Carol A DeLillo

Age: 68

Diagnosis: Ménière’s disease

My journey with vestibular disturbances began in 1979 when I was diagnosed with ( Otosclerosis) in my right ear along with tinnitus, hearing loss and dizziness. I had a successful stapedectomy performed in 1980 with hopes that the dizziness may subside post-surgery. That was 41 years ago and I am still coping with varying degrees of dizziness/imbalance. I had been evaluated by a noted neurologist, as well as otologists for symptoms of continuous, see-sawing type dizziness with no diagnosis and normal balance and ear function test. I was 27 at the time and managed to work on and off while raising twin boys. I wrangled with other health problems unrelated my inner ear disorder. In 2010 ( ten years ago) on my way to work, I stopped in a local store and felt the ground below me lift me up, experienced severe vertigo and profuse sweating and vomited. For the past ten years, I have experienced constant dizziness and tinnitus in my right ear. A few years back I had rapid eye movement for about 2 years which I was able to correct with self VRT. A local ENT diagnosed me with Meinease Disease a few years back. Giving my continuous type of dizziness I concluded that I more than likely have Secondary Endolymaphic Hydrops associated with Otoscerlosis. Two years ago Primary Care Physician began me a diuretic which has been helpful as my periods of wellness are somewhat longer. I have never fallen but are going to be 69 years old and worry about falling. It has been a challenging journey and I never give up hopes of it burning out completely. At each stage of this journey, I attempted to have a sense of control over my vestibular disease by watching diet, performing VRT and exercise. There is no question that the quality of my life has been affected. What has changed after 40 years is my ability to give my self a break for what has been a distressing force in my life. Lastly, I could never thank the support of my family and friends enough for traveling this journey along with me. Diagnosis is not as important as outcome of the disease. Taking an active role to control symptoms has given me a great sense of control over this disease. I use to walk a mile a day and are still working towards that goal again.