Of course, I had heard the word labrinth in biology classes in both high school and college, and, of course, I did not pay a bit of attention. I assumed it was something in the ear that worked until you died, and I never gave it another thought until the verdict handed to me was permanent labrinthitis. At the time I had no idea what labrinthitis meant; it was the word permanent that got my attention.
In searching for answers, I found more questions than anything else, and I have yet to find a personal story to which I can relate. I decided to chronicle my journey simply to provide that personal story for others who may also be searching.
1. Thankfully, I was squeaky clean when the attack came because it was 19 (count them!) days before I was able to take a bath and wash my hair again. With a lot of help I probably could have mastered the shower, but there is no way I could have tilted my head either forward or backward to rinse shampoo. Plus, when the room is spinning, I don’t really care about much of anything else.
During these days I could not stand the motion of the television, and I was sick immediately if I tried to prop my laptop up where I could see it from a fairly prone position.
For the first three days I took 25 mg of Meclazine 3 or 4 times daily as well as 5 mg of Valium 3 times per day. After about 3 days, I quit both since I could not tell that either was helping.
2. On the 19th day, I had quite a bit of improvement. I could manage to move around in my house although I took a lot of falls if I wasn’t extremely careful.
3. I hit some type of a plateau after day 19 and did not really see a lot of improvement after that day; however, thankfully I was much, much better than on those initial days.
4. After day 19, I tried therapy several times for what we believed was maybe an inner ear infection (not that I know what this is). I also eventually tried acupuncture. All seemed to help for some hours, and then I was right back where I started. I was also able to do things like travel (with my eyes shut to avoid the motion) to the home of family and at least sit and visit.
5. On day 31, I received the diagnosis from the Owens Ear Center in Dallas. Today, Dr. Owens has me taking 2 mg of Valium 3 times per day. I wasn’t happy about this, but he asssures me it is the best thing there is to fight dizziness. (And yet my bottle warns that the Valium might cause dizziness!)
I also take 25 mg of Benadryl at bedtime, which is to fight inflammation in the inner ear.
Apparently the B vitamins are major in preserving the inner ear. I take Lipogen B Complex w/ Vitamin C – 2 caps twice per day.
AND…I have cut the caffeine to zero.
As you can see there is not a magic pill. Because of other health problems, I do not have to watch my salt; however, for most people, this is a must as well…at least so I am told.
6. So…here we are on day 38. It is the Christmas season, and I have a million things I need to do to get ready for the day. Here’s what I can do this many days into the thing:
A. I was able to visit in my brothers home on day 34. I didn’t feel great, but I felt well enough to fake it without it being too obvious. I sat a lot, but I also wobbled around a good bit. I do feel that on this day I made a little more progress.
B. I have been in 2-3 stores (days 36 and 37) with Rickey by my side. These are only the type of stores that offer shopping carts that I can push and balance myself with; however, moving around for long is very tiring.
C. I find that if I look at the floor while I walk, I am less dizzy. For some reason, large rooms are almost impossible for me because they are extremely disorienting. I have been to two events (a band concert and a program to see my grandchildren perform), and I was only able to look up at them in very brief intervals to keep the room from spinning.
D. I still do not dare drive, but tomorrow I am going to find a driver, and I am going to get this hair cut if I have to crawl into the shop!
E. Tomorrow is Rickey’s birthday, and I am going to cook dinner for the immediate family. Granted, it is only going to be a pot of soup because I think that is what I can manage, but that is huge improvement. Oh….and my children are going to see what it is like to have a party at my house with paper, beautiful paper, but paper none the less since a lot of cleanup will be too much, and I don’t want anyone else to have to do it.
I’ll let you know what the next week brings as soon as I know myself!
(I did, and still do, notice that I feel worse at times than at others. We found by searching the net that this is normal. As to my progress, I assume that it is normal; however, I’d love to know that through the personal experience of someone else.)