I wrote a while ago about having labrinthitis for 3 years, I had the usual problems driving etc, but have managed to get back to work after a long time out of action. However, my girlfriend, who has supported me throughout this time, has finished with me, and I feel I have nowhere to turn- hardly anyone else knows of my illness or how it effects me. My girlfriend was the support I needed, the hugs I needed, everything I needed when I was at my lowest points. However, one of the reasons she's citing for finishing is that we don't go out enough, and haven't done so since we started out- mainly due to my inner ear problems. I'm gutted. And for the last few days I've been ill with a throat infection/cold/cough etc, and my balance has gone crazy. I'm even finding it hard to drive again, and my eyesight is terrible, I'm straining all the time. These are things I haven't experienced for a while, I'm sure it must be related to the things going on. Luckily I have a week off work to try to sort it out, but at the moment I'm having a nightmare with everything. I can't bear the thought of starting a new relationship and having to go through all this again
My heart goes out to you simon...I have had this nearly as long as you...
I know it must be hard now not having your girlf to rely on but you must try and see this all as fate. She is not right for you. I too worrry about having a relationship whilst having this as I dont feel I want a relationship because I am not living a "normal" life but I often tell myself that if its right, a relationship wont be an "effort" and the person wont mind me having my disorder.
In your situ, it would be easy to "chase" your girlf perhaps not just because you love her but because you "need" her. Which is natural after all youve been through together. But you must believe in fate and believe that being on your own will in the end make you stronger and less reliant and when miss right does walk by, you will value and "want" her so much more than you "need" her.
As for 'coping' - I moved about 6 mths ago which was stressful for me as I have moved to somewhere I know noone and am living back with my parents, I devloped some depression when this happened as it was the "straw that broke the camels back" as in labyrinthitis had worn me down already. CBT has helped me - look into this as you may need some at this time of your life.
Life can be a ***** I know!
As if labyrinthitis for 3 yrs isnt enough!
Thinking of you simon xx
Last edited by crazylabyrinth; 03-24-2005 at 12:16 PM.
I am so sorry this is happening -but people seem to have very little tolerance to people with inner ear problems - but this will "pass" and hopefully you will meet someone who is right for you - we will be praying for that . Hang in there!
That's tough man. I'm lucky my girlfriend (fiance) has stood beside me all this time but must admit I was worried many times that she would finally be fed up with it all (I whinged my head off when things were really rough) and do a runner. Do you have any close friends that you can turn to? I had a very messy break up from a 7-year relationship before the present one (and before labs) and, at the time, I thought my life had gone down the drain. Everything I knew in Sydney (I'm from Toronto, Canada) had something to do with her and her family (my surrogate family). I felt quite alone. But as time went on, I realised it was a blessing in disguise...I never would have met my present girl who was 10,000 X more suited to me and to whom I am now getting married next year.
It might seem dire now, but you'll be fine. Remember you are still the same Simon with or without her. You will probably find friends will come out of the woodwork to support you during this time.
you just sound so down, bless your heart. I agree with CL...real love wouldn't leave when you need it most.
Please try to hang in even though it is tough.
I will be praying for you to get through it.
Keep your chin up, dude.
I'm so sorry to hear you're going through such a traumatic time. I experienced a similar thing a couple of years ago. I developed BPPV 4 years ago and have had recurrent attacks plus the 24/7 off-balance, dizziness, visual problems etc ever since. My husband was never particularly sympathetic about the whole thing, he just couldn't understand what I was going through. Then two years ago, he left me and, like your girlfriend, one of the main reasons he gave was how restricting my condition was on our lives, that we didn't go out enough - your situation sounds oh so familiar! We had been together 15 years, so I was absolutely devastated (he also left because he had met another woman on the Internet but had never met her in person - but that's another story!). Anyway, our house was sold and I had to move into a rented place, I eventually had to give up my much-loved German Shepherd as I couldn't keep him (a double blow as I had lost my old German only the year before), I was very sick at the time with glandular fever. It was such a hard time and I have no family living here (they're on the other side of Australia) but luckily had some good friends who supported me through that time. None of them really knew much about my "head monster" either.
It has been a horrible two years, and there were times I didn't think I would get through. I was in some pretty dark places many times. And yes, the stress of the breakup, moving house twice, losing my dog etc made my symptoms so much worse and I was much more prone to getting illnesses like viruses, sore throats etc. But, as hard as it is, you just keep plodding on, taking things one day at a time.
I was also terrified of getting into a new relationship, I felt I couldn't bear to go through all that again either. But now I am with the most wonderful man - I met him 4 months ago and we spend most of our time together. He is much younger than me, but has been so understanding about the whole situation. He is fully aware of how it affects my life and he is fine with it all. It has been such a relief to meet someone like him who treats me as someone special, beautiful and much loved rather than being with someone who seemed to see me as a burden and treated me as such. So there are wonderful people out there and although it may be some time before you meet someone else, don't close yourself off from the possibility. I nearly did and I would have missed out on being with my BF, who is the greatest guy in the world.
I'm so sorry about your recent break up. I've been ill about two and a half years with this. Throughout this I have been single, but have a best friend I am very close to who has supported me emotionally.Recently she went away for 3 months. It made me realise how dependent I had become on her Having her around has been mostly a blessing, but in some ways I think having one person you come to lean on can also hold your recovery back. It enables you to push yourself less, not be as sociable, not to expose yourself to new situations - things which ultimately help your brain to adapt. It also allows phobias to build up around spreading your wings. This condition makes you wary of the unfamiliar and also of people who don't know you have a condition. Having someone always around allows you to give in to that phobia. My neurotologst explained to me how these avoidance behaviours can increase the dizziness. The brain is very susceptible to suggestion. If you have the though - 'I can't do that,' it creates anxiety, which can increase the dizziness, which makes you feel less able to to do it. It's a viscious cycle. Although I've always been very active with this, since my friend has been away, it's highlighted the things I have been avoiding doing. I've been forced to be more social and to reach out more to other people, this has built up my confidence, which in turn makes me more inclined to tackle more situations I might have feared before.
At the moment you are grieving her loss, obviously that would happen whether you were dizzy or not. Allow yourself to grieve and don't worry about the difficulties of meeting someone else. You probably won't want that for a little while anyway and who knows where you will be with this condition when it happens. As other people have said, if it's the right person it will work out, ill or not. All I'm saying is that the independence you fear, might actually aid your recovery, not hinder it. The fact that you feel worse when your stressed out and particularly have a cold is v. common with this. That set back will pass.
Maybe you could take some time to work on getting further professional help with your condition. I had a look at your first post and noticed you're in the UK. Have you thought about visiting the neurotology department many of us UK people have been to in London? I go there and they are fantastic. Sometimes it helps to have a major specialist in the field (a neurotologist) take a look at the condition again - especially if you've been ill 3 yrs. Maybe there are things that haven't been done that could be. They also have a cognitive behavioural therapist who can help with your fears around the condition. As I said, anxiety and avoidance behaviour can really hold recovery back. They would also probably send you for vestibular rehab. Basically they can look at why you haven't recovered yet (a number of things can hold recovery back) and try to address those issues. Although some ENT's are good with inner ear issues, neurotologists tend to know a heck of a lot more, and might find answers an ENT has missed. They also have all the therapies in place to help people with dizziness and can immediately refer you on to them. I am seen at The National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery, you ask for a referral to either R Davies or L Luxon in the neurotology department.
Yes, you ask your GP to refer you on the NHS. Some people have had difficulties getting their GP to do this, they feel if you've already seen an ENT, why should they send you. It can be especially difficult if you're not in London. That said, many people have managed it. The other option is to get a private referral - although obviously this costs, but if you want to do it privately your GP will have to refer you. It's worth a try on the NHS. My GP referred me. Put 'Which Specialist to See' in the search engine. It will bring up a post that explains why a neurotologist is a good idea for people with dizziness issues. Many GP's are unfamiliar with this field - mine didn't know what one was.
Simon - I got the referral - it did take months for my GP to say yes (well, the primary care trust) as Im outside london but I got there and they are the v best in the UK for inner ear issues. Def worth the wait!