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staying positive

Being Positive

With any illness sometimes staying positive can be a struggle. Try to remember

  • research into Meniere's is ongoing and in an abundance
  • symptoms almost always get better with time. Really try to appreciate the better days.
  • if your medication isn't helping tell your doctor, switch medicines ; new medicines may be in development or newly available e.g. Arlevert .
  • acceptance can be half the battle - accept the life changes, focus on what you can do, not what you can't . Meniere's is now part of you, you don't have to apologise for it.
  • avoid prolonged focus on the illness- do not constantly surf Meniere's website's (this one included!!) or dwell on people's horror stories as these will only bring you down and they were probably written during people's low points. Remember that most people with Meniere's continue to lead fulfilled lives but are less inclined to write about it as it does not consume their life. Where you do use the web, interact with websites such as MDUK, Menieres Org, The Menieres Society
  • Try to carry on doing the things you did before Meniere's, but don't be hard on yourself for the things that you can no longer do. Instead find a new interest or hobby that fits in with your illness.
  • Be honest with friends, family and work colleagues, and if they aren't able to understand try to educate them by passing on or printing information. Hiding your illness may make you feel worse. Talking can help a great deal and if you don't feel you can burden your loved ones (though they may not see it as a burden!) join a support group or club - let me know if you need some more information, there are many hospital balance/deaf groups you can reach through your local hospital or GP, or join an online support group or community e.g. MDUK or Yahoo Meniere's Group
  • Take responsibility for what you can do e.g. watch salt intake, diet, stress etc. Keep a food diary and look for any patterns when you compare it to how you feel. Other aspects of Meniere's are out of your control.
  • Allow your doctors to take responsibility for medication and improving your quality of life by being honest with them.
  • If you find you come out of your appointment having forgotten to mention or ask a question, write them down in advance and either mention them at your next appointment, or telephone the surgery or hospital and ask the doctor to call you when they have a minute. Many people seem afraid to do this as though doctors won't take calls but if you make it clear you are a patient under their care there should not be any problem.
  • have small realistic goals. on your bad days make small goals - "I will wash up" even if it takes you half an hour. A small achievement may make you feel as though you have accomplished something.
  • Seek advice if you are having problems at work with sickness. Where possible engage your employer about ways to enable you to work more productively, e.g. work from home, shorter hours or flexible working hours. Under the Disability Discrimination Act your employer should take any requests seriously and should consider them or they may have in house policies or their own doctor.

    Disability Rights Commission.
    Helpline: 0845 7622 633
    Textphone: 0845 7622 644
    Lines are open 8.00 am to 8.00 pm (Monday to Friday)