Five weeks ago today, I was diagnosed with a temporary condition called Labyrinthitis. It is defined thusly:
Labyrinthitis is an ear disorder that involves irritation and swelling (inflammation) of the inner ear. The symptoms can be as follows:
- Abnormal sensation of movement (vertigo)
- Difficulty focusing the eyes because of involuntary eye movements
- Hearing Loss in one ear
- Loss of balance, such as falling toward one side
- Nausea and vomiting
- Ringing or other noises in the ears
Some people get only some of the symptoms. I got all of them. You can read a full description of Labyrinthitis here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002049/
There is a two to six week recovery time. Today is the start of week five, so I’m almost there. It may go longer than six weeks, as that is just an average time, but here’s hoping that I’m almost through the woods.
As I’ve been healing, I’ve become more thankful for the simpler things that I am able to do again. Some may seem very simple but I am thankful nonetheless. I thought I’d list them here so that I can remind myself not to take any of these things for granted again. Here they are in no particular order:
- Being able to take a shower
- Being able to shave (thank goodness. I was starting to look like a Wookie)
- Being able to dress myself (at the start of this, during the second week when it got so much worse, I couldn’t even put my boots on myself)
- Being able to sit upright
- Being able to walk (now with only the partial aid of a cane)
- Being able to drink coffee again
- Being able to hear (partially right now) out of my left ear again
- Being able to go to work again (I was off work for two weeks which never happens. Before I got ill, I had missed only one day of work since May)
- Being able to eat regular food (for two weeks, I existed on only chocolate pudding, electrolyte water and saltines. For the past few weeks, I’ve only been able to eat rice and bland food)
- Being able to read again (for two weeks, all I could manage was audio books and even then that was difficult)
- Being able to read actual books again (I still can’t read off of my iPad, but hopefully that will come back soon; oddly enough, I haven’t been able to read physical books for a long time but have no difficulty with the print sizes now)
- Being able to write again (I didn’t write a single word for nearly five weeks. That just gutted me)
- Being able to take the bus
- Being able to go down the street to the store for some groceries
Like I said, these are all very simple things, things that you don’t think about during your day to day life because you always do them. I certainly didn’t give them a second thought until I couldn’t do them.
I’ve still got one or two weeks of recovery left, so I’m not completely well yet. There is still a bit of vertigo, the hearing in my left ear hasn’t come back completely. But both have dissipated and I’m getting there. That has to count for something right?
Most of all, though, I am thankful for three very important people that helped me get through this. Without them, I would have been lost inside the labyrinth, as it were. I am thankful for
- My Wonder Mum and Wonder Dad for taking care of me (and to my Wonder Mum for buying me books this past weekend)
- My amazing and wonderful Sexy Boyfriend who wouldn’t let me give up (not that I would have anyways) and helped me through all of this more than he knows
To them, I am thankful beyond words. Saying thank you just doesn’t seem like enough, but they know what I mean (I hope).
I’m also thankful for all of you who have sent me get well emails and Facebook notes. It’s helped knowing that there are people out there who care enough to send me happy vibes. They helped for sure.
So I guess if I have learned anything in the past five weeks, it is to be thankful for the small victories, the simple joys. They are the most meaningful, after all.