A Few Words...

What is written here is my opinion and personal experience only. I am not qualified to give advice - medical, legal, or otherwise. Please be responsible and do your own research regarding treatments, diets, doctors, and alternative therapies.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

It is still early in the recovery phase since my last gentamicin injection.  It has been about 9 weeks since that time, but only 6 weeks since I started feeling the good and not-so-good effects of it.  No more vertigo being the positive outcome, but a sense of disequilibrium (pretty mild this time around) and general bobble-headedness being the necessary evil.

I have had a few days recently where I felt almost normal.  When I don't feel normal it is because my head feels disconnected from my body and my ear is buzz-sawin' to the max.  My eyes seem to have a delay in registering with my brain what it is I am seeing when I turn my attention from one point of reference to another.  And, after riding in, or driving, a car, it takes a minute or two for my body to stop moving.  It is the same sensation I have experienced after disembarking from boat rides - getting my land legs, so to speak.

My hearing is now no doubt worse in my right ear.  I have been getting back to walking regularly and listening to music using earbuds.  This morning I took the earbud out of my left (good) ear and could hear almost nothing in my right ear.  I moved the earbud to my left ear and could hear clear as day.  I remember my hearing being worse after my first gent shot too, but that it improved a bit 4 or 5 months later.  Of course, that may not happen this time around since I have had the subsequent shots.  Trying to understand what anyone is saying if there is any noise in the background requires extreme effort and some lip-reading.  Exhausting...

And then there is the symptom many of us with Meniere's complain about: the Technical Term, I think, being brain-fog.  I have had episodes of this since Day One of Meniere's, usually around the time of an attack.  So I don't think this is a result of the gent.  But when I feel this way, my short-term memory is virtually nonexistent.  I spend most of my time on those days wondering what the H.E. double hockeysticks I was just doing.  I bounce around from one thing to the next like a pinball.  Sometimes I bounce back to, and finish, the tasks I started, sometimes I am sure I don't.

So I keep reminding myself of the one thing I begged for during all those times my world was spinning round and round: anything, ANYTHING would be better than vertigo.  I swore I would live my life to the fullest if the vertigo would just stop.  So I am keeping that promise, soldiering on, and trying my best not to complain.  Ok, except maybe here.


  1. I felt the same way. I remember telling my doctor I would go deaf if he could just stop the vertigo. I'm bilateral, and it was really bad there for a while. Now that my treatment has been working and I'm feeling better, I want the rest to be better. But I am so grateful to not have the vertigo, I will live with this. And try not to complain. But I do wish I could hurry up and get hearing aids. It really is exhausting to not be able to hear clearly.

    Good luck with the success of the gent.

  2. you gotta vent somewhere and this is a great place to do it. it's funny, i've done the same thing with the ear buds. i've also done it with the dial tone on my phone. kind of my "at home" hearing test. i do remember that after each gent that my hearing would go down for a while but it came back. i do hate the brain fog though. i think the gent seeps into our brains somehow too. i swear after each one i feel a bit dumber. but i guess the reality is it's all the stress of retraining our brains and trying to focus so much on our environments that we just can't take it all in.

    hope it gets better soon!

  3. Yes! You're right. I think, too, that it requires so much brain power to compensate for the vestibular loss that it contributes somehow to the brain fog. And by the end of the day, I am EXHAUSTED! I can barely keep my eyes open past 9 pm most night.

    I am glad to hear your hearing improved after awhile after each shot. I am hoping I experience the same thing this time, too. But too soon to tell.

    I don't know what my mindset might be without those of you who have blazed the trail before me. Misery does love company!

  4. Also, althought not really logical, I have often wondered if the gent somehow "seeped" into my brain.

  5. Wendy,

    I am waiting to see where my hearing ends up in a few months. In the meantime I am just winging it when it comes to having conversations. Sometimes it can be pretty funny. Today my husband said something to me and I swear he said, "You need some Velcro." I don't remember now what he really said, but it was nothing close. Lol!

    I am so glad this new treatment is working so well for you. It is fascinating. There is clearly more to Meniere's and MM-like symptoms than meets the eye. I can't wait to see where this new treatment stuff goes.

    Have a wonderful evening,

  6. Disequilibrium, head-disconnected-from-body, buzz sawin', vertigo, land legs, brain-fog ... yes, I can empathize fully. These are my exact symptoms when watching Johnny Depp. ~deep sigh~

  7. I really like your use of the bobble-headedness term!! Helps describe how I feel almost everyday. So nice to find others that share this oh-so-fun condition of Meniere's!! : )