|Vertigo. Photo: Kaare T. Pettersen|
|When the road stops Photo: Kaare T. Pettersen|
As a rule, I can now feel that a seizure is about to come. I hear that my tinnitus is increasing, I feel like I have cotton in my ears, sometimes I feel a pressure in my head or become nauseous. The attack comes like a sudden punch in my face. It's like being on a carousel that goes around very fast. Around and around. Sometimes in a half hour, sometimes for several hours. It is not possible to stand upright during a seizure. I have had such attacks in the city, the store, in the forest, and on the train platform . Wherever I am I need sit down. Although it is difficult just to sit. No one notices me when I sit on the curb or with your back against a wall. No one can see that I am having a seizure. However I'm ussually at home when the attacks come and I can lie in bed. I pull the curtains to prevent the sunlight coming in, it's nice to have darkness under the attack. Seizures usually lasts for an hour, but sometimes they last longer. After the attack I feel nauseous, I'm tired and have a headache. The ringing in my ears is devestating. Usually, I sleep for several hours after a seizure. And I may be tired for days afterwards.
The feeling of having control over life is important to everyone. However, many feel that they lose this control because of various factors, including disease. This has been a challenge for me too. I do not know when the attacks come, my tinnitus is with me constantly and hearing is becoming worse. It is a challenge to take control back. Exercise is important to me. As often as I can I go for long walks and then I have a camera with me. I love to take pictures and try to let the photos say something about how I feel. This makes photography an important therapy for me. Therapy has to do with finding words on ones difficulties. Sometimes words are inadequate, and that is why pictures help. Also -it's nice to hear that others think the pictures are beautiful.
|Pulling the boat ashore Photo: Kaare T. Pettersen|
Living with Morbus Ménière is experienced differently from person to person with the disease. Many people experience anxiety, depression, social withdrawal, disability, and various forms of social and physical pain associated with the disease. I share the feelings you all have with Morbus Ménière. -But you must find a way to live with the disease as best you can. My advice is to be open about the disease. Talk to your family about it. Talk about it at work. Share it with others. Do not let the disease inflict a sense of shame. This is a big challenge in a society where having a disease is stigmatizing. I have tried to become friends with my Ménière, I avoid silence in order to give my tinnitus a different tune, and I try to see the positive sides of my hearing lose. To see beauty instead of what is perceived as an evil is not easy. Sometimes it is not possible. But life's challenge for us all is to try to do the best we can.