Thursday, October 25, 2012

How many times will I start again?! Well...... Here we go again, he says. I will probably never give up. Like I said before, this is probably the most narcissistic thing that a person can do. Who gives a shit how I feel about things? Who cares about how much I way, or what workouts I've done? I do. And I always will. Hopefully, someone can get some insight or inspiration from my quixotic trials. Fire and brimstone could not keep me from beginning anew. Nothing in heaven or earth could keep me from tilting at windmills or dragons. I will never giv cup. Niemals aufgaben. So what's new? It's only been two years since my last post. About that time, I started developing headaches and some dizziness. It's been going on ever since. In January of 2011, I had several cases of sever vertigo. Having never had that, I was, to say the least, freaked out. I consulted several doctors (neurologists, family physicians) and no one had a clue as to what was happening. About this time, I got a call from our friendly neighborhood flight surgeon. He told me that I had failed my hearing test and that I needed to see a specialist and get a more thorough exam. For those of you who don't know, the flight surgeon has our careers in his hand. He can extinguish them with a stroke of his pen. Luckily, I hadn't failed it by enough to be immediately disqualified. I had a problem with a small range of frequencies. I went to the audiologist and had more tests done. The tests revealed that one ear had lost a portion of the frequency spectrum. When you "lose" your hearing, you lose the ability to hear across the entire spectrum. This was an indicator of a serious problem. She referred me to an ENT who ordered more tests. MRI's and balance testing. By about May of 2011, I finally had an answer. I had been diagnosed with Meniere's disease. I prefer the term syndrome. Disease sounds like you're going to die soon. The gist of the condition is that your inner ear can not clear the fluid that cycles through. The inner ear controls balance. As the condition worsens, which it always does, your ear loses the ability to control balance. This is what causes the vertigo and balance issues because it only affects one ear. I live in a constant state of dizziness. I've grown accustomed to it, to a certain extent. I have some really shitty days, but I have quite a lot of normal days as well. Unfortunately, my bad days are controlled a lot by the weather. A low pressure front will reek havoc on my head. The fullness feels like wearing a hat that is too small on one side. I have been very lucky. There are quite a lot of people that experience this that are completely debilitated. They need constant care. If your lucky, you experience "burn-out" within about 5 years. This process could take up to 10. From what I understand, "burn-out" occurs when the ear loses all control of balance and most of your hearing. The body learns to compensate for the loss of balance using other means. Mainly your sight. Using only your sight for balance is exhausting. I feel like I am getting close to this point. Unfortunately, in most cases the condition because bilateral. Meaning, it will eventually affect both ears. The biggest issue I have noticed is that Meniere's disease affects less than 1 out of every 1000 people. Not many. That's less than 800 people in indianapolis that will be affected. That's 800 people that will be affected, IN THEIR LIFETIME. So while it's not fatal, it's a huge pain in the ass. And no one knows what causes it, and there is no cure. Diet (read NO SALT)(also read SOME SALT)(also read A REGULAR AMOUNT OF SALT), diuretics and balance training can alleviate the symptoms. However, there is no magic bullet. Some things work for some people while doing nothing to help others. I've tried a lot. Some success, but then there will be an unrelated trigger and pow, down goes Frasier. BUT I WILL NOT GIVE UP! I will continue to work out. I will continue to skate. I will continue to take care of my family. Enough whining......let's tilt at windmills. Next on my agenda...another plan. P90X again. Then P90X again, so that I can be in optimal shape to train for a half Ironman again. This ghost has haunted me for a long time. There is always something that derails my plans. My goal is the Muncie 70.3. I'd also like to ride in a few bike races this summer. Depending on what happens between now and spring, I may decide on racing and doing stint triathlons. My other goal it to keep up with the blog. I promise, my loyal viewers, you will not be disappointed. Unless you want to see me fail, then fuck you. Gloria Gainer couldn't have said it any clearer, "I will survive".