It is Autumn here and this year we have actually gotten a Fall season, rather than a rather early Winter. And I am quite enjoying that. It is nice to be outside in and have a backyard fire, or have outdoor coffee with my mom. Not so nice the barometric pressure has been changing frequently causing a lot of fluctuating pain. It is a beautiful time of year and not too cold, not too hot.
It is also World Mental Health Day (10 October) and that is apt since I have been in a bit of a slump and doing all the things I do to inch my way out of that. Also getting close to that time where I may start having to take my SAD medication… getting a wee bit darker out there. And I guess my brain doesn’t approve of that. Finicky brain. Does like light. Doesn’t like dark. What Do you like, brain?
Due to my emotional slump I have struggled to do much of anything. This lack of motivation is a key sign for me that I need to actually create and Do to help my brain along. Art and writing are my go-to outlets to express myself.
And also writing here and my creative writing. Creative writing has been more of a struggle as it requires more focus and my vertigo has been a real uphill battle lately as I try to deal with the medication for it.
Creativity really helps me cope. And I know this. So I can’t let a motivational slump stop me from doing it when I know it is a major factor in how I cope with chronic pain and chronic illness. I just need to pace and rest and work it in there for my own mental and physical well-being. As a vital part of my coping. And feeling Productive. And a sense of satisfaction I get from doing them.
I have acquired a new diagnosis. Not sure if my brain has fully accepted it since I received it over a phone appointment. I think I need to here it in person before I fully accept it is a valid one. Nevertheless, from all I have looked into lately about it, it does fit with the symptoms and progression of these symptoms over time. The diagnosis is Ménière’s disease a type of progressive vertigo of the inner ear.
It is, in fact, what led to my mood slump. Because I had this concept that the vertigo would poof out of existence as it can in some cases. Not a progressive incurable condition. Like I need more incurable conditions, let alone this infernal vertigo that has been the plague of my existence these last 3 years. So it is a process of mentally and emotionally accepting this reality so I can progress into the necessarily lifestyle changes that may improve my quality of life. And I have started that first step into lifestyle changes by started to eliminate diet coke entirely from my diet. A) due to caffeine and B) due to the salt in it. But I am starting with the salt reduction so I am having caffeine in coffee in the morning and tea instead of diet coke. And just diet coke in the middle of the day, slowly shrinking that span to nothing over time. And slowly starting the caffeine reduction by not having it in the evening at all. Baby steps.
Anyway, it is not cool to have this new diagnosis. I am not pleased about it. But I will cope. And I will adjust. I just needed my mope first. And frankly, a little rank and mope about the suck factor of it is totally fine as long as I do not indulge in it Too long and slip into a depression, which I want to avoid at all costs.
Like I said above I am switching up some health lifestyle Issues. So from what I have looked up about Ménière’s disease one had to cut out caffeine, reduce salt a lot, stop smoking. Caffeine is a hard one for me. Smoking is a HARD one for me. So I have to tackle them separately. Salt is not an issue on its own. I do not Add salt to anything. But turns out there is salt in everything. A single diet coke can has 40 mg. And I should aim for 1200 mg a Day. I drink only diet coke aside from 2 cups of coffee in the morning and maybe a tea at night. And I am constantly thirsty. Oh, and a crapton of water too, which is good because that I should also be doing but already am.
So that is why I need to kick the diet coke. 2 for 1 there. So I am hitting it first. Caffeine second. Smoking third. And you can have a wee bit of caffeine so no biggie there. But smoking, if I quit, I cannot touch them because if I Do I will start again, it is just what happens with me. So when I do… it must be Done. It is all about balancing the water in your inner ear perfectly. And maybe if I do all this the constant dizziness will abate. Because that is a frustration in addition to the violent vertigo attacks and balance issues. This constant unrelenting dizziness.
And maybe in the past I thought about these. Did them for a bit. Didn’t see a difference and went back. But now I am doing it flat out because this Ménière’s disease is seriously messing with my functionality, mobility, and quality of life. And that is a serious reason to make changes.
I find it disappointing that it is so difficult to function lately. To do minor housekeeping. To go for a short walk. My medication for the vertigo works, when it works, and doesn’t when it doesn’t… but it leaves me dizzy and off balance… makes me tire fast. It is like Holding Back this severe bout of vertigo I am in but just barely. If I mess up my med schedule even a little I am worse, and my hearing and ear goes really, really wonky. And some days it simply fails to work and I am Laid Out, so my Clonazepam is not sufficient by itself to manage to severity of this bout like it is with my regular symptoms, like when I do not have severe vertigo, just the balance issues and dizziness and the occasional short lasting vertigo bout. Then it works moderately, not awesome, but moderately. At this time, I need both to just hold this under control and I am still left with symptoms.
And I am very tired. I cannot exercise to gain strength I am losing. I cannot keep up with housework as I would want to. I cannot do much at all. But some days when the medication is taken Just Right, I do feel decent and I can do a bit more and then I feel not so bad- but then there is fibro pain and likely a migraine. So you know, still a lot to deal with. And it just seems like a Whole Lot right now. When I want to do things that may help overall and long-term and really struggling with it.
So I will be slowly, inch by inch, forming new routines and habits that will take time and hopefully will have some sort of positive impact. That is all we can do… hope what we do makes an impact for the better.
But it also means re-forming habits that are beneficial to my mental health. I always remind myself this means a whole lot of factors and life satisfaction factors. Got to do the work. And I do a lot of meditation these days that I am keeping up with a feel that is helping me a lot with soothing my anxieties. Mood maintenance is vital for me with my risk factors for depression which is treated with a great medication, for me, but there are always mental and emotional factors that must be attended to outside of medication. It doesn’t help any of us that we are in a high stress pandemic situation. And for me this is leading to consistent financial issues and that is a massive stressor I can’t resolve. So focusing on reducing the Effects of all that stress on me is a very good idea at this time.
So it is going to be a time of adjustments in my routines and habits. And let’s hope that has an impact. However, not like healthy changes are ever going to Hurt me either.