BALANCE AWARENESS WEEK

As Balance Awareness Week comes to an end I want to share some resources with you.

VEDA has a great flyer that explains Vestibular Disorders. VEDA is the best resource for types of Vestibular Disorders. I am using their banner on this post.

Ménière’s Society– The UK’s leading charity for people with vestibular (inner ear) disorders causing dizziness and imbalance.

Baby wants me to write this article!

What can you do to help your friends or family with balance issues? Ask them. Be there for them. Drive them. Ask them places, and be understanding if they can’t go. Keep on trying!

As always I hope you are spin free!

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

Suicide Prevention Month

If you know someone who is struggling, the best thing you can do is reach out to them. Let them know you’re there.

After the last election, my brother did not leave me alone until he felt I would be alright. He is empathic and could feel that I was in despair over the thought that this country I love would vote in a man who was stirring up hate and fear.

Anyway, it got me through a tough time. It may work for someone you know. There is not always such a clear cut event that triggers these feelings. If you know someone is depressed, continue reaching out, let them know you are there. Listen to them or just be silently near them.

NAMI lists some warning signs:

Warning Signs

Here are a few other warning signs of suicide:

  • Increased alcohol and drug use
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Withdrawal from friends, family and community
  • Dramatic mood swings
  • Impulsive or reckless behavior

Suicidal behaviors are a psychiatric emergency. If you or a loved one starts to take any of these steps, seek immediate help from a health care provider or call 911:

  • Collecting and saving pills or buying a weapon
  • Giving away possessions
  • Tying up loose ends, like organizing personal papers or paying off debts
  • Saying goodbye to friends and family

If you are unsure, a licensed mental health professional can help assess.

I live with depression. It’s not as bad for me as others, since I can usually get through it. When I cannot, I take medication. Suicidal thoughts run through my head most days, especially when stress and anxiety are the highest or my depression is at its worst. I won’t act on them because of my fear of becoming a vegetable… Aware of everything, but unable to enjoy it. Still if you see me struggling let me know that you love me and are here for me.

I hope you are alright. If not reach out.

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

Thoughts…

It’s dangerous I know… but I’ve been thinking. My thoughts center on what I want to accomplish. Believe me I want to do more than is possible in my current state.

I have been undergoing testing to see if the neurologist can find the cause of my migraines. Unfortunately, insurance doesn’t care to get things done in a timely manner, so some of my tests have been canceled until insurance approves them. This is super frustrating.

My migraines are so frequent that they interfere with my daily life. The only medication that works almost instantaneously (Within 15 minutes) is Frova and it’s too costly. My insurance only allows 4 pills at a cost of $75.00, which doesn’t work for daily migraines. Even the sumatriptan only allows 9 pills a month and it often takes two pills and a nap to get the pain under control.

So, I need something that will prevent the migraines before they begin. I have high hopes that the neurologist will be able to help.

I hope I get approved and can get tested before I’m scheduled to go back to see her in October. It’s super frustrating to have to rely on non-medical people to decide what I need or don’t need. Why do we pay them?

Addendum: The insurance did not approve the BAER nor the Transcranial Doppler tests… I am paying for them out of pocket.

Be spin free!

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

I’m Still Standing BAW

I’m still standing… most days! LOL! Great song… I love Elton John.

Even when things happen out of my control, it’s important to remember that I am strong enough to survive it. Indeed I will still be standing or surviving. Another good song is I Will Survive.

These songs are talking about people leaving you, but you can apply it to everything that causes you to lose your confidence. Humans are resilient and have a tendency to rebound.

You can come back from devastation a victim or the victor! I choose to be victorious! We are strong enough to overcome anything!

2 years after breaking his tibia, fibula and dislocating his ankle, Ralph is climbing rocks.

Having a chronic debilitating illness, it’s imperative that I don’t give in. Not that I haven’t felt like giving up… because I have. Every time a new symptom popped up, I wanted to quit. Indeed I gave up for a couple of years.

Giving into my illnesses was the worst thing I ever did. I lost my confidence and my will to live.

Saying no more was the best thing I ever did. It’s not that I don’t feel like giving up some times, because I do. I just think of all I want to accomplish and know that if I give up… I won’t.

I won’t reach you or that one person who needs encouragement… who needs to hear my story, so they know they aren’t alone.

I will keep going for myself, for my husband, family and friends; And for you!

I find music helps me feel stronger. Sometimes it helps me cry my tears, other times it gives me strength.

I hope I gave you strength as you read my words. Be spin free!

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

Anxiety

Fear of things out of control. Worry about what might happen or sometimes what has happened. A general sense of impending doom. In other words anxiety.

It’s not always easy to overcome anxiety, sometimes it just is… Sometimes I don’t even realize that I’m anxious.

Once I realize I am anxious, I need to pinpoint why. Sometimes it’s a real fear, like when my husband died. I would wake up in a panic. I called my doctor for help and was prescribed something to help.

Occasionally, it’s just my own head getting in my way. For instance, when I have to drive somewhere that I haven’t been. I get anxious that I’ll get lost. Even having my gps, I still have anxiety, until I get there.

This is when my breathing exercises help. I breathe slowly in though my nose and out through my mouth. This helps tremendously.

Daily meditation helps keep generalized anxiety at bay. Again the breathing helps me. Even when I have a full blown panic attack, breathing exercises get me through it.

Ease anxiety with 5,4,3,2,1 Grounding Technique.

Grounding helps like the steps above. Keeping yourself in the present and your thoughts focused help. Being mindful of how you feel, what you are thinking and redirecting your thoughts helps fight anxiety.

Right now I am on an anxiety medication, hydroxyzine, which has the added benefit of helping me sleep.

Sleep is also helpful in keeping anxiety at bay. Proper sleep habits help with so much. Unfortunately, sleep is not easy for me. I do sleep, I just wake up frequently during the night.

Exercise is always good in preventing anxiety. It actually helps fibromyalgia too. I didn’t believe my doctor, but I am a believer after having experienced it’s benefits. Unfortunately, I stopped after I moved. My support system was no longer in place and I slacked.

I will let you know if it helps this time around. I can already tell it’s helping my mood. I feel better internally, if not actually externally. Meaning that I am sore. Mom always said, “No pain, no gain.” Fortunately, this pain is only temporary until I get used to exercising again.

How do you deal with anxiety?

I hope you are spin free.

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

Balance Awareness Week

VEDA

Until I started having vertigo 20+ years ago, I never considered that one day my balance would be all over the place. When I was diagnosed with Ménière’s, I read that the end results were going deaf and having no balance. Fortunately, the time table is different for everyone.

I was frightened, but still it seemed so far off that I couldn’t fathom life with no balance. Fast forward to today… I tip over frequently, which I jokingly tell people I am practicing ballet. I bump into things and people. Walls are my best friends as they are there for me, preventing me from falling. My feet get tangled, or I stumble, making me look like I am drunk.

Tippy the Flamingo stopped in Vegas before heading to the Smokey Mountains as part of The Invisibles around the world Invisible Disability awareness.

I have almost daily dizziness, I think some might be migraine related. This adds to my balance issues. I think at times my stumbling and “drunkenness” walk is more apparent to me, because my head feels so off.

Having Ménière’s is like being drunk on a spinning ride that you can’t get off. Try closing your eyes while spinning around and try to walk without opening your eyes. It’s not easy. That’s how I feel most days. Even the good days I have some issues.

I have had to desensitize myself to ceiling fans, swirling objects or patterns (not always successfully) and lights. Things still make me dizzy or nauseous, but I refuse to stop doing things. I may have to close my eyes or turn away from things that trigger dizziness, but I try to make the best of it.

Life hasn’t ended for me, though anytime I go to a concert, take a trip or anything fun, I will pay for it when I get home. And I am okay with paying the price for living. The fun times get me through the days when I have to stay in bed or at home, because I am too dizzy to be out.

This week is Balance Awareness Week. Do you have balance issues or know someone who does? Thank you for helping spread awareness.

I hope you are spin free.

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

Balance Awareness Week 1

My balance issues tend to be tipping or running into things. The walls are almost always there for me. I thank them everytime. I have had more bruises from furniture than I can count. Still I carry on, even though I use a cane many days now.

When I was diagnosed with Meniere’s twenty some years ago, I was guaranteed two things: I would eventually lose my balance and my hearing. Having been in support groups, I know that there is no time table and MD is different for everyone. So far, my right ear only has minimal hearing loss and the left none, though that changes on a day to day basis, just not in the hearing tests.

My cane gives me confidence, though it didn’t help at all when I had a drop attack. My drop attacks slam me backwards. The cane followed me and slammed into the car right after me. Fortunately, both the car and I were okay.

My balance is getting worse as the years go by, but not as bad as I pictured twenty years ago. I don’t always need my cane. There are days though that I feel more confident with it. Occasionally, I leave it behind when I really should be carrying it. When I tip or run into things I tend to laugh it off.

Balance Awareness Week is this week. If you have balance issues, get it checked out. Don’t put it off to old age, especially if you have migraines. Managing your migraine, might help with your balance. I have both Meniere’s and Migraines, but am hopeful that I will be able to get help for the migraines after a series of tests the Neurologist is putting me through.

A flamingo is an appropriate mascot for Balance Awareness Week. Let’s see your pictures with a flamingo (real, stuffed or drawn).

I hope you are spin free.

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

Accept What You Cannot Change

This is the best advice I have ever gotten. It’s not that I don’t react to things, but I am trying really hard to let go of that pat of myself. Remember my mantra is the Serenity Prayer.

Meditation when done daily helps so much with my anxiety, anger, insecurity and to some extent depression. I am not afraid of growing older or dying.

I used to say that dying is a direct result of being born. It’s true. If we were meant to live forever that would be a different story.

We may not be able to control everything that happens to us, but we can control how we react to it. If someone yells at me… I have several choices in how I respond. I can yell back… I can walk away… I can cry… or I can smile.

A smile unhinges many people, especially when they’re mad. It can be a powerful weapon against those who want to diminish us.

Smiling has the added benefit of making us feel better. One smile can make a person, who is struggling, day. I try to smile even when I feel bad. I feel better when I do… Maybe not physically, but mentally.

I hope you are spin free.

Love, Peace and Light, Rita

Taking Care of Me

I am tired of being fat so I joined a program through my insurance to help me achieve my goals.

In addition to walking, I am meditating and doing yoga. These few things are making me tired… LOL! No, really, I feel better. A bit sore, but I know the planks and downward dog will make me stronger.

Last night I was awakened by mini spins throughout the night, so getting up at 5 am to walk the dogs was not easy, but I did it. Ralph was with us so I was in little danger if an attack should happen.

Yoga with Blitz!

My balance was lacking during my yoga session. I just wobbled and continued on. If I couldn’t do something, I did something I could. Child pose instead of downward dog at least once. Yogi’s use those poses to rest and stretch I believe.

I am doing this for me. I hate being fat and felt my weight creeping back up. So, I am taking charge. It’s good for my self esteem. (Autocorrect wanted to write estrogen instead of esteem.) Even if I just maintain my current weight at least I am taking control.

I hope you are spin free.

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

Wicked

Wicked Selfie Opportunity

Wednesday Ralph and I went to see Wicked, along with our friend, Colleen. This was one show that I refused to miss. I loved Gregory Maguire’s books. I have loved musicals since I was a child, so this was a no brainer.

It didn’t disappoint. The audience was drawn in to Elphaba’s story. I loved how this showed the other side. How does one get to be “The Wicked Witch”? It makes you feel sorry for the girl who was bullied and didn’t fit it solely because of the color of her skin. I loved it. If I get the chance I will see it again.

I had a good day. Still being up in the balcony triggered a few mini spins. I’m just glad it didn’t trigger full blown vertigo. Except for that, nothing marred my enjoyment of the show.

The Children’s Museum

Discovery Children’s Museum
Symphony Park
Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center
Hallway at The Smith Center

Looking down the rabbit hole.

I hope you get to see Wicked.

Love, Peace and Light! Rita