In August 2015, I began experiencing violent vertigo attacks. Every day, I would wake up to my world spinning around me. This went on for several months (and many misdiagnoses) before it was discovered that I had a tumor growing inside my inner ear. In January 2016, I had the tumor removed and life seemed to resume back to normal. Then in July 2016 the vertigo returned. My doctor officially diagnosed me with Meniere’s Disease. Meniere’s is a build up of fluid and pressure inside the inner ear. There are many symptoms that can occur such as tinnitus, hearing loss, vertigo, and even drop attacks. I currently experience vertigo and some hearing loss in my left ear. No one really knows what the cause is and there is no cure for it. The treatment in many cases is a low sodium diet, taking a diuretic, antihistimines/betahistimines and in some cases, inserting a shunt into the ear to drain fluid. My case was a little bit trickier. The surgery is not an option because the location for the shunt is gone inside my ear. My doctor immediately started me on a diuretic, demanded that I take walks first thing in the morning (that’s a whole ‘nother story), and told me to cut my caffiene and go low sodium for my dietary needs. Now I am from the South y’all…low sodium is NOT how we do it down South. I like my sweet tea. I love my fried foods. How in the hell am I supposed to eat if I cannot have those two staples in my diet?? Well let me tell you now…you learn REAL quick what happens if you do not eat low sodium. See that picture above…that’s EXACTLY what happens!!! I wake up to the ceiling spinning one way and my fan spinning the other. And it sucks…big time!!!
So…I went low sodium. Like 1,000mg per day (the average recommended per day is 1,200-1,500). Now for those of you who are not “loso” (yeah, that’s the term for low sodium), 1,000mg is not that much. Every. Damn. Thing. has sodium in it (at least it seems like it to me). A freaking can of Coke has 45mg…even the caffiene-free ones. My first trip to the grocery store took twice as long…probably because I was crying down every single aisle. The blue hairs must have thought I had either been jilted or that I was a nut case. I was so brain dead from reading labels that my eyes were crossing. It was horrible…and apparently this happens to a lot of people when they first start going loso.
Fast forward to a few months later…this bitch has lost 30lbs!!! Yep…30lbs!!! I am beyond ecstatic!! I have had to learn a whole new way of cooking, but I am getting there. Eating out sucks because I never know how the food will affect me. I can do Logan’s Roadhouse, Outback Steakhouse and even Blue Adobe. But I have pretty much lost Rubio’s Fish Tacos and Chick-Fil-A. So not fair!! I’m still learning about this disease and what my triggers are. I drink decaf coffee (it sucks no matter what any of y’all say). I splurge on a regular Coke at lunch and drink caffiene-free with dinner. I have to forgo butter and salt on my popcorn at the movies (that sucks more than decaf coffee). However I have gone from having vertigo every single day to stringing weeks at a time before an attack hits me. Heat is also a major trigger for me. If I overexert myself – yeah, I’m screwed. But I’m adapting to this new lifestyle and trying to embrace it.
I’ll post some days about my life with MD and maybe even some of my favorite recipes. In the meantime, I’m going to sit over here and drink my water and eat my fruit cup all the while wishing I had me some damn sweet tea!!!