Deb from Faith Hope and Fighting Spirit is my Guest writer today. Like many of us she suffered with Meniere’s for several years before she was diagnosed. Deb is a teacher in Barrie, Ontario, Canada (1 hour north of Toronto).
This is the story of her trials with the treatments she has tried, and what is working for her.
Here is the readers digest story of my fight with Meniere’s. I have found the Meniett Device extremely helpful as a treatment, albeit, not a cure. I have tried various treatments over the years, but so far this treatment seems to work the best for me.
It is difficult to track exactly when Meniere’s first hit me but it was likely December 2001.
For 7 years I had attacks but I didn’t know what was wrong with me. Doctors thought they were vertigo migraines. It was not until 2008 that I was diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease and my Oto/ENT prescribed a low sodium diet and Serc. For over a year this helped but by the spring of 2010 I became very sick and began to miss work for weeks at a time. I am a teacher and in the fall of 2010 after a long hot summer I could not return to work. I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t even get dressed by myself or go to the washroom alone. I was desperate. I know I was depressed.
My Oto/ENT just kept giving me more and more Serc that wasn’t doing anything so I tried everything. At one point I was seeing my Oto/ENT, my family doctor, a chiropractor, a natural path, an acupuncturist, a massage therapist and an osteopath! I needed a secretary to keep me straight with my appointments.
I was then given the opportunity through my Oto/ENT to be fitted with a ventilation tube so I could try a Meniett device. I had read about the device and wanted to try it, even though I wasn’t sure my insurance would cover the $3500.00 cost! This was on September 20th, I was not well enough to go back to school so what a Godsend this Meniett was! Miracles happen daily and I have been fortunate enough to be part of one. God heals in all sorts of ways and with me He chose the Meniett!
After using the machine just 5 days I was well enough to run again! I had missed this desperately. Three weeks after that on October 12th I was able to return to school. I was so happy to see my students and to lead a “normal” life. I hope I remember this feeling always. Illness really can be a blessing, especially when you can be so thankful for the healing in the end.
Since then I have used the machine 3-4 times a day. Each session takes about 5-7 minutes and it is small enough that I just carry it to work with me and use it on my lunch. My original tube was blocked recently but my Oto/ENT replaced it with a larger one that should last me 18 months. The procedure for getting the tube inserted takes about 5-10 minutes and is not that painful. My doctor just used a local anesthetic that burned a bit when it was put on but that’s it.
The premise behind how it works is that the air puts pressure into the inner ear which then moves the excess endolymphatic fluid to the endolymphatic sac.
You can check out more information on the Meniett and how it is used at: http://www.meniett.com/
They will usually give you a 60 day trial period. If it doesn’t work for you, just send it back and they will not charge your credit card.
I am not entirely drug free. I still use meclizine periodically and I take Ativan at night if I am feeling extra stressed or I can feel the spins lurking in the back of my head. The really good news is that after a good fight with my insurance company it looks like they will finally pick up the cost!
I hope this helps. I wish all of you good health and strength to continue the good fight!
**Please note that I (Wendy) have added links the treatments that Deb tried. The links will lead you to sites that I found explaining the premise behind these treatments, or to definitions of the terms.
As always remember that different treatments work for different people. We are not doctors and we aren’t telling anyone what they should do. This series is to allow people with Meniere’s to see how others have dealt with this disease.
To keep up with Deb’s progress please check out her blog Faith, Hope, and Fighting Spirit.
Next Post: Meniere’s Treatments Guest Post – Susanna