Supporting a loved one with Meniere's disease can be a challenging experience, both for the sufferer and for those close to them. The sudden and unpredictable symptoms of Meniere's disease can make daily life difficult, and it's important to have a support system in place to help manage the condition.
Whether you're a family member, a close friend, or a caregiver, understanding the role you can play in helping a Meniere's sufferer is crucial. On this page, we'll explore the various ways you can support a loved one with Meniere's disease, from offering emotional support to finding resources and information. We'll also discuss the importance of taking care of yourself and managing your own stress while caring for a Meniere's sufferer. With the right tools and resources, friends and family can make a significant impact on the daily lives of Meniere's disease sufferers, helping them to better cope with the condition and maintain a high quality of life.
TRIGGER WARNING: At the bottom of the page are two images that may trigger dizziness or vertigo.
One unfortunate truth about Meniere's disease, is that it indirectly affects the whole family.
It can be very upsetting to see loved ones in such distress.To see once, lively healthy family members suddenly struck down in such a debilitating manner. It can be stressful having to be careful all the time on their behalf: trying not to make too much noise, tip-toeing around on tender-hooks, worrying all the time. Stressful having to look after them all the time.
They may have to suddenly stop working, affecting the family income. To the observer it can be very difficult to grasp what agony the sufferer is going through. Meniere's is often referred to as an invisible illness.
Understand that someone with Meniere's can often look completely normal. You cannot hear the tortuous tinnitus, you cannot see the confusing brain fog and you cannot feel the debilitating exhaustion. You cannot understand the isolation of deafness and the horror vertigo.
In the time we have spent corresponding with people with Meniere's, we have often been struck by the dedication, care, and the commitment to finding help by partners, siblings, children, grandchildren, sometimes unfortunate young parents, and friends of Meniere's sufferers. People who are not satisfied with their loved ones to be told to just take the medicine and live with it. These people are an inspiration.
For all the stress and worry I am sure you are feeling, just think how your loved one, who is suffering with this condition, is feeling. Apart from the obvious symptoms you can see, there is the loss of dignity and self confidence.
No matter how caring and supportive a family there is, Meniere's is still a very lonely, depressing condition to have to live with. Imagine not being able to join conversations because you can neither hear properly nor concentrate. Often the noises in their ear, like some kind of sick torture, are enough to drive them crazy and this can often be the very least of their problems.
They will need your help and lots of love. You will need patience and understanding. They may look fine one minute and the next they could be moody, exhausted or reeling with vertigo, depending on the severity of each attack. It may be confusing for you, but again imagine what it is like for them!
It is wonderful that you are searching for help for the person you want to help. In practical terms, you can help them by giving them something to smile about. If it is possible and practical get them to do things they enjoy. Smiles and laughter can be a great remedy, help them forget and relieve the symptoms. Almost for sure, stress will have the opposite effect.
If they have to adjust to lifestyle and dietary changes, which most often is the case, you can help them stick to it.
In chronic cases, they often feel they just want to give up hope. A little tenderness will go along way.
"I was at my lowest point and having multiple episodes everyday, totally exhausted but it was virtually impossible to quit work at the time.
I came home one night, miserable, spinning and vomiting and collapsed on my bed feeling sorry for myself. I just couldn't take it anymore. My lovely little girl was only two at the time and obviously had no idea what was happening.
But she clearly sensed something was very wrong with daddy. She came into my room, sat next to me and gently stroked my head until I fell asleep.
This may not sound like a big deal. But to me at the time, it was an enormous help. That simple bit of tenderness made me strong enough carry on fighting it and not give up. I will never ever forget it. It meant that much."
The strains individually on the sufferer and those around them can be extreme.
Divorces are common, depression and anxiety are common and suicides are not unheard of.
The best thing you can do to help both your suffering friend, partner or family member and yourself is to get educated about this condition and help them find their underlying cause. With that done and Meniere's gone you can get them back to their old self and start enjoying life with them again.
If no destructive surgery has taken place, every Meniere's sufferer can find their underlying causes, deal with them and get back to normal again. This is possible. It can be done, has been done and is being done all the time.
Finally thank you, for taking the time to find help for whoever it is you are trying to help. Contact us anytime you like. Someone will get back to you personally.
We are here to help so never hesitate to contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Trigger warning below: If your partner or family member suffers from Meniere's, this may be what he or she sees on a regular basis.
For family & friends of Meniere's sufferers
Supporting Meniere's Sufferers Since 2004 - email: email@example.com