Confession: Some Days I’m Angry

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Hey Y’all,

It’s a beautiful Saturday and I’m thankful for the weekend! It has been a busy few weeks albeit extremely productive and fruitful. For that, I am humbled and grateful. Busy keeps me going and focused, but the weekend demands REST!

Trying to keep it low key (in pursuit of rest of course), I kept with my morning ritual of quiet time and coffee. And then I decided to take some time to reflect over the things I need “to do”. An oxymoron, ya think? Pursuit of rest yet let’s knock out the infamous To-Do list. The “rest struggle” is real y’all! Then enters guilt to make me feel bad about resting because it’s gorgeous outside. Yup! This is the battle in this Dizzy Chick’s head. Which is sooo helpful as this makes day four of waking with a terrible headache on the verge of a migraine. Frustrated does not even begin to describe my mental state and pain at this point. Yes I said mental, don’t judge or try to pretend you’ve never had one of these moments! #iknowimnotalone

To divert from this drama in my head, panic over all I that I needed to get done, and headache, I decided to get on Facebook (because that’s productive and will make you feel better… #whatev). Immediately, I see photos that my sister has shared of my two sweet nieces and nephew. Their innocence and smiles melt my heart of course and I feel myself missing them all terribly. They are in Iowa, I’m in South Carolina. So how to cure this missing them and get my Lauren, Callie, Clay and Caleb fix?? FaceTime them!! Saturday blues are cured (momentarily at least). And then we hang up and BOOM, just like that it hit me. They are growing waaaay too fast!!! Now I’m seeing a trend here… TIME. Time to be busy, time to rest, time to enjoy, and ultimately, how fast time flies! The point of all this?!?! Be patient (ha!), I’m getting there…

We all know life is short and time will pass us by. We never know what tomorrow will bring. And some days it feels as if time is standing still. But it’s definitely not doing that! And of course, you are not supposed to live in your past, you are not supposed to worry about tomorrow, you are supposed to live in the present (ha!). Well I’m here to tell you… I am human AND that ain’t easy! It may be for the Yogi’s of the world but this homegirl is no Yogi (I’m actually envious of Yogi’s so no judgement Yogi Yoga friends). I cannot quiet my mind, meditation in quiet does not exist. Roaring tinnitus and a busy brain will not allow me to sit quietly and feel present. And somedays the mind is not always strong. This past week has shown me just that…. But I can’t do anything but accept the place I’m in.

You see, on the outside it may look like this girl has it all together (somedays not everyday). But on the inside, people have no idea at all. And although I shouldn’t be concerned with what others think, I sometimes can’t help but to care. That’s just my heart and how God created me. To care entirely too much sometimes. The lesson through my pain is that people see things going on in the lives of others, but they may not feel comfortable asking or desire to take the time to understand. It can be easy for many to draw conclusions or judge but not to love, serve and support. We are all guilty, no one gets a pass on this one.

Over the years, people have said to me that I tend to “acquire haters”. I don’t know if that is a compliment or bad a thing?! And then of course the party in my head begins to wonder why people are judging me, would say things about me to others, what did I do to deserve that, why would they hate me? Is it genuine dislike? Are they just curious, nosey or maybe, truly care? How do I discern what is of God vs. what is not?

And then I ask myself, what is so interesting about my life or Me?! I’m actually not that interesting at least I don’t think. But for those who want to see the inside of this brain (yes, I have one, it was confirmed in an MRI this week), I’ll be happy to share my “weakness” and how I feel many days. So here goes, enjoy:

I am not where I thought I would be at almost 37 years old….. I’m in pain most days, living with consistent headaches, tinnitus, dizziness, loss of hearing, an incurable disease with little to no relief or answers. I’m not a mother or a wife, which I desire to be. I don’t live on 100 acres in a big ole, new house, which would be my dream. I have to work even harder now at everything I do, more than I ever have before. And anyone that truly knows me, knows my work ethic (and it’s not lazy!). Most days I do not feel that I’m making any headway in my life. And as blessed as I know that I truly am, some days I admittedly feel broken and weak. As a matter of fact, I’ve been told that I am weak. And this, my fellow dizzy and non-dizzy peeps makes me ANGRY!!!

Believe it or not, I’m just a simple (yet complicated) child of God going through battles just like anyone else. I may clean up well, be outgoing (or loud rather), I may have a tendency to wave my freak flag at times and be silly, or break out in song or dance at any moment. I may work hard and speak up for what was is right and/or for others and appear strong….but that doesn’t mean that inside it’s always okay. Simply put, my heart is overwhelmed.

Let me be clear by saying that I am not feeling sorry for myself nor am I asking you to feel sorry for me. Quite opposite in fact. I’m merely confessing for those who want to know, are curious to know, are nosey to know or for those who are feeling completley real or lost, fighting a battle and imperfect like me. So much that you get angry and question everything. You see, there was a time I felt so close to The Lord, as if I had a direct line into the Big Man himself. Nothing or no one could touch me. But over the past few years, so much has happened…somedays I feel positive, but others, I feel just plain ANGRY! Call me crazy, call me weak, call me whatever…. but not every day in this life, with a disease, or with whatever battle we are facing is a cakewalk. I can ride the positivity train most days, spinning on the inside yet appearing okay on the outside. Telling myself don’t worry about tomorrow, what other people think, what they will do or won’t do. But it’s not easy… as many know but would not willingly admit.

That said, I’m extremely thankful for my church, our pastor, my family and my small group of quality friends that know me, my personality, how I process things and still love me despite my flaws! ALL remind me that it’s okay to not be okay some days. That’s it’s necessary to rest and not to feel guilty for doing so. That it doesn’t mean you are lazy. And that it’s okay to ask questions, and ask God “why?”. He fully expects that we will ask why and in doing so, he does not “penalize” us. It is actually in our weakest moments that he will meet us there with his love, mercy and grace. Gifts that I do not deserve but because he loves me, I receive. Our value comes from what God says about us, not because of what other people say or think.

I opened my Bible today to Psalm 61 and right there verse 2 met me with a loving reminder: “When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher that I”. Wow! What it would be like to have the patience and strength of David!!! Knowing that he wrote this prayer after narrowly escaping one of Saul’s efforts to kill him while hiding in the desert. Psalm 61 is a prayer for security and assurance. Wherever we are, we can trust that God will be there to answer our cries for help.

So I’ll leave you all with this…. Jesus is my rock, and some days this is just how I roll. Weak, angry, feeling hopeless. And I’m not ashamed to admit it.
I may not be where I thought I would be, I may not be where I want to be, but today I’m praying for bold faith to stay on course and follow wherever HE is leading me. And that is my prayer for you…. Having issues isn’t the absence of victory in our lives. It’s a call to action, reminding us that victory is right around the corner. And that God’s grace will carry you, one step at a time. Our greatest ministry will come out of our deepest pain.

Time to wipe off the anger and hurt, and put my happy, thankful pants on! Joy comes in the morning and the day anew!

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

Crock Pot Beer Chicken

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Cheers to Beer Chicken! ūüćĽūüćó

Holy moly, I’m thrilled to find this little gem of a recipe on Pinterest! Beer for seasoning on chicken…who woulda’ thunk it? Super easy to make and low sodium to boot! A++ all around and worth the share, so here goes!

Crock Pot Beer Chicken:

2lbs Boneless Chicken Breasts
1 Bottle of your favorite beer (I used Michelob Ultra)
1 tsp salt – I replaced salt with Cavender’s Greek Seasoning No Salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp oregano, dried
1/2 tsp pepper, black

1. Place all ingredients in the slow cooker
2. Cover. Cook on Low for 6-8 hours or High for 4-5 hours

Nutritional Facts: 162 calories, 0.9 g carbohydrates, 75mg sodium, 3g fat, 24.2g protein.

Optional: Eat as is or you can shred and leave plain or add BBQ sauce. Remember… if aiming for low sodium, condiments should be limited (if any) as they are typically packed in sodium. I shredded so that I could eat over basmati rice or quinoa (if going for a little extra protein). There was a good amount of juice left after cooking which added a full amount of flavor minus the salt. I also read that this is a Weight Watchers recipe so even more points (or low in points if counting) for a low fat, high protein meal… SCORE!

My Veggie Side of Choice:

Roasted Broccoli

Broccoli Florets
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Cavender’s Greek Seasoning No Salt (or Garlic Powder)
Red Pepper Flakes

Preheat oven on 400. Place broccoli florets in a quart or gallon size Ziploc bag or bowl with a lid. Pour EVOO over the top of broccoli and shake bag (or bowl) until broccoli florets are covered in olive oil. Place broccoli on baking sheet (I usually line with foil for quick clean up after). Sprinkle broccoli with Cavender’s seasoning and red pepper flakes. Place in oven and roast until almost crispy. My oven takes about 15-20 mins. A perfect veggie side with Beer Chicken shredded over 1/2 cup Basmati rice or quinoa. Low sodium, high in protein and good carbs… Pretty much the perfect meal!

Enjoy!!

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

A Dizzy Chick’s “Go-To” Low Sodium Eats

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What’s up Dizzy and Non-Dizzy Peeps?!?!

I hope the week is treating y’all well so far!¬† This dizzy chick is hanging on tight for a busy one!

Speaking of busy, I just realized that I hadn’t stopped to eat today… or better yet, my tummy was¬†screaming out in hunger!¬† You know, that embarrassing moment when everyone in the waiting room of the ENT’s¬†office could hear the gurgling¬†….and then they¬†look at you¬†like “get some food”! In that moment I realize that¬†I did not pack¬†a low sodium snack..¬†hands over face moment indeed!¬† And anyone with Meniere’s Disease or¬†simply cutting back their sodium intake knows how hard it is to find a snack or a meal of convenience¬†that¬†is low sodium.¬† It’s like a wild goose chase¬†when¬†not prepared! And no one has time for chasing geese!¬† My unpreparedness is what led me to my next blog post!

I am often asked “what exactly can you eat because everything¬†contains salt?”.¬†¬†To answer:¬† Fresh foods mostly,¬†limited to no processed or genetically¬†modified foods¬†(the way we should all eat honestly).¬† And the doctor has instructed me to keep my sodium intake under 2,000mg per day. It’s¬†not¬†convenient or easy.¬† It sometimes requires¬†creativity and research, but it does become second nature. Just like driving that good¬†ole¬†manual transmission! Once you get used to the feel of the clutch and shifting gears, it’s just¬†apart of what you do!¬† I have been fortunate in that my family, my boyfriend and his family have been extremely supportive¬†when dining together.¬† They always make¬†an effort to¬†be¬†considerate of my dietary needs.¬†My boyfriend often comes across low sodium finds¬†and his¬†excitement to share¬†them with me makes me feel loved and supported.¬† We both LOVE food therefore¬†he understands¬†my struggle, at that means¬†everything to me.¬† But for¬†those outside of my close circle, it’s tough for people¬†to fully understand or relate.¬†¬†And¬†it’s not their fault if they are not aware. We have to educate as best we can and the purpose¬†of¬†my post is just that.¬† To create¬†awareness of the support Meniere’s sufferers need .¬† And also to encourage family members of sufferers to take¬†a little initiative in researching to better¬†understand¬†the disease¬†and the impact it has on your loved one.¬†And then you can show your support when needed.¬† Trust me, it goes a looooong way! ¬†And while the focus is awareness, I’ve decided to¬†share a few of my “go-to eats”¬†from my cabinets.¬†These are just a few,¬†believe it or not there are many.. too many for this post.¬†But by sharing a few, hopefully¬†it will¬†help you or your family¬†in keeping with the low sodium theme!

I have basically¬†researched and obsessed about what I will¬†eat for days on end, but the knowledge gained¬†is¬†priceless.¬†¬†It’s funny how we’ll put in the time and research when you¬†NEVER¬†want¬†to experience violent vertigo AGAIN! I may be a walking MyFitnessPal¬†database, but hey,¬†the result is less spins!¬† So goal achieved! When I’m traveling,¬†the “what will I eat”¬†task¬†becomes a little more daunting.¬† But what I’ve learned when dining out is,¬†YOU HAVE TO SPEAK UP!!¬†You¬†can’t be shy about asking for no salt or seasoning¬†and/or no pre-marinated meat. Tell them upfront¬†you need salt free, no seasoning or¬†have them put seasoning on the side¬†as many seasonings and marinades contain salt (MSG). I know that its¬†tough and makes you feel awkward (trust me I’m there with you!!). You may think people are looking at you like you¬†are¬†high maintenance¬†but so what!¬†It’s okay to¬†be¬†high maintenance if you want¬†to live vertigo free!¬†And I’ve honestly¬†found that dietary restrictions are way more common than we realize.¬† You are just not¬†aware of¬†how common¬†until it impacts you directly.¬† Many times the wait staff have reassured me that¬†I’m not alone. And I express my gratitude for that reassurance every time!¬†Eating low sodium is DOABLE!¬† It may not be as carefree as before, but as with life, all in moderation (yes, I hate that word too)…but it’s true!

Moving on to¬†some¬†of may favorite low sodium “go-to’s”….¬† I had forgotten “briefly” how much¬†research is required and will confess that I momentarily thought: “what¬†have I gotten myself into?”. BUT…. If it will keep at least one sufferer from spinning¬†over “what to eat” then I’ve done my job. The less stress, the less inflammation. The less inflammation, the less spins. You know the drill! So with that, from seasonings, to snacks, to meals, I’ve listed a few of my “trusty Go-To’s”.¬† These are in no particular order:

  1. Peanut Butter (it’s a food group right?!?!)
    • Jif¬†Natural Low Sodium Peanut Butter (2Tbsp)¬†= 80MG Sodium ¬†(Ha ha!!) I guess I told a fib!¬†There is “somewhat” of an order, PB being first priority always! Anyone that knows me knows that my addiction is REAL!
  2. Seasonings (there are many, these are just may favorites):
    • Cavender’s Greek Seasoning – Salt¬†Free (my new favorite!)
    • Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb Seasoning – Salt Free
    • Honey & Fresh Lemons¬†and¬†Limes –¬†Sodium Free
    • Apples & Cinnamon – Sodium Free
    • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes – Sodium Free
    • Garlic Pepper – Sodium Free
    • White and Apple Cider Vinegar – Sodium Free
  3. Snacks (Fruit, Veggies, Nuts and even POPCORN & CHIPS!):
    • Banana = 1mg¬†Sodium (with 1 tbsp peanut butter¬†41mg¬†Sodium total using Jif Natural Low Sodium)
    • Fuji Apple¬†= ¬†0mg¬†Sodium (with¬†1tbsp¬†peanut butter 40mg¬†Sodium total using Jif Natural Low Sodium)
    • Publix¬†Carrot Sticks (3 oz) = 65mg¬†Sodium
    • Terra Real Vegetable Chips, Sweet¬†Potato, No Salt Added (1oz, 17 chips) = 10mg Sodium
    • Levant Falafel Chips, Original (1oz, 10 chips) = 70mg Sodium
    • Skinny Pop (1 cup) = 20mg Sodium
    • Larabar¬†Blueberry Muffin (1 bar) = 5mg sodium
    • Blue Diamond Oven Roasted Dark Chocolate Almonds (1oz, 24 nuts) = 35mg Sodium
    • Archer Farms Roasted Jumbo Cashews Unsalted (1oz, 1/4 cup) = 0mg Sodium
    • Archer Farms Unsalted Raw Almonds (1/4 cup) = 0mg Sodium
    • Bamboon¬†Lane Crunchy Rice Rollers (Costco -1 roller) = 5mg Sodium (add a little peanut butter!)
    • Emerald Cinnamon Roast Almonds (1oz, 1/4 cup) = 45mg Sodium
    • Wild Roots Coastal Berry Blend (Costco, 1/4 cup) = 60mg Sodium
    • Dannon¬†Light & Fit Greek Vanilla Yogurt (1 container) = 50mg Sodium
    • Sabra Hummus¬†Classic (2tbsp) = 130mg Sodium
    • Newman’s Own Salsa Medium (2tbsp) = 65mg Sodium
  4. Bread (Note: Breads are loaded in sodium, I choose to only eat one slice a day IF that)
    • Ezekiel Sprouted 100% Grain Bread, Cinnamon Raisin (one slice) = 60mg Sodium
  5. Deli Meats (Note: Deli Meats are also loaded in sodium, make sure to read labels to understand what you are eating):
    • Boars Head No Salt Added Oven Roasted Turkey Breast (2oz) = 55mg¬†Sodium (I add Cavender’s Seasoning to flavor)
    • Boars Head Deluxe Low Sodium Oven Roasted Beef Cap-Off Top Round (2oz) = 80mg¬†Sodium (So much natural flavor no seasoning needed!!)
  6. Main Dishes & Sides:
    • Chicken Breast No Salt, No Seasoning (4oz) = 50mg Sodium
    • Butterball¬†Ground Turkey (4oz) = 95mg Sodium
    • Filet Mignon No Salt, No Seasoning (4oz) = 64mg Sodium
    • Kirkland’s Tilapia Loins (Frozen 4oz) = 25mg Sodium
    • Salmon Filet No Salt, No Seasoning (4oz) = 69mg Sodium
    • Kirkland’s Oven-Dried Organic Roma Tomatoes in Olive Oil (1tbsp) = 30mg Sodium (very good heated and topped on chicken, beef, pork or fish)
    • Spaghetti Squash Baked (1 cup) = 17mg Sodium (I used this in substitution for spaghetti noodles)
    • Sweet Potatoes (1 Medium) = 72mg Sodium
    • Asparagus (4 spears) = 8mg Sodium
    • Eat Smart Broccoli Florets (3oz) = 25mg¬†Sodium (we usually roast in olive oil and garlic powder or Cavender’s)
    • Mariani¬†Blanched Slivered¬†Almonds No Salt (1/4 cup) = 0mg Sodium (my boyfriend uses these with honey on top of the Salmon Filet, super yummy!)
    • Uncle Ben’s Brown Basmati¬†Rice (1 cup) – 0mg¬†Sodium (you can add a little Cavender’s or¬†unsalted butter for flavor)
    • Bob’s Red Mill Quinoa (1/4 cup dry) = 10mg Sodium
    • Avocado Slices (1/2 cup Slices) = 5.1mg Sodium (mash them up for some yummy guac!)
  7. Breakfast Options:
    • Egg Whites (2 whites) = 110mg Sodium
    • Ezekiel Sprouted 100% Grain Bread, Cinnamon Raisin (one slice) = 60mg Sodium
    • Kashi¬†Whole Wheat Blueberry Waffles (1 waffle) = 170mg Sodium
    • Quaker Instant Oatmeal, Original Flavor¬†(1 pack) = 75mg Sodium¬†(I add peanut butter to warm oatmeal and fruit, usually banana, strawberries, blackberries or blueberries
  8. Dairy (I really don’t do a lot of dairy, but there are some alternatives):
    • Silk Pure Almond Milk – Unsweetened Vanilla (1 Cup) = 160mg Sodium
    • Swiss Cheese (1 Slice – 1oz) = 53.8mg Sodium
    • Fage¬†Greek Yogurt (1 Cup) = 85mg Sodium
  9. Candy (be careful with sugar as it also promotes inflammation, beware…baked goods are loaded in sodium):
    • Ghiradelli¬†72% or 86% Dark Chocolate Squares (1 square) = 0mg Sodium
  10. Protein Powder:
    • ProtiZyme¬†Peanut Butter Cookie (1 Scoop) = 49mg Sodium

You will likely find that my list is more convenience based.¬† That is purely based on my busy, jet-setting lifestyle.¬† Much of the above can be made on your own with a food dehydrator and a little creativity!¬†Also to reiterate, the common theme above is¬†eating clean…. the less processed and genetically modified, the less inflammation and ultimately….less spins!

Good luck¬†to all my brothers and¬†sisters out there in search of low sodium foods and recipes!¬†When in doubt, there is always PINTEREST!!!¬†(Hallelujer Y’all!)

Please note, I’m not perfect so you may find slight differences¬†in sodium content by brand.¬† I pulled my data from the¬†package labels themselves¬†and/or http://www.myfitnesspal.com.

Here’s to a healthier, dizzy-free year peeps!

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

New Year, New Beginnings #grow2015

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What’s up 2015?!!

Welcome to your New Year full of new beginnings Y’all!!! New opportunities to grow and a fresh perspective on health and happiness! You know, the important things! And who doesn’t love a “fresh start”?! There is something about kicking the old year behind and anticipating what the new year will bring….a new set of blessings, a new set of feelings, a new set of opportunities to learn and grow, the list goes on and on. And with anything, a new set of challenges. But notice the trend (because we want to be trendsetters!), all is NEW! That’s right, out with the old, in with the new! Just like when you clean the clutter out of your closet, your desk, your emails, whatever…. it just feels so darn good and NEW! I may be an organizing freak, but there is nothing better than a fresh, clean start!

Today has been this Dizzy Chick’s first day to truly rest and reflect on 2014 (and I’m not getting out of my PJ’s so don’t try to make me!) aaaaahhhhh! And as I’m organizing in my head, planning, and looking back, I admittedly have mixed emotions. Feelings of sadness, confusion, questions, sickness (the clutter)….and on the other hand, feelings of thankfulness, growth, strength, knowledge, awareness, forgiveness, and discernment. Overall, the feeling of being BLESSED! Blessings that are gifted to us from our creator, no one else!

You may not be on the positivity train this year, but it’s only January 2nd so hang in there. We have the future to jump back on! And if it makes you feel any better, I rode 2014 on the little red Caboose, half on and half off. So, I totally feel ya! 2014 definitely offered it’s fair share of challenges. But looking back, so much clarity came from each one. I will share a few:

1. Faith – it comes from above and no one else
2. Grace – it comes from above and no one else
3. Truth – it comes from above and no one else
4. Love – it is learned from above and no one else
5. Peace – it comes from above and no one else
6. Joy – it comes from above and no one else
7. Healing – it comes from above and no one else
8. Forgiveness – it comes from above and no one else
9. Happiness – it comes from above and no one else
10. Value – it comes from above and no one else

For 2015, let the above be your guide and your focus as it will be for me. And not just for 2015 but until eternity. Let this trend become your statement piece and purpose for LIFE! This year and forever, I want to fully embrace that all of the above is extended to me, therefore it is my spiritual responsibility to do the same. Extend grace, love, peace, hope, joy, and forgiveness to others. To serve others. To be a loving, supportive daughter, friend, family member and coworker. To realize my value and purpose, the reason for which I live everyday.

God has blessed us in so many ways even during in our challenges. I realize that too often we let someone, something or some feeling overshadow his truth. So with that, let’s ring in the New Year remembering that “old ways will not open new doors”. If you want to grow, if you want to open new doors, then you have to focus on what is important. Our God, his word. Not what someone thinks of you, not that mistake you made, not about that goal you were not able to achieve, not that divorce you’re going through, not the disease you are suffering, not someone else’s problems, not how much money you have or your status…. but rather on what is important. God’s love, grace, forgiveness, mercy and ultimately that you are VALUED and LOVED! If you want to see your life change and walk through new doors, you have to close the old ones. Actually, this is the one time that you can SLAM THAT DOOR SHUT! Our past does not define our today or our tomorrow. With that said, make 2015 your BEST YEAR YET! #thebestisyettocome #grow2015

Love and many blessings to you ALL!

Spin Ya’ Later Y’all,
The.Dizzy.Chick

Apple Baked Pork Chops

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Happy Wet Sunday in the South Y’all!

It has literally poured all day, just plain gloomy.¬† For me, there is something peaceful about¬†hearing the rain fall.¬† Especially when it’s chilly out!¬† It makes me want to cuddle up with my Italian Greyhound, watch a movie, football or simply scroll through Pinterest (planning my dream¬†home or my next outfit – admit it ladies, we all do it!).¬† Anything mindless and restful!

Which led me to today’s post…Dizzy Free Eats (aka: Low Sodium).¬† That’s right!¬† When you’re in a cozy frame of mind, you crave cozy meals!¬† For those suffering Meniere’s Disease, many comfort (cozy) foods are no longer a part of the equation without inconvenient modifications.¬†¬†And who wants inconvenience (aka: dizziness)¬†when you’re¬†feeling lazy and trying to get fully rested… NOT ME!¬† It also doesn’t help¬†that you’ve¬†been traveling and are officially down to the bare necessities.¬†¬†If you’re like me, you LOATHE grocery shopping!¬† There is nothing restful about the grocery store (cue Sweet Brown:¬†Ain’t nobody got time for that)!¬† It was time for¬†this dizzy chick¬†to get resourceful and use what she had!¬† Today’s freezer and cabinet¬†finds: ¬†pork chops, Fuji apples, green beans, brown sugar, cinnamon… SCORE!

After scouring¬†about the kitchen to find ingredients, my next step was an obvious one… Pinterest!¬† And boy did I luck up when I found this little gem:¬† Apple Baked Pork Chops!¬† Aaaaaahhhhhh!¬†¬†A cozy, delicious meal that has my house smelling like Christmas came early!¬† So #nomnomnom worthy, that I want to share with my fellow health conscious peeps, Meniere’s friends and just anyone who loves pork chops, cinnamon, brown sugar¬†and apples!¬† Recipe credit goes to: http://www.completerecipes.com

Apple Baked Pork Chops:

Pork chops (one per person):

  • 5 apples, cored and peeled, sliced (I used 3 and did not peel)
  • 3 tablespoons of light brown sugar (I didn’t use 3 tbsp, apple and cinnamon give so much flavor)
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (I did not have nutmeg, was good without)
  • salt¬†(I used Mrs. Dash)¬†and pepper
  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In a casserole dish, spray the bottom with nonstick baking spray or olive oil. Lay your chops on the bottom of pan, without overlapping. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then lay the apples on top. I pile them up ‚Äď the more, the merrier. Sprinkle with the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Top with tiny pieces of the butter. Cover and bake for about 45-60 minutes or until the pork is fully cooked. Enjoy every bite!

Spin Ya’ Later Y’all!

The.Dizzy.Chick.

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LIFTOVERS: Creamy Turkey Salad and Peppery Vinegar Sweet Potato Chips

Happy Saturday Y’all!

Here’s to the freakin’ weekend!!! Hope it’s been great and spin free for everyone thus far!

Speaking of the weekend…..What is the one thing that we all like to do and have in common over our weekends???? Eat, drink and be merry of course!!! I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who doesn’t like to splurge a little…Splurging is fun!!! And splurging without the guilt, even better! That makes this weekend the perfect time to share my friend Rachel’s blog: http://www.baremidriffblog.wordpress.com!!

With the holidays fast approaching (face in hands moment), this means lots of parties, lots of food and little time (cue the anxiety!). What gifts will I buy, what will I wear, how will I feel, will the stress trigger the vertigo, what food will I prepare and then it suddenly registers… FOOD!!! (there goes the face back in the hands!). You’ve worked hard all year (or most of year) to be healthy, you have to keep your sodium under 2,000mg per day and the seasons of casseroles and fabulous desserts are upon you…Aaaaaahhhhh!!!

Now you are even more anxious thinking of the mindless eating that will ensue in the days ahead. Because you just HAVE to eat your traditional favorites….you only get them once a year, right?!?! I love that Rachel totally understands how I think (and probably how we all think to some degree). And that she fully relates in her blog. These foods are soooo delish yet they leave us feeling extremely guilty and for some of us, sick, when the indulging comes to a close.

With all of the above said, I’m super excited to follow Rachel’s blog as she reminds us of the importance of family, friends and the blessing of the holidays which is to “break bread” together . She reminds us that it is possible to enjoy the holidays without completely falling off the wagon with mindfulness and preparation. And for those trusty ole leftovers, they don’t have to go to waste! Through Rachel’s blog, we now have fun new recipes to incorporate them in the days to follow.

Throughout the month of November, Rachel will be sharing creative and healthy ways to utilize those Thanksgiving leftovers guilt-free!! That’s right, she is doing the homework for us, she is taste-testing, and will even be listing the nutritional content for her “LIFTOVERS”. Yummy, healthy, snacks and meals that are guilt-free and “gains-worthy”!! A little muscle never hurt “nobody”!!

As an NPC Fitness Competitor (NPC bikini division), Rachel has worked really hard to find work/life balance. She has learned when to be extremely focused and dedicated for her competitions but to also enjoy the things we love most… holidays and food! And let’s face it, most women would give anything to look like Rachel! And you can! It just requires hard work, dedication and balance. Take one look and you’ll see that her hard work is evident! Rachel is one of the sweetest gals you will meet. Always super engaging, thoughtful and willing to help! I’m thankful to know her and proud of her strength, dedication and willingness to help others find the same balance while chasing their dreams.

Rachel, I personally want to thank you for taking the time to share your recipes with your readers! It’s a lot of work to food-prep and research. I’ve learned this firsthand. You rock sista-frand!!!

And last, to my fellow Meniere’s Sufferers, Rachel was kind enough to include the sodium content under nutritional facts so that we may ALL enjoy…. even those with dietary restrictions! Pretty awesome I must say! That said, GO CHECK OUT HER BLOG!

Keep rocking it Rachel! You deserve all the success and blessings life has to offer! Love you!

I’m off to make some Peppery Vinegar Sweet Taters Y’all! Until next time….. stay dizzy free!

Spin ya’ Later Peeps!

The.Dizzy.Chick.

Bare Midriff

It’s hard to believe the 2014 holiday season is upon us. Like, we’re there, people. My favorite component to any celebration is, without a doubt, the food! As a southerner, it’s in my bones. It’s a wonderful feeling showing up to a Thanksgiving or Christmas party with what you believe is going to be the best little hors d’oeuvre, entree, or dessert in the bunch.
Because really‚Ķif any female from the lower East tells you she isn‚Äôt competitive ‚Äėcome time for covered dish suppers, don‚Äôt trust her for one minute.
Holiday eating can bring both such excitement and anxiety to those of us trying to remain little-in-the-middle during the winter. I myself am earnestly attempting to step up my cardio/training these next two months to even out as much playing field as possible. Truth: you cannot out-train a poor diet. However, a combination of balance and a little ‚Äúpreventative maintenance‚Ä̂Ķ

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