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Why Meniere's Disease Made My Life Better

Let me just say this: Meniere's disease sucks. It really does, but there's nothing I can do about the fact that I have it. I can't make it go away, although I can manage it. There's no known cause for it, so I can't tell you what to do so you won't get it. In some cases it's hereditary, and in some cases a person's just shit out of luck. That's the wording my co-worker once used. She asked me, "So does it run in your family or were you just shit out of luck?" I was just shit out of luck. But... if I can't make it go away, why wouldn't I just try to live with it with the best of my ability?

Meniere's disease has made my life better in many ways. I could live without the dizziness and especially the vertigo (which I don't get a lot anymore, thank goodness), and I hate it when I get pressure in my ear. But when it comes to my hearing loss, I find it the least of my worries. I got used to the idea of a hearing aid before I got one, and now that I have it, it's not nearly as bad as it could have been. I was worried it would make people treat me differently, but it's so invisible... modern technology amiright. I keep forgetting it's in my ear. ANYWAY, back to my main point. It's not all bad. Living with hearing loss has introduced me to whole new things in life, and I dare say my life is better now than it was a few years ago.

I'm nearing my thirties, but still feel like a kid most of the time. I'm sort of rootless, traveling a lot and wanting to live abroad. I haven't settled down. I've had a hard time defining my identity. What am I, who am I, blahblahblah. Some years back I probably would have defined myself as restless, in search of something, ear sick, I have no idea what I'm doing with my life -kind of girl. I have, however, matured a lot. I was due... I have also gotten to know myself better. I now describe myself, proudly, with the following: determined, writer, aware of my worth, and hard of hearing. Meniere's disease has helped me figure out who I am. I'm not saying it's all clear, and that I wouldn't have figured things out without Meniere's disease, I sure hope I would have. This is what my life has been for the last five years, ever since I got sick.

You may also know that I've taken on sign language as well. I'm learning both Finnish and American sign languages, and I'm loving it. I'm familiarising myself with the deaf community and culture, and hope to be working in this field in the future. I was also chosen as a stand-in member of our local sign language choir board. Due to school and work I don't have time to actually be in the choir right now, but later this year I just might :) Being hard of hearing has opened new doors for me, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm comfortable being hard of hearing. I'm also happy to be talking about Meniere's disease, because there really isn't enough research out there.

I can't be sad about having Meniere's disease, when it has brought along so many good things that completely outweigh the bad.


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