus and vertigo.

Of course!!! My luck, I would have a disease of the “unknown”! A girl that struggles with wanting to KNOW! Ha ha! I see what you did there God (#funnynotfunny … but truth!). Yup, a girl of little faith sometimes, now has to fully trust the Great Physician and medical practitioners. Lesson learned so far, he hasn’t let me down yet!

But moving on…. The NIDCD (The National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders) helps break it down in a little more detail:

What is Ménière’s disease?

Ménière’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear that causes severe dizziness (vertigo), ringing in the ears (tinnitus), hearing loss, and a feeling of fullness or congestion in the ear. Ménière’s disease usually affects only one ear.

Attacks of dizziness may come on suddenly or after a short period of tinnitus or muffled hearing. Some people will have single attacks of dizziness separated by long periods of time. Others may experience many attacks closer together over a number of days. Some people with M√©ni√®re‚Äôs disease have vertigo so extreme that they lose their balance and fall. These episodes are called ‚Äúdrop attacks.‚ÄĚ

What causes the symptoms of Ménière’s disease?

The symptoms of Ménière’s disease are caused by the buildup of fluid in the compartments of the inner ear, called the labyrinth. The labyrinth contains the organs of balance (the semicircular canals and otolithic organs) and of hearing (the cochlea). It has two sections: the bony labyrinth and the membranous labyrinth. The membranous labyrinth is filled with a fluid called endolymph that, in the balance organs, stimulates receptors as the body moves. The receptors then send signals to the brain about the body’s position and movement. In the cochlea, fluid is compressed in response to sound vibrations, which stimulates sensory cells that send signals to the brain.

In Ménière’s disease, the endolymph buildup in the labyrinth interferes with the normal balance and hearing signals between the inner ear and the brain. This abnormality causes vertigo and other symptoms of Ménière’s disease.

Why do people get Ménière’s disease?

Many theories exist about what happens to cause Ménière’s disease, but no definite answers are available. Some researchers think that Ménière’s disease is the result of constrictions in blood vessels similar to those that cause migraine headaches. Others think Ménière’s disease could be a consequence of viral infections, allergies, or autoimmune reactions. Because Ménière’s disease appears to run in families, it could also be the result of genetic variations that cause abnormalities in the volume or regulation of endolymph fluid.

How is Ménière’s disease treated?

Ménière’s disease does not have a cure yet, but your doctor might recommend some of the treatments below to help you cope with the condition.

Medications: The most disabling symptom of an attack of Ménière’s disease is dizziness. Prescription drugs such as meclizine, diazepam, glycopyrrolate, and lorazepam can help relieve dizziness and shorten the attack.

Salt restriction and diuretics: Limiting dietary salt and taking diuretics (water pills) help some people control dizziness by reducing the amount of fluid the body retains, which may help lower fluid volume and pressure in the inner ear.

Other dietary and behavioral changes: Some people claim that caffeine, chocolate, and alcohol make their symptoms worse and either avoid or limit them in their diet. Not smoking also may help lessen the symptoms.

Cognitive therapy: Cognitive therapy is a type of talk therapy that helps people focus on how they interpret and react to life experiences. Some people find that cognitive therapy helps them cope better with the unexpected nature of attacks and reduces their anxiety about future attacks.

Injections: Injecting the antibiotic gentamicin into the middle ear helps control vertigo but significantly raises the risk of hearing loss because gentamicin can damage the microscopic hair cells in the inner ear that help us hear. Some doctors inject a corticosteroid instead (i.e. dexamethasone) which often helps reduce dizziness and has no risk of hearing loss.

Pressure pulse treatment: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a device for Ménière’s disease that fits into the outer ear and delivers intermittent air pressure pulses to the middle ear. The air pressure pulses appear to act on endolymph fluid to prevent dizziness.

Surgery: Surgery may be recommended when all other treatments have failed to relieve dizziness. Some surgical procedures are performed on the endolymphatic sac to decompress it. Another possible surgery is to cut the vestibular nerve, although this occurs less frequently.
Alternative medicine. Although scientists have studied the use of some alternative medical therapies in Ménière’s disease treatment, there is still no evidence to show the effectiveness of such therapies as acupuncture or acupressure, tai chi, or herbal supplements such as gingko biloba, niacin, or ginger root. Be sure to tell your doctor if you are using alternative therapies, since they sometimes can impact the effectiveness or safety of conventional medicines.

What research about Ménière’s disease is being done?

Insights into the biological mechanisms in the inner ear that cause Ménière’s disease will guide scientists as they develop preventive strategies and more effective treatment. The NIDCD is supporting scientific research across the country that is:

Determining the most effective dose of gentamicin with the least amount of risk for hearing loss. Developing an in-ear device that uses a programmable microfluid pump (the size of a computer chip) to precisely deliver vertigo-relieving drugs to the inner ear. Studying the relationship between endolymph volume and inner ear function to determine how much endolymph is ‚Äútoo much.‚ÄĚ Researchers are hoping to develop methods for manipulating inner ear fluids and treatments that could lower endolymph volume and reduce or eliminate dizziness.

Resource credit goes to: http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/balance/pages/meniere.aspx

Now that you’ve learned more about Meniere’s Disease than you EVER wanted to (if you finished reading and made it to this part), you can imagine the struggle of completing many tasks of daily life. But please note… MY purpose is NOT that you will feel sorry for me, but rather to share my story and how it’s humanly possible to not give up no matter your struggle. That’s right, with the best attitude you can muster, the Grace of God on your side, and paying attention to your body’s needs, you can find the strength to get back out there and hit the pavement again. It may not be today, but just try one thing new each day….small steps are STEPS! Just like living with a balance disorder but not letting fear keep me from trying to run again, we have to keep the hope together!

For my closest friends and family that wanted to better understand this disease, I hope this helps! Your love, support and encouragement means everything to this dizzy chick! I’m grateful for each of you (you know who you are!) ūüėė

Hope your Sunday is blessed!

Spin Ya’ Later Y’all!
ūüĆÄThe.Dizzy.Chick.ūüĆÄ

Deafening Silence

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Deafening Silence,¬†an idiom: a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words.¬† You’ve heard this phrase¬†before and let’s face it, we’ve all felt¬†deafening silence¬†at¬†multiple points in our lives.¬†¬†For example, that¬†uncomfortable silence¬†or lack of response when you say something stupid and the response is utter silence. Or…that awkward moment in which someone just stares and leaves you to ponder the reason you even shared what your brain deemed appropriate in that moment. YUP! We‚Äôve all been there!¬†The phrase ‚Äúdeafening silence‚ÄĚ hints at a bit of psychological truth. It‚Äôs the lack of response that reveals something significant such as disapproval, that ‚Äúuuuhhhhhh moment‚ÄĚ, or zero enthusiasm, reaction or action from someone that just wreaks havoc on¬†our guts and brains. The kind¬†of¬†silence that¬†speaks so¬†loudly you can‚Äôt hear what is being said‚Ķalthough nothing is actually being said.

Deafening silence would describe how I feel often times. The absence of noise, so profound that it seems to take on it’s own quality. The silence (absence of hearing), but the feeling you obtain from others or your circumstance is so freakin’ LOUD. Your head can’t stop spinning and the thoughts ring to the highest decimal!  To the degree that your screeching tinnitus doesn’t even have the slightest chance! Your brain is the final stretch and winning the race!

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Deafening silence, has zero to do with hearing loss. It has everything to do with your thoughts. All those demons that live above. Or those people who made you feel less, maybe unworthy or not important. Maybe it was someone you loved, maybe a family member or maybe the friend you thought was your friend. Maybe it’s the circumstance you’re living with today. Deafening silence seems to come during the most significant times in our life. Good or bad, situations, unrealistic expectations, actions (or lack thereof) will speak loudly. Deafening silence so bad, it’s a complete blackout! You can’t go forward, you can’t go backwards… you’re stuck…. With your circumstances, with worldly impact, with your brain!

And then someone tells you ‚Äúit‚Äôs all in the power of positive thinking‚ÄĚ. Hahahaha, they have to be kidding right?! Yup, you‚Äôre about to lose your mind and throw another one of those ‚Äúhissy-fits‚ÄĚ. How dare someone tell me to be positive when my life is out of control in this moment??? Aaaaahhhhhh! (hands in face moment).¬† And then they gift you with the Norman Vincent Peale book ‚ÄúThe Power of Positive Thinking‚Ä̂Ķ you know the guy that said ‚ÄúShoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you‚Äôll land among the stars‚ÄĚ….¬†Your first thought:¬† #lamequotenorm . Next thought, I will throw this book at you and that dern Norman too for writing all this nonsense!¬† Irrational?¬† Maybe! But¬†it‚Äôs how you feel right?! And who can tell you that your feelings are wrong???¬† But let’s face it,¬†that doesn’t make you feel any better and doing all that “extra” gets us absolutely nowhere!

Realistically, I believe you can ABSOLUTELY train the brain to think positively if you truly want to feel positive! Difficult? YES! But it’s doable! You can‚Äôt do it alone. You¬†HAVE to surround yourself with positive people, positive situations, with lots of love, encouragement and support. You can read all the self-help books you want, but if you feel nothing positive, there is nothing that can train your brain otherwise. Your life may be different. You may be different because of your circumstances. People may treat you different. Sometimes they will¬†look at you with complete pity and silence because they don‚Äôt know what to say. And that silence is so deafening, it‚Äôs depressing. It can control you, it can break you, OR…. you can punch that deafening silence in the face!¬† The latter sounds much more fierce and heroic!!

The Bible says:

‚ÄúFinally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Philippians 4:8

‚ÄúA joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Proverbs 17:22

‚ÄúDo not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Philippians 4:6

Today, we have an opportunity to give our circumstances to God, focus on the good in our lives vs. our circumstances, be thankful and pray for the best outcome possible. ‚ÄúI can do all things through Christ who strengthens me‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Philippians 4:13.

Admittedly, I didn‚Äôt wake up this morning feeling at peace or joyous. I woke up feeling completely drained and annoyed by all the things I allow to control me. Things that are truly irrelevant! I had to physically reel in my brain and focus on something positive. In that moment, I remembered the crucifixion. The gruesome pain and suffering that Our Father endured so that we might be saved, be protected, provided for, be loved, be secure in and to feel worthy and valued. That’s right, our own personal hero! My circumstances may prohibit me, depression may try its best¬†to take a foothold in my life, I may not be perfect, but The Father LOVES ME, ACCEPTS ME, PROVIDES FOR ME AND I AM WORTHY! He does not give up on me or you! What an absolute blessing and positive thought to get my brain headed in the right direction!!!¬† Better yet,¬†no one gets punched – HA!!

If your day began off track. If you feel hurt, unloved or unworthy. If you too sometimes feel deafening silence in your life, remember that this moment is only temporary. It is NOT your eternity.

Get up! Punch that Meniere’s Disease in the face! Or whatever battle your fighting, don’t give up! Fight the good fight, like Our Father fought for us! Focus on what is TRUE, what is HONORABLE, what is JUST, what is PURE, whatever is LOVELY, COMMENDABLE, EXCELLENT, and WORTHY OF PRAISE! And then, GIVE THANKS!

It‚Äôs a new day, a new month and we¬†all¬†recognize November¬†as a month of giving thanks (cue the daily FB posts of the things people¬†are thankful for – yes, I went there!).¬†By practicing the ‚Äúpower of positive thinking‚ÄĚ it will¬†help us to give thanks EVERY DAY! Life will be a little less deafening silence and a lot more songs of praise if we can just let go, and let HIM work!¬† Reminding myself of this today and everyday.¬† And if this dizzy chick spins off track,¬†feel free to nudge her back in her lane!

Spin ya’ later y’all!

The.Dizzy.Chick.

Wheels Up!

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Howdy Y’all!

Hope this day has been great & spin free! I’m currently blogging from 30,000 feet in route to the beautiful Scottsdale, AZ! Perks of the job people… perks of the job! Gorgeous sunsets, sunrises and sunny weather await me! I’ll be sitting in meetings over the next two days, but it’s always a blessing to visit other parts of the country, to see and appreciate God’s many creations and ultimately visit with friends!

I’m starting this post off on a positive note, although my day started with chaos. Mental chaos mostly…nervous stomach, heart racing, wandering around aimlessly, dropping things, honestly….plain ole exhausting anxiety! Reason? My first 4.5 hour flight since my Meniere’s Diagnosis (sigh!). From the minute my feet hit the floor, my mind started racing of all the many things that could happen, what would I do if it happened, should I take a preventative, what will I eat in the airport that’s within my sodium restrictions, etc. And we all know that any sort of stress to the body just exacerbates the problem (cue the insane tinnitus which is an extreme high pitch noise that is constant, ear fullness and then BAM! Headache). Basically, this chick was dizzy upon waking!

Over the course of the day, I managed to get myself together, spend some quiet time with the Great Physician, and self-reflect for a moment. The prayers began. Ok let‚Äôs be real‚Ķ it was more like ‚ÄúHey God, it‚Äôs me again‚Ķ dude I just can‚Äôt kick this ridiculous anxiety today. Please help me get my act together for reals!‚ÄĚ Yup! Nothing graceful or formal here people!

After that convo, I opened up my Bible and began reading in the book of Joshua. A few verses in, I came across Joshua 1:9: ‚ÄúHave I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.‚ÄĚ ‚Ķ‚ĶWHOA! So the Big Man basically just reminded me who was boss and to ‚Äúsimmer down‚ÄĚ. Honestly, it was not the first time I‚Äôve received that reminder, apparently I‚Äôm hard of hearing (no pun intended)‚Ķ more like HARD HEADED! Again, admitting is the first step. I‚Äôve been on step one for a while‚Ķslow progress people, but progress nonetheless!

After our time together, I arrived to the airport to be welcomed by that dreaded word ‚ÄúDELAY‚Ä̂Ķwhich by the way would cause me to miss my connection. Would I let this be the final straw that led to an all-out ‚Äúhissy-fit‚ÄĚ (if you‚Äôre southern you know what this means) in the middle of the airport? I‚Äôm pleased to announce that I did not! For once, I forced myself to stop and repeat (probably 20 times at least) ‚Äúyou are not in control Missy, chill out!‚ÄĚ. And then I immediately found comfort in the words ‚Äúdo not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for I am with you wherever you go‚ÄĚ.

It is now 10:00PM on the East Coast and we are ‚Äúwheels up‚ÄĚ in route to our destination. Everything has happened the way it was intended to happen. So far, I‚Äôm doing great and God has not left my side! I managed to get a healthy, salt free meal during our connection, my ‚Äúsingle serving friend‚ÄĚ (thank you Lisa Schroeder for coining this phrase) was nice and quiet upon take off, I‚Äôve walked about the cabin successfully without falling and when I reach my destination, I get to do what I truly enjoy. It may be WORK, but so often we take work for granted. Many suffer with invisible diseases (or some sort of disability) that do not allow them to work at all.¬†When things are great, we do not reflect on our blessings as often as we should. But when our ‚Äúhumble pie‚ÄĚ arrives, we are forced to get a big ole‚Äô taste of reality. That reality isn‚Äôt always the best but I‚Äôm learning that it will be what you make of it!¬† I‚Äôm grateful that today, God knocked me over my dizzy head and reminded me that he has my back! My hope is that you‚Äôll find rest in his reminder too.

Wishing you all the best¬†in keeping your wheels up and to keep fighting!¬† Be strong! ¬†Be positive! ¬†Be courageous! ¬†Do not be discouraged! Try to find¬†something positive that helps you to weather your storm!¬† In the meantime, I‚Äôm praying for calm waters ahead and no ‚Äúsea sickness‚ÄĚ for us dizzy peeps!

Spin ya’ later y’all!

The.Dizzy.Chick.

The Dizzy Chick

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Happy Sunday Y’all!!

It’s been a gorgeous¬†Fall¬†day here in South Carolina!¬† And of course Sunday is¬†my most favorite day of the week! Even if Monday is lurking…¬†¬†I hope that¬†everyone enjoyed a fun day of Fall festivals or¬†maybe a little pumpkin carving¬†wherever you are!

For me, there is just one more reason to love¬†this day!¬†¬†Today,¬†Sunday, October 26th, I have decided to¬†let¬†go of my fears¬†and give this blogging thing a GO!¬† That’s right, a blogging newbie! Today,¬†The Dizzy Chick¬†has come to¬†life y’all!

You¬†are probably thinking what could Missy possibly have to write about or share?¬† And why the name¬†“The Dizzy Chick”?¬†¬†As¬†my first post, I will explain!

Today’s¬†blog entry should really be titled “Accepting¬†and Embracing Circumstance”.¬† Life has a way of presenting us with unexpected situations and set backs. These times¬†can be¬†challenging, often¬†out of our control, but¬†even more, not easy to live with.

Several months ago, my set back was being diagnosed with Meniere‚Äôs Disease.¬†What is that? Yeah, my thoughts¬†precisely…¬†So, I’ll do my best to dumb it down and explain in the best “non-medical” way possible.¬†¬†Meniere‚Äôs Disease is defined as¬†an incurable disorder of the inner ear that causes fluctuating hearing loss, ringing in the ear (tinnitus),¬†a feeling of fullness or pressure in your ear and unpredictable, spontaneous episodes of vertigo.¬†¬†Similar to¬†the feeling of not being able to¬†equalize¬†your ears after flying on an airplane.¬† Or the struggle to regain land-legs after being on a boat fishing for hours.¬† But unfortunately, you live this way daily.¬† Dizzy, can’t hear and off-balance. ¬†Hence my blog name, ‚ÄúThe Dizzy Chick‚ÄĚ.

The Dizzy Chick name¬†is actually all-encompassing:¬†¬†I have an incurable disease that left me with hearing loss, unpredictable vertigo and loss of balance BUT… there is¬†my Type-A, go-go-go personality,¬†my need to have it all done on¬†Missy‚Äôs timeline (admitting is the first step right?), my perfectionist¬†tendencies, my¬†desire to have things neat and orderly (obsessed¬†slightly)¬†and ultimately,¬†my drive and passion for life.¬†I‚Äôm literally,¬†a dizzy chick!¬† Take one look at my closest and you would understand (it might be arranged¬†seasonally and color coordinated (#justsayin)….. But, I digress…

Back to Meniere‚Äôs…. many¬†are not aware of this disease and in the¬†medical world,¬†there is no known cause as to it’s triggers.¬† There is still much research to be done, which¬†can be¬†extremely frustrating.¬† It is mentally and physically taxing.¬†I‚Äôm not only a¬†dizzy chick, but¬†also a walking science project too.¬†¬†My little routine world has been rocked and changed dramatically¬†overnight.¬†And¬†anyone that knows me, understands how this poses a challenge.¬† And for others suffering this disease as well.

The¬†conveniences we are afforded daily are not applicable to me anymore.¬†¬†To manage this disease in an effort to keep in remission,¬†I am required to maintain a low-sodium diet of 2000mg or less.¬†For the most part, I have to¬†prepare my own food and monitor everything¬†I eat, this is not convenient.¬† It is actually, VERY HARD!¬† Especially for a gal who enjoys travel and does so frequently!¬†¬†And I am NOT what I would call “a cook”,¬†although forced to become one overnight.¬† Exercise and doing the things I enjoy (running, hiking, dancing, or¬†being active in general) does not come¬†easy for me¬†anymore. My energy levels are low so I’m tired A LOT.¬† And many people do not understand that¬†nor can relate.¬† Tired,¬†a term that prior to June 17th would¬†rarely be used in the same sentence to describe me.

By looking at someone with Meniere’s Disease, you would never know that person is suffering.  It is referred to as an invisible disease.  To everyone else, a person looks normal albeit suffering inside.  The disease can be extremely debilitating and depressing. I’ve experienced both first hand.

I’ve been fortunate to have a few good peeps¬†stay by my side the entire way through!¬† That said, my goal is to share my own personal experiences with¬†fellow readers¬†(and fellow sufferers) by providing absolute¬†transparency (the good and the bad).¬† My hope is that I¬†offer some¬†encouragement¬†that will¬†inspire other dizzy chicks (and dudes)¬†to¬†stay determined and¬†motivated to¬†find your balance (literally and figuratively),¬†to walk tall and be¬†confident again.¬† We all need people who understand¬†in our corner.¬†¬† Love, encouragement and support are the best gifts you can offer anyone in life, sick or not.¬† Just a simple “I believe in you” or “I’m your biggest fan” goes a long way for someone in need, no matter their life battle.¬† My intention and prayer is that others can find encouragement, hope and even some laughs through our journey together!

This disease is just a bump in my road (or at least for now anyway). Some days it’s a fall! But I’m determined to get right back up, continue traveling, continue selling, continue meeting new friends, continue having fun, continue dancing, continue going to concerts, continue going on hikes, essentially… continue LOVING and LIVING my life! Despite my circumstances, I couldn’t be more blessed!  Meniere’s Disease has certainly impacted my quality of life. But it’s also allowed me a fresh perspective on how to view and appreciate life.  I’m finding my strong and I refuse to settle!

Thank you to my family and closest friends who have pushed me to keep going and not to give up!¬† And to those that have¬†encouraged¬†me to utilize this platform to share my story. Sometimes our feelings are better written,¬†and I am¬†determined to¬†be a light in the dark¬†world of Meniere’s.

I will also share my spiritual journey, inspirational reads, and some of my favorite low-sodium recipes!  I hope you all will join me for the ride ahead!

Spin ya’ later y’all!

The Dizzy Chick