It was 15 years ago, when I I was forced out of teaching due to Bilateral Meniere’s. Yes, it was difficult. 33 years of teaching and forced to retire before you hit 50, yes it was.
I lost my car, my truck, my home, had to file bankruptcy….sounds like a bad country song, but I made it through all that, which at that point in time it seemed to be the end of the world. It wasn’t.
Once I understood my disease and how it fights with me; I learned to make adjustments. Yes it was still difficult. Yes, I had a left failed shunt surgery and a right VNS. I wasn’t going to get any better than that.
I look at the horrible disease as a blessing most of the time as far as what I was and still able to do because I’m not working.
My mom moved closer to me, a few blocks away. I got to see her every day for eight years. I cooked and froze her meals. We’d go to the doctor together, ride the local transit, shopping, even taught her how to use it by herself.
She slowly progressed to the assisted living stage, moved her there, still visited, still would eat lunch together, still visited the doctor together, and lots of late night phone calls about resetting the television remote.
Eventually it was time for to move her to the nursing home, right next door. In 2014, I ran out of energy, her care was taking a toll on my life, my symptoms increased.
I called my siblings and decided it was time she moved back to Michigan, with all her grandkids and great ones too. She passed away six months later. I would never have had that wonderful time with my mom if not for Meniere’s, something my brother and sisters never will experience.
I’m lucky, I received a great retirement pension package with great insurance. I also receive SSD income and income from my disability insurance from working too.
It’s easy for all of us to get depressed, but sometimes maybe we need just to stop and see how far we really have come, not by measuring our symptoms, but by measuring our accomplishments, not matter how small. -DPancy
Photo is my mom with the first quilt we made together, she was an avid quilter and a fellow Meniere’s sufferer.