Yep... "it" happened. After almost 3 years in remission of Meniere's Disease (NOT chronic subjective dizziness, but true-up Meniere's Disease) last Monday it returned. As the day wore on last Monday, the pressure and ringing mounted in my left ear (my "bad" ear). It's been a roller-coaster ever since. Let me try and break it down:
Monday morning - I called a travel agent to discuss booking a trip to Disney in May. The twins will turn 9 in May and haven't been to Disney. We intended to go in Spring of 2012, but alas our family was in the throes of vertigo and dizziness and there was no way I could have "done" Disney. And it's taken a couple of years to really get on my feet to the point I think I could handle it. So, when the familiar pressure and ringing started that afternoon, all I could think was, "Wow! God really doesn't want our family to go to Disney!"
Tuesday - The pressure continued to mount and my hearing started to go. I cried and sobbed my eyes out that day telling God "I can't do this. I am not strong enough. I just cannot." The kids asked me that afternoon if I would eat lunch with them Wednesday and I told them my ear was bothering me and I'd have to wait and see.
Wednesday - It was bad. I knew the vertigo was imminent. Friends and family kept saying, "Maybe it's an infection or just a change in weather." But I knew... I bawled my eyes out to Jonathan. I was inconsolable. Lunchtime drew near and I decided to go eat with the kids. I told Jonathan, "If I'm gonna go down, I'm gonna go down swinging." Lunch was tough just because of the volume in the cafeteria but I made it there and back and the kids were so happy. At 3:00, I picked the kids up from school and the moment (the split second) I pulled into the garage, a vertigo attack started. "Thank you, God, that it didn't happen while I was driving!" Jonathan was home and carried me inside. It only lasted about 30 minutes, versus when they used to last 2 hours. Jonathan called my doctor in Jackson and was able to get an appointment for Monday - a miracle to be seen so quickly.
Thursday - Still bad. I had a small vertigo episode in the morning, but it didn't last long. In the midst of all this I had some other stuff going on and had to see my regular doctor that day. Jonathan was in Memphis for work and my mom had outpatient surgery on her finger that morning, so my BFF Summer took me to the doctor. I had to lay on Summer in the waiting room because the vertigo hit again. But I knew it was coming so Summer and I were ready for it!
Friday & Saturday - The pressure subsided a bit. I still wasn't up for much and certainly was not about to get behind the wheel!
Sunday - The pressure and ringing were still down and I went to church with my fam.
Monday - Pressure and ringing were still down, although present. Jonathan and I went to Jackson. I had a hearing test, which showed hearing in my left ear was well below the norm. The nurse came to our room to conduct the usual information session, asking why I was there. I told her, "My shunt quit working, so I need a new one." She probably thought I was kidding... Indeed I was not. The doctor came in and I told him the same thing. He first offered/suggested that we try a cortisone shot because that is the best method to clear things up while also restoring my hearing. I told him I didn't want the shots, they did nothing last time but prolong the process and make me feel worse. This very conservative doctor who did not stray from protocol in 2011/2012 conceded immediately and said, "I'll get the nurse in here to schedule your surgery. It'll be pretty much like last time." I'm not a fan of surgery, but if it eliminates vertigo from my life, I'm all for it. God worked out some really cool details and as of right now, I'm scheduled for Monday morning, February 2! And it really shouldn't be as bad as the first time because there's that convenient hole in my skull that he drilled the last time (so handy to have a hole in my head) and as he reminded me yesterday, "Because of your age that bone hasn't grown back much if any. In someone younger the bone would have already regrown." So...
Hole in my skull - check
Advanced age at which bone will not regrow - check
Today - The pressure and ringing are almost nil. If it stays at this level, I will cancel the surgery.
I cannot help but believe there's a reason for this speedbump.
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5
Perhaps for this reason alone... to remind me that apart from God's grace, love and mercy I can do nothing. Without God's sovereignty and might, I can do nothing. By myself, I can do nothing. There have been many, many moments and many, many tasks and many, many activities over the last year or so when I have forgotten this. Not intentionally. I just haven't been intentional enough. Who would ever think that a part in my inner ear so teeny weeny would cause so much trouble? When my body is working fairly well and normally its easy to think I can do things myself. But reality is that apart from God NO BODY could function as it should.
Please, please pray with me that God will divinely regulate the fluid in my ear. I believe He has paved the way for the surgery but I also know that He can nullify the need for surgery in a moment. And please pray that the lesson He has for me and my family in all this will be clear.
And for the record, I'm booking the Disney trip... with a little travel insurance :^)