About Me – Contact Me

me with CI
A little about me….I’m a bit of an idealist.  I want everyone to be happy and think everyone should want the same for others.  I don’t understand mean people.  I cry easily and laugh often.  I love cartoons, Dr. Who and my amazing husband…not in that order.
I’m an amateur artist living in North Carolina with my wonderful husband and 2 furry babies.  Life can be a challenge, but we make it through one moment at a time.  The loss of my independence and hearing hit me hard.  However, with the love of my husband and a great therapist to help us along, we have made our marriage stronger than ever.
I have a few chronic illnesses that are a part of my life including, but not limited to, Meniere’s Disease, Bipolar I, Fructose Malabsorption, Chronic Migraines, Vestibular Migraines with Migraine Associated Vertigo, Cluster Headaches, Hypothyroidism, Hypoglycemia, chronic pelvic pain, chronic hip trouble…..to find out more about these and other illnesses/conditions I live with please check out the page titled My Chronic Illness (my “ants”).
I believe my mindfulness practice helps me deal with my situation and with my illnesses.  I try not to concentrate on the past or the future, each are things that I can do nothing about.  This moment is all we have.
Hope for Dr. Gray

If you ever have any questions, comments, or suggestions for me please feel free to either leave a comment on a post, or contact me below:

58 thoughts on “About Me – Contact Me

  1. Dear Wendy
    I found your blogg on “My life and Meniere`s disease”. I have bilateral M myself and find it comforting to meet others with the same M-problems. So I would like to be a follower – and to give my comments now and then.
    Yours Susanna

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    • Thank you Susanna,
      I haven’t met very many people who have bilateral Meniere’s. I often feel like the subjects that other Meniere’s patients talk about don’t apply to me since it’s in both of my ears.
      For example, I can’t imagine ever getting a “laby”.
      I look forward to hearing more about your experiences.
      Thank you for following my blog.
      wendy

      Like

  2. Hi Wendy:
    Found your blog through ChronicBabes.com. Would love to add you to my blogs of note/interest (which is seriously in need of revision) with your approval, of course!
    Hope there weren’t too many ants at your picnic today!

    Like

    • Hi Phylor.
      Of course you can add my blog! It’s so funny I was just reading your blog! Maureen from Sunshine and Chaos told me about it, and then I saw you on Chronic Babes and thought I should check you out right now!

      May I add you to my blog roll?
      thanks
      w

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  3. Good luck. I have been writing all evening to persons with psychological disorders. I am a clinical social worier/psychotherapist. I don’t know much at all about your situation, but I know from mine (aging and fibromaygelia/arthritis, COPD, and cardio problems) that living with a host of chronic problems is hard and to stay upbeat and to keep working and keep writing (working on a novel) is hard hard hard.

    I wish you the bst. We all, I guess, have something to say to one another. Life is hard,but I wouldn’t change mine. I do have wonderful husbamd (after two not so good marriages). I don’t have children, but do have through husbad, step children. And most of all, I have my work and my wrriting. A nd my ability to help clients and to create new world via writing.

    Life is a choice of how to view where we are. God Bless where you are and same for all of us.

    Claire Holcomb-Drapkin

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    • Claire,
      Thank you for coming by my blog.
      Everyone is welcome, especially those who have chronic illnesses.
      We need to stick together.
      I can’t tell you the support and friendships I’ve found through this blog.
      I feel so overwhelmed with emotion from just some of the comments I’ve read tonight.
      Please come by again.
      and keep us informed as to how you are doing.

      So glad you found a “keeper”. I do not know how I would have survived the past few years without my husband.

      What’s your novel about.
      I’m thinking of writing a book. Non-fiction. Just in the thought stage right now.

      good luck to you. (funny, my last name is Holcombe…with an e.)
      w

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  4. Wendy, you do have allot of chronic problems. I am sorry you suffer so… but happy your Bipolar has been managed well. I suffer from chronic pelvic pain, possibly due to the golfball size tumor on one ovary… but coping is difficult and it seems nobody knows how to treat it. They act like I am simply a drug seeker… (ugh, addicts who ruin it for us with true pain). how are you treated?? Or cope with the pain?

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    • I don’t really think of it as suffering any longer. It’s just part of me. Hopefully, some things will get better, but I’ll always do what I can to make the most out of what has been dealt to me. As I often say, my life may not be what I expected, so I’m changing my expectations…sometimes daily. : )

      Yes for the most part my Bipolar issues are under control. I still have moments when we have to tweek my meds, but I can live with that. The greatest hurdle was forgiving myself for all the hurt my illness caused.

      About the pelvic pain. I have seen a pelvic physical therapist. I’m not sure what she’s called exactly…but she did physical therapy inside and out. It worked for a while, but my pain returned and she was at a loss. She recommended I go to UNC’s (the University of North Carolina’s) pelvic pain center. And I plan to, but the Meniere’s kind of took over my life for the past 2 years. Hopefully, I can focus more on that in the future.

      I’m lucky, I have a very good relationship with my doctors. They understand my pain and I have pain meds. I’ve never been accused of being a drug seeker. I will say when they first prescribed them they’s only write the prescription for a small amount. And I would never take them all by the time I should need more. I proved that I only took them when I really needed them, after I tried everything else. (like baths and ice, and massage therapy) I have chronic hip pain too, that they believe is connected to my pelvic pain. My entire pelvic girdle is in pain. I do get massages about every 2 weeks. (luckily we found a great girl who really cares, and will even come to my house. And she charges much less than any other’s around here. She charges less for 90 mins than my last massage therapist now charges for an hour.)

      Oh, but now I have doctors prescribing pain meds to me left and right. I have them for my hip, for my migraines…ect. But if I have hip pain I take one from that bottle, if I have a migraine I take one from that bottle. That way I can tell my doctor, I had to take this many this month to control that pain. (and they know I do this.) But I really had to earn their trust about the pain pills. I once had to see a different doctor for a migraine (an emergency visit) and she was more skeptical and hesitant about giving me a shot. I told her, I needed an anti-inflammatory, not necessarily pain medication. I can’t take them by mouth because of stomach problems and the shots help a lot. She then realized I wasn’t a drug seeker and gave me not only the anti-inflammatory, but also Darvon.

      My pain is much different from your pain. Most of my pelvic pain only happens during sex especially during an orgasm…there isn’t much I can take for that. However, I’ve had cysts on my ovaries, birth control pills helped with those. I had one burst…damn that hurt, but luckily it was small and I recovered easily…it was just the initial pain that was unbearable.

      good luck my dear. w

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  5. I’m glad that I’ve found your blog! It’s really interesting and refreshingly honest. I myself also suffer from chronic illness (Marfan Syndrome) and feel much less alone with it when I can read through the experiences of others. Thanks and keep at it! 🙂

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  6. Hi Wendy – I also have bilateral menieres (was diagnosed in March 2011) and your blog is the first contact I’ve had with someone else that has a similar diagnosis. I have 2 toddlers, so am constantly worried about what the future holds for me. Lots of hugs to you and hope you are feeling well today xx

    Like

    • Hi Jadeshi,
      I’m sorry to hear you have bilateral Menieres. It’s a tough disease. Please remember as you read my blog that I am unusual. I’m in the rare percentage who progressed so rapidly…and has such bad symptoms so much. I don’t want to scare people when they read about me.
      I know a few people who lead mostly normal lives with this. Of course it is a disease of Random Punishment, so you never know when it’s going to hit.
      It’s natural to worry about what will happen when you have children. Hopefully, you won’t have to think that much about it. But know there are lots of treatments, and many work for many people, but it seems that the same treatments don’t work for everyone…so keep looking if you have continuing symptoms.
      And from my personal experience…I had to find the right doctor. I had an ENT, who admitted later he didn’t know much about Meniere’s, so I hunted for someone who did, and found a doctor who is an Otologist (specializes just in ears) who is interested in Meniere’s. He has been wonderful. And very honest.
      My other big thing that helps me, is my therapist. When things got bad and I had to started to lose my independence, I needed help dealing with it. So I started seeing a therapist. Soon my husband started going with me, after all we are in this together. She has helped so much, it’s great to have someone who is neutral to listen to us. And she sees a lot of patients with chronic illnesses, so these issues were not knew to her.
      I’m sorry if I’ve over stepped. But I really want you to know, your life may never get to the point mine is, and there is help.
      good luck.
      I hope today is a steady day.
      w

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  7. I like your blog. I am also experiencing gluten intolerance and migraine headaches. I’ve been looking for others that share some of the same illnesses just to remember I’m not alone. I’ll be keeping in touch.

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    • Stillstrange…Unfortunately I can relate to both the gluten intolerance and migraine headaches…and much more. : )
      I’m going to go ahead and answer your other comment here..hope that’s ok. I had a blood test for auto immunity stuff. That is actually how they found out I was misdiagnosed with Celiac disease. I have no auto immune markers. Even though the blood test for Celiac was positive (well, one was positive, one was negative….long story) But I can’t eat it so it doesn’t matter. The Fructose Malabsorption is much worse to handle!
      let me know if I can help in any way.
      w

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  8. I’m so grateful for the blogs on Menieres! Your experiences and shared symptoms are validation to me that I’m scared but I’m g to be ok. God bless. I am just developing my blog come visit soon….Trish m

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    • Thank you Trish,
      I’m glad you could find blogs on Meniere’s…and have found them helpful. Feel free to drop by here any time. I will come by your blog very soon.
      wendy

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  10. Meniere’s took my hearing first. Left ear first some vertigo but tolerable. I got a cochlear implant in my left ear in 2012. In January I woke up and has lost all hearing in my right ear. Went through steroid injections etc. I got mt right cochlear in 2013. All was fine about six months later severe vertigo. 5 to 6 times a week. Test showed my left inner ear active and my doc fet it was related to a recent shingles episode I had. Had endolymphatic shunt in April on left ear. Recovery went as you described but in June 2 months later severe vertigo attacks began again. Tests are now showing both ears active. Considering right endolymphatic shunt surgery. Your story has added to my information base and more research on my part. Thank you and I wish you well.
    Staci

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    • Your welcome Staci, I’ve never heard of Meniere’s acting that way, but it is a fickle disease for sure.
      Vertigo normally hits first, then hearing loss. The other way around I’ve just never heard of, I’m so sorry.
      Vertigo is hell. I lost my hearing pretty fast. Well one ear I had minor hearing loss for a long time, then suddenly, I went bilateral, and bam, I lost my hearing fast. got my CI’s the same years you did. But I’ve had vertigo for years. it has gotten better with the hearing loss.
      You mentioned shingles. has anyone tested you for Bell’s Palsey?

      I hope things get better for you.
      and wish you well.
      wendy

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  11. I’m seeing Dr. Kaylie at Duke next Tuesday for pre-op consult prior to Endo Sac Decomp on 12/15. Where do you live? I’m having to travel to Duke from Bennettsville, SC.

    Gray Bostick

    Like

    • Hi Gary,
      I now live in Charlotte, NC…but we just moved here in September from Durham, so I was living very close to Duke for a long time.
      I will be at Duke on Tuesday to see Dr. Kaylie actually. Small world.
      I answered your email.
      will talk more soon.
      wendy

      Like

    • Hi Kathy.
      I just emailed you.
      But…just go to the main page….you can either click the picture at the top of the page, or start over at http://www.picnicwithants.com
      When you get to the main…or what is also called the Home page…look over to the right column you will see a part that says.
      Email Subscription
      Click to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email”.
      and under that there is a Button that says “Sign Me Up”
      Just click on that Button…and you will be subscribed, and you will get an email every time I write a new post.
      If you have any problems, just let me know.

      wendy

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  39. Hi. I’m new to blogging and have just been searching around to connect with other people. Glad to have found your blog! I have chronic pain. Looking forward to reading your posts. Thank you!

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