Friends, I've been away for far too long and so much has changed in my life. In the last year, my Meniere's Disease and positional vertigo has worsened to the point that I must use a cane if I'm walking more than a few feet and have had to obtain a handicapped parking tag. I also have MD in both ears now. Added to that is spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spine that is pressing on the nerve root, causing pain and numbness in my lower back and thighs. I have not felt good in nearly three years, and it finally wore me down this year.
In hopes of getting rid of the positional vertigo, I recently underwent canal occlusion surgery and at four weeks post-op I am finally seeing a tiny bit of improvement. I should continue to improve for eight more weeks and by then we'll know how much it really helped. I have also had a serious of three epidurals for the spinal stenosis, but it has not helped much, and you can only have them every six months.
I have been deeply depressed for the last year or so--obviously situational depression. I don't even know myself sometimes; I used to be so optimistic and upbeat--a "people" lover.
Because I also have nystagmus (involuntary eye jerking) whenever I'm in a place with visual stimuli, I have been forced to forego anything that involves public places, people moving, bright lights, loud noises, etc. I haven't been able to go to church, shopping, or anywhere but work in nearly two years. That's prettyy tough for a "people person." Luckily, my boss gave me a private office or I would not have been able to keep my job, which I love. God has blessed me with compassionate co-workers who try to help in any way that they can.
During these last two years, I have been forced by my health issues to become almost completely sedentary. Between that and the depression, I have managed to gain back the 46 pounds that I spent 13 months losing, prior to the vertigo. I still can't exercise or even walk more than a few feet without getting sick; can't bend forward or sideways, reach up or down--without getting vertigo and nausea. All my hopes are pinned on the recent surgery. It was my chance to relieve the positional vertigo which is the one that is constant with every movement of my head. Please pray with me that it will be successful. The recovery was so horrible and debilitating that I can't fathom going through another surgery on my ear--but neither can I imagine going on like this for the rest of my life. I am only 54 years old, but I feel like I'm 80 most of the time.
I want to be faithful to sparkpeople, if only for the wonderful support; but there are days when I'm feeling so down that I simply don't care. Doesn't that sound awful when I actually say it? I really get disgusted with myself when I sound so weak; but only the grace of my God has kept me sane so far. And I know that He is in control and will help me, if only I can be strong enough to do my part.
I plan to take baby steps. I am starting with this blog and I plan to check in on some of my old groups. If I can watch my diet, I will. But I am promising not to bear myself up when I'm already depressed. My number one goal is to get myself in a better frame of mind through the support of all you wonderful people going through similar trials. Your prayers are appreciated. I need all the help I can get!