I’ve Got What? Meniere’s Disease?
I have Meniere’s Disease.
Here, for all of you hypochondriacs, are the symptoms:
Fullness in one ear
Tinnitus (ringing ears)
Although I’ve had ringing ears for decades, my ENT doesn’t think this was caused by Meniere’s, which, in his opinion, is a whole different reason why my ears ring.
Although we can’t be sure.
The medical profession doesn’t fully understand Meniere’s, in part because it’s such a rare disease. (Only 0.2 percent of the US population has it.)
So what does Meniere’s mean for me, besides ringing ears?
I’m going deaf in my right ear even faster than I was genetically destined to go deaf in that ear.
My dad and my Aunt Freda lived to be 87 and 94, respectively. In his last decade, my father definitely needed his hearing aid (although he continued to thrive as a psychoanalyst).
And Aunt Freda was deaf as a post.
Holiday dinners with the two of them weren’t tranquil. With dad, you had to SPEAK VERY LOUDLY. When it came to Aunt Freda you had to holler at the top of your lungs. (And you never really knew if anything you said was getting through.)
I always figured that if I were lucky enough to live that long, I too would go deaf. Unless the medical profession came up with a Miracle Cure for Deafness.
I am not counting on this.
Why not? My ears have been ringing nonstop for three decades, and they have yet to come up with a miracle cure for Tinnitus. Nor, for that matter, have they cured my endometriosis.
And they’ve had well over a century to find a miracle cure for Menieres, which was discovered by a French doctor back in 1861.
I’ve apparently got a knack for coming down with chronic conditions that the medical profession can’t cure.
While all of these conditions chip away at my quality of life and can be deeply annoying, none of them is…