Giving Thanks

This past weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada and I am posting late. Happy Fall to everyone in the Northern Hemisphere.

I’ve been almost entirely absent from serious knitting and posting since the middle of July when suddenly, what I called “my affliction” appeared.

I couldn’t hear well with my right ear, but tinnitus, roaring sounds, and my heartbeat were all too audible; I was occasionally dizzy when I stood up; both ears felt plugged despite no swimming or travel up hills; high pitched sounds caused pain; on the right side, my head, eye, and ear hurt most of the time. After 3 weeks I made an appointment with my Family Doctor and he sent me off to an Ear, Nose, and Throat doc. She sent me for an MRI and hearing test.

Small aside – there are new MRI machines that have a head set fitted cleverly with mirrors so it feels like you are looking straight ahead into the techs’ room, and not suffering the claustrophobia that comes from staring right up at the inside of the tube. Such an improvement!

I am grateful that the interval between onset and diagnosis was very short and give thanks to the Canadian health care system. Although short, the interval was an emotionally disturbing time – fearful anticipation alternating with just wait and see self-talk, worried husband who thinks everything is a sign of cancer, being so distracted by what was going on in my head (both the physical and the emotional) that I could not concentrate on anything at all. That’s not entirely true. The yarn-eating poodle had a Total Recall Class. For those 45 minutes, once a week, I thought of nothing else.

And then there was watching television. I am not in charge of the remote control and the high pitched noises had my husband, the one in charge, frantically and endlessly trying to reduce the volume. Important aside – I don’t want to be in charge of the remote. I’m knitting, don’t you know, most of the time.

The diagnosis was a huge relief – I have cochlear Ménière’s disease. Fluid in the ear causes all those symptoms and a diuretic ought to solve it – hasn’t seemed to work quite yet but I have hope. The good news is I don’t have regular Ménière’s disease. It’s characterized by quite debilitating and dramatic attacks of dizziness.

I am feeling much better and so very thankful that I am happy back to knitting and posting. The image is gorgeous heritage tomatoes and a cowl that I did manage to knit during that time. It’s an aran weight cashmere in stunning tomato colours, simply knit 1, purl 1 in the round over an odd number of stitches.

This is Hugo, yarn-eating monster, who was surprisingly compliant about modelling, until he discovered that it was yarn around his neck, albeit in a different form from the usual.



13 Replies to “Giving Thanks”

  1. Great post! Glad to hear you’ve got an answer to what’s been troubling you. and wish you a speedy return to normal. By the way, that cowl is definitely that dog’s colour!!!!

  2. Gayle,
    So glad to hear you are feeling better and calmer, knowing what the issue is.
    Hugo is outstanding in this photo! What a model! He owns it!
    Happy Thanksgiving indeed.

    1. I’m afraid the yarn is one from deep in my stash so it’s not likely available now. It is a Fleece Artist Aran Weight Cashmere. Ball band is missing. Perhaps someone on Ravelry has it or something similar in their stash.

  3. Hi Gayle: Happy to hear the symptoms have been diagnosed, and hopefully, a full recovery is in the near future. LOVED the photo of Hugo, as well as those heritage tomatoes. Thanks for keeping us “in the loop”

  4. Gayle, My daughter has been living with this for more than 10 yrs. now – she also wears 2 hearing aids and supports roughly 40 special ed teachers in various elementary schools. She does sometimes have bouts of dizziness but she she seems to manage
    it rather well. She has had to miss work at times but not very often. Hang in there – best wishes that it will work for you and you will get used to it.

    1. So kind of you to write with the the story about your daughter. It is encouraging.
      I have heard that it is progressive so who knows what the future will bring,
      Yes, getting used to it seems to be the answer. I’m working on achieving the right balance between the disease symptoms and the diuretic symptoms.
      I hope your daughter continues to do well.

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