Note: I’m going to double post today because I’m eager to start writing about Fibro. While UC and MD are devastating illnesses, I have more experience with them and Fibro is still fairly new to me and has affected me more than the other two. I’ll still talk about UC and MD periodically, but this blog will primarily address my fibro. :)
I have a relatively large (Italian) family. In fact, I have more than 70 second cousins. Italians - they're family people.
I am the product of the babies on both sides
and the youngest of the first cousins (and most of the second). My family is very athletic
and I always felt the need to follow suit.
We are a family made up of basketball players. At first, I resisted this and stuck to
my love of dance, but eventually, I gave in around age 10.
I worked really hard at catching up to my peers, since they’d been playing much
longer than me. I strived to make the “A team” my first year of middle school
by competing in every league and attending every camp.
And I did it. I made the
From that point on, I found myself in 3 leagues at a time, and at least two
So what does this have to do with Meniere’s Disease?
Well, after a few years of playing, there came a point when I was no longer
During one game, my mom noticed I was making odd swaying movements in the
huddle, and afterward, she inquired about it. I explained that I was dizzy, and
that swaying helped. I’d already been going through this for nearly a year, and
I figured it was completely normal. One is bound to become a bit out of sorts
when hauling ass up and down a court.
Regardless of what I thought of it, my mom became alarmed and took me to see a
specialist. After a series of tests and questions, it was determined that I had
an inner ear disorder. My “dizziness” was actually a manifestation of a
migraine, and there was a lag between what I saw and when my mind perceived it.
At first, this only happened when I was strenuously exercising, but soon
enough, it progressed to real, chronic migraines, and vertigo. Vertigo is when
the room feels like it’s spinning out of control and is much more debilitating than
These bouts of vertigo often occurred mostly when I woke up, and migraines seemed to
have no particular pattern.
Upon explaining this to one of my aunt’s, a revelation was made. My aunt
remembered my grandmother suffered from Meniere’s Disease, an inner ear
disorder which causes imbalance, dizziness, vertigo, migraines, nausea, tinnitus,
hearing loss, and ear pressure or pain.
After more tests and with this new information, my doctor diagnosed me with disease
number one. I was 16 years old.
Every six months or so I’d go back into the specialist for these super boring
hearing tests. I’m unsure as to exact reason why, but I assume it was to make
sure I wasn’t significantly losing my hearing.
There is no cure for Meniere’s Disease, but treatments are fairly effective (for me, at least).
Reducing sodium has helped me a lot, and mints do wonders with migraines. For
the most part, I’ve been able to keep this in check with diet, medication, and
Aside from the occasional migraine, I was symptom free until being diagnosed