My Meniere’s disease journey started in 2012, I first noticed the hearing loss and tinnitus in my left ear so I went to my GP who conducted a simple hearing test and referred me onto the audiologist. After many months of going through the various hearing tests and ear moulds for a hearing aid, I received my first hearing aid at 21, which was a lot to deal with at the time.
I suffered from my first vertigo attack whilst at work in 2012, it was all very confronting as I had no idea what was happening or how to explain how I felt to anyone. This resulted in being hospitalised, where they simply told me that it was just a vertigo attack and sent me home. It was not long after this that I went back to my GP who referred me onto the Ear Nose and Throat specialist.
After my first consultation with the Ear Nose and Throat specialist I went for the balance testing, this was over a 2-week period and there are many thoughts that go through your mind during this time. In April 2014 I was finally diagnosed with Meniere’s disease. It was such a relief in a way to finally get a diagnosis after such a long time, although unfortunately my employer at the time was not as understanding as I first thought and I lost my job in July 2014. I am still yet to find employment after this, but I am staying positive and hopeful that the right job is out there waiting for me.
Meniere’s disease has had an impact on my social life, friendships and job prospects, but I wont let it rule my life so I have come up with ways to get around these issues. I have also pushed myself past the fear of having a vertigo attack in a public place, which sometimes used to stop me from going places. I have found that talking about it to people has really helped me and it has also raised awareness.
My partner has been a huge help to me during this journey; he has been very supportive, understanding and has driven me to many appointments & places when I felt as though I couldn’t drive.
I am now at the stage where I haven’t had a vertigo attack since April 2015 but I have had 5-drop attacks in the last 12 months.
It was very difficult finding reliable information on Meniere’s disease until I found the Whirled Foundation’s website and Facebook page, this provided me with a lot of information on Meniere’s, the low sodium diet and related recipes and it also gave me a way to talk to people who are going through the same situation.
So I’d like to say a huge thank you to the Whirled Foundation for providing that opportunity to get the information I needed and for an amazing online support group that you have created, this is why I have decided to fundraise for Whirled Foundation; to show my appreciation and raise awareness for Meniere’s disease.
If you would like to help Jessica raise funds for Whirled Foundation, click on the everyday hero logo below: