Monday, May 12, 2014
The End of an Era, but on to Bigger and Better Things
Today I was reminded of just how far I have come. It was eight months ago when I started on the Stephen Spring Treatment Program. At the time, I was trudging through each day, exhausted from the moment I woke up, dizzy, off-balance, and very hard of hearing. My hearing aid helped, but I still struggled in meetings, noisy environments, and while watching TV or listening to music. All of those things have improved drastically and I have been feeling very well since the middle of December.
This morning, I received an email invitation to listen to a podcast. It was recorded by an Indian woman with a very heavy accent. As I have done for the past five years, I took the earbud out of my good ear to “test” the hearing in my bad ear. In the past, on my best day, the voice in my ear would sound like the Chipmunks and I would recognize about 50% of what was being said. But most days, all I heard was what sounded like the adults on Charlie Brown, “Wah, wah, wah, wah”, and I understood 0%. Fast forward to today and what I heard was the normal sounding voice of an Indian woman with a heavy accent and I understood 100% of what she said.
Today also marks the end of an era in my journey with Meniere’s disease. The owner of the on-line support forum, Menieres.org, has up-dated its server and in the process chosen to delete the most informative, comprehensive thread detailing the Stephen Spring protocol. Apparently, he is in favor of keeping the status quo: discussions limited to vitamin and mineral supplementation, high dose vitamin C, chiropractic, low sodium diets, conventional medical treatments with limited efficacy, antiviral medications, steroids, and destructive surgery. I am very disappointed and sad about this. While I tried almost all of these things, none worked and none really made sense.
When Stephen Spring came to Menieres.org in 2011, he started talking about immunity and Meniere’s disease. He cited the literature; not just abstracts, but full text articles. And all at once he was saying things that began to explain all of the symptoms that no one talked about and that my doctors had told me were essentially unrelated to the underlying etiology of Meniere’s: chronic sinusitis, chronic sore throats, and the development of allergies I never had before. Others on the forum could relate to seemingly unrelated gastrointestinal problems and the development of other immune and autoimmune disorders. Not only had Stephen experienced all of these things himself, including failed attempts at conventional treatment, but he had taken it upon himself to learn immunology, read the existing literature, experiment on himself, and eventually develop a treatment that has resulted in the relief of Meniere’s symptoms in dozens of other people.
But today the owner of the “.org” forum decided to delete the most replied-to thread in the six-year history of the site. The topic, of course, being the Stephen Spring Treatment Protocol – proving it had value and that members had interest in it. It is a very sad day. I came to that site as a newbie, scared and suffering. Despite having to wade through a lot of useless information and bickering, I made some great friends and learned about some helpful treatments. And most importantly, it is where I learned of this latest treatment which has given me my life back.
Life will go on. I will keep posting about my progress and that of others. But I will not do it on the Meniere's forum. I will do it here, where I can say what I want to say, without fear of censure or of being banned by the moderator. I will invite guests to blog about their experiences and I will share it all with anyone who is interested. I’ve come a long way, baby, and hopefully in time others will, too.