Friday, January 24, 2014

Tales of the Scales ~ Week 4

Starting Weight: 274.3
Last Weigh In Weight: 269.2
Today's Weigh In Weight : 269.4
This Week's Weight Gain : ↑ 0.2
 BMI: 42.2 - Extremely Obese
Total Weight Loss: 4.9 lbs

Friday, January 17, 2014

Tales of the Scales ~ Week 3

Starting Weight: 274.3
Last Weigh In Weight: 268.0
Today's Weigh In Weight : 269.2
This Week's Weight Gain : ↑ 1.2
 BMI: 42.2 - Extremely Obese
Total Weight Loss: 5.1 lbs

Belinda Riley-Sanders completed a 1.56 mi. running activity.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

More Questions Than Answers

I went to see the ENT (Doctor 3) that specializes in Menerie's Disease and BPPV to receive the ear injections that the last ENT (Doctor 2) said I needed to help ease my vertigo attacks.   I met and spoke for several minutes with the MD and after going over my symptoms and answering all the questions he had asked he informed me I did not have Menerie's Disease nor did I have BPPV, he asked if I would mind him running some test with his people because he does not know the accuracy of the test previously done.

He performed two test in his office and has set me up for an MRI and a videonystagmography next Friday.  He does not know what is wrong with me at this time but he assures me he will figure it out by process of elimination. He also asked me to discontinue taking meclizine because in some patient it causes severe dizziness instead of curing it. So come to find out that the medication that the first two MDs were giving me for my vertigo may have been the very thing that was keeping me sick for the past 6 months.

I feel comfortable with this ENT and he seems competent so I am hoping we will have more answers than questions soon.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Tales of the Scale ~ Week 2

Starting Weight: 274.3
Last Weigh In Weight: 271.0
Today's Weigh In Weight : 268.0
This Week's Weight Loss : ↓ 3.0
 BMI: 42.0 - Extremely Obese
Total Weight Loss: 6.3 lbs

Thursday, January 9, 2014

CATS and Flying Pigs

I would say the worst thing about Meniere’s Disease/BPPV is never knowing when an attack is going to hit. I think as a victim of this chronic disease we try to blame anything and everything on an attack, I ate too much salt last night, I stressed to much today, I did not get enough sleep – but the reality is sometimes an attack just hits because that is a characteristic of this disease. Over the past six months, I have had few ups, and many, many downs.

While at my ENT appointment on Tuesday (January 7, 2014) my physician instructed me to start avoiding CATS. Of course the first thing I thought was I have four of them how am I suppose to do that and what do they have to do with my current symptoms? He went on to explain that eliminating Caffeine, Alcohol, Tension and Sodium from my life would do wonders to help control my symptoms. OMG I thought this man is insane I live on caffeine and sodium and I never have a day that I do not suffer from tension, the illness itself is stressful each and every day.

Of course the first thing I did was come home and finish off a 2 liter bottle of Mt Dew convincing myself that if I didn't drink it would be wasted and once it is gone I will not be tempted.  Then off course I decided that I would have all the other bad things I can no longer have, one last day of CATS to get it out of my system! About the only thing this thinking accomplished was making my symptoms worse, which resulting in me falling (January 8, 2014) on the way back from the bathroom and thinking I had broken my wrist.  Thank goodness the wrist is not broken just painful and bruised.

So today I woke up and decided to start making the changes in my life, though I think teaching a pig to fly would be a much easier task.  I have had zero caffeine today, no table salt and stayed below my set 1,500 milligrams of sodium. Tension/Stress well lets just say I am trying, but sitting and dwelling on having a needle shoved into your ear is stressful unfortunately and I do not see that changing until after the procedure is accomplished and then I have to stress about missing work, loss of income, being unable to pay bills, how to stay afloat while not getting paid while out on medical leave (head explodes).

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Get Down With BPPV

Well my 6 month illness finally has a name. On top of my Menerie's Disease I have been diagnosed by the ENT specialist as suffering from Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. What is this tongue twister disease you may ask.

BPPV occurs as a result of otoconia, tiny crystals of calcium carbonate that are a normal part of the inner ear’s anatomy, detaching from the otolithic membrane in the utricle and collecting in one of the semicircular canals. When the head is still, gravity causes the otoconia to clump and settle. When the head moves, the otoconia shift. This stimulates the cupula to send false signals to the brain, producing vertigo and triggering nystagmus (involuntary eye movements).  So basically I have rocks in my head - we already new this right?

Treatment: Dexamethasone intratympanic injection. Yep long needles shoved into my eardrum with the purpose of relocating the particles to an area of the inner ear which does not cause vertigo. However, after several months or years these particles can find their way back into areas of the inner ear which will require a repeat treatment.

Conclusion: We know what it is, how to treat it, and I have a whole week to sit here (scheduled 01/14/14) and think about how scary this all sounds but if it will give me quality of life back I think it 100% worth the discomfort and fear.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

My name is Belinda and I have Meniere's Disease

I have Meniere’s Disease, and although it does not define me, it is my constant companion.

I was diagnosed with this disease in my early twenties after going through a battery of test for dizziness, vertigo, and hearing issues I was having.  I would have an occasional episode every so often, riding in the back seat of a car, reading in a moving vehicle, anything that goes round and round would always cause a episode that last several minutes or sometimes hours. Amusement parks became my mortal enemy, and I hated flying and bus trips.  Then about 8 years ago the disease vanished as quickly as it had appeared. Little did I know it was lying dormant, just waiting.  Meniere’s is a sneaky, cheating, ambushing disease which, after hitting you hard and making life unbearable, goes and hides – only to pounce back when you are least expecting it, and this time it came back with a vengeance.

I have been experience severe meniere's episodes for the past six months with no sign that they are even considering stopping.  I am trapped inside my own body. Like a prisoner, I have no control.  I wake up and upon attempting to sit up the room starts spinning like a tilt a whirl. I need assistance to get from the bed to the bathroom and back to the bed, my body feels as though it is a raving drunk though I am completely sober.  I have severe nausea, vomiting, for which I am eating Meclizine like candy for and it no longer seems to have any affect.  Light hurts my eyes, my head is in a fog, I can't focus or concentrate.  My ear slosh or buzz or hum or a combination of all three at the same time.  I lay in my bed on my right side in the fetal position in the dark with a cold wash cloth on my head and pray for death, death would be quicker and more humane. Once all the symptoms subside your body crashes, you sleep for hours or days and once you awaken you still feel drained.

I am at this posting coming down from a 3 day episode.  I hope and pray when I awake Monday morning I will be able to go to work and be a "normal" person.  It is sad when the biggest event of the last four days of your life was being able to wash your hair without someone standing outside the shower making sure you didn't fall and crack your head on the faucet.  Yep this year has to get better.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Tales of the Scale ~ Week 1

Starting Weight: 274.3
Last Weigh In Weight: 274.3
Today's Weigh In Weight : 271.0
This Week's Weight Loss : ↓ 3.3
 BMI: 42.4 - Extremely Obese
Total Weight Loss: 3.3 lbs

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 Goals and Dreams

I am truly looking forward to 2014 as being a year of new beginnings, adventures and a healthy, happy me. I have my goals in place and I look forward to watching them unfold! I might add more things to the list as the year progresses, but I definitely want to be able to check off all of the below by the end of 2014.

1. Pay off all three credit cards.
  • Balance as of 12/31/13: $535.51 
  • Balance as of 12/31/13: $419.23 
  • Balance as of 12/31/13: $371.12 
  • Balance as of 12/31/13:  $ 713.63   ~Paid Off 1/15/14
  • Balance as of 12/31/13:  $ 561.50   ~Paid Off 1/15/14
  • Balance as of 12/31/13:  $ 310.88   ~Paid Off 1/15/14
  • Balance as of 12/31/13:  $ 283.00   ~Paid Off 1/15/14
  • Balance as of 12/31/13:  $ 270.09   ~Paid Off 1/15/14
  • Balance as of 12/31/13:  $ 213.50   ~Paid Off 1/15/14
  • Balance as of 12/31/13:  $ 171.80   ~Paid Off 1/15/14
3. By end of the year have all utility bills on automatic bill pay.
  • Nevada Energy:    ~ Completed.  2/14/2014
  • Cox Cable:           ~ Completed.  3/5/2014
  • Verizon Wireless ~ Completed.  2/14/2014
  • Southwest Gas:    ~ Completed.  2/14/2014
4. Increase Credit Score. Starting Score 12/31/13: 541  08/22/2014: 588
5. Increase my 401k contribution to 5%  ~ Completed.  1/5/2014
6. Buy stock and make a profit~ Completed.  3/5/2014
7. Set aside $50.00 each paycheck into the “Home Sweet Home” savings account.  
8. Participate in the 52 Week Challenge and deposit into the “Rainy Day” savings account. 
9. Set up an entertainment budget of $100.00 a month to use as decided. 
10. Collect and cash in my change. (Change Jar ready to go)  

 Health and Well Being:
1. Find a specialist to treat my balance disorder .  ~Completed. 1/14/2014
2. Lose 50 pounds. ~ A work in progress.
3. Walk 3 times a week, at least a mile each time ~ A work in progress.
4. Drink more water ~ A work in progress.
5. I will participate in a 5K. ~Completed. 5/3/2014
6. Spend less time online ~ A work in progress.
7. Read one book a month ~ A work in progress.
8. I will learn to start reducing stress. 
9. I will learn to deal with the stress that I can’t cut from my life. (yoga maybe?) 
10. I will strive for progress not perfection ~ A work in progress..

1.  Get my driver’s license, after 13 years I think it is time.
2.  Get divorce finalized. ~ A work in progress.
3.  Get married. ~ A work in progress.
4.  Get our own home. ~ A work in progress.
5.  Plan and go on one weekend (4 days) get away.  ~Completed. 7/10-15/2014
6.  Spend New Year’s Eve 2014 on the strip with my partner.
7.  Be the best partner I can be and appreciate my partner’s efforts at being the same.~ A work in progress..
8.  Get more sleep. Be in bed with the lights out by 11:00pm. ~ A work in progress..
9.  Do not be late for work, get up earlier and get my head in the game. ~ A work in progress..
10. I will quit complaining/whining/blaming/making excuses. I will strive to Be Happy. ~ A work in progress..

Happy New Year

I am truly looking forward to 2014 as being a year of new beginnings, adventures and a healthy, happy me. To my partner who is my best friend and the love of my life I could not have made it through this year without you. To my friends and family may this new year be a new beginning for us all and may we all find some organized chaos in our lives.

Starting Weight: 274.3
 BMI: 43.0 - Extremely Obese