allergies and hearing problems... aka... Meniere's is a bitch...

If it isn’t one thing, it’s another. It’s been a rough go the last couple months, as evidenced by my previous post, and this week was no different. But, it did, at least, give me something new to focus on: my newfound allergies.

Around Tuesday or Wednesday last week, I was finishing up writing a song (about being depressed and drinking too much with girls; so, new topic… ha…) and trying to record a quick demo on my phone when my voice started to go out. I didn’t notice it at first but some of the quiet parts didn’t come out right and my voice was raspier than normal, which is pretty damn raspy. I thought maybe I had overdone it on the rehearsing/writing that night but, alas, that was not the case. I thought perhaps it was the “burger flight” I had earlier (real thing by the way. 3 sliders in your choice of flavors at a place called Chow in Eugene, OR), maybe too much salt and cheese (Lactaids are a godsend). That shit will get you phlegm-y right quick. But, alas, that was not the case. Maybe it was the lack of water and the lack of a lack of bourbon, Wild Turkey 101 at that. But, alas, that was not it either. Fuck…

No, it was my new friend allergies. I never had a single allergy (outside of a shellfish allergy which isn’t really an allergy, but more of an “eat it and shit your pants” kind of deal) until last year. I became lactose-intolerant, allergic to severe dust and pollen, and allergic to whiny, passive-aggressive hipster fucks. OK, that last one was a lifetime allergy too. Well, more like AIDS as they didn’t exist when I was kid. AIDS did, but not hipsters. You know what I mean…

And, of course, my allergies got so severe it made me sick. Not quite as bad as last year when I also fully developed my gestating Meniere’s disease, thank god. That was a two month nightmare followed by another six months of waiting for another nightmare, which would happen sporadically and without warning. Fun. Fuck, that band sucks, sorry. But it actually was grammatically correct there. Fuck Fun.(.) (Am I supposed to add another period since technically one period is just in their name? How does that work? Fuck them for making me think this shit.

For those of you who have never heard of, much less dealt with Meniere’s, you are lucky fucks. I’m sure everyone’s experience is slightly different but for me it usually started with a slightly clogged ear. It just annoyed the fuck out of you, but was more or less harmless. But over a few days, it gets worse. Suddenly, you can barely hear out of your (right, for me) ear. It’s very disorienting to not hear out of one side of your head. (It’s more disorienting to not hear out of both sides of your head, like if you had a severe double ear infection and both ear drums popped. True story, but not for today.) It fucks with your balance, vision and sense of well-being. Slowly, that clogged ear builds pressure. Sometimes for hours, sometimes for days, one time for almost two weeks. Then, suddenly, it’s gone. All the relief in the world as your hearing returns and your balance is starting to realign… when… never mind. Vertigo. Sometimes you just need to sit down for an hour or two, sometimes a day or two. Once they gave me sea-sick patches which temporarily took away my near-sightedness, which for someone who is near-sighted, is quite debilitating. I couldn’t see anything within one foot of my face. That was fun. That’s the other fun thing about this all. There is no medication to ease your pain. Nothing they can do to help you prevent these attacks. Low salt diet, less alcohol and caffeine. That’s what I got. They offered blood-pressure medication but since I have normal blood-pressure now, it made it drastically low which made me nauseous and dizzy, which I already was. But, sometimes, the vertigo got so bad all I could do was lay on the floor and try not to throw up as the room would spin wildly all around me. It’s like being really drunk but without all the fun before. The only thing that helped at all was some 1/2 CBD, 1/2 THC oil. It centered my body enough to relax a bit. It calmed my stomach so I could actually eat something and keep it down. It was a life-saver on more than one occasion. I shit on Oregon a lot, but this was one time it actually helped me.

Oh, and sidenote on medication: it doesn’t work the same for people with Asperger’s as it works for non-Asperger’s people. That’s right. So even any medication is a crapshoot. Half the time it doesn’t do anything for me other than make me sick, so that’s fun. Imagine being prescribed anti-nausea medication only to find out it actually makes you more nauseous. I’ve tried being open with doctors about having Asperger’s and how medications don’t react normally for me and they always say it doesn’t matter and for some reason I usually believe them. Usually because for me to actually go to a doctor, I have to be close to death or on my way. I stayed at home and slept it off when my intestines started to bleed out the last time. I don’t need morphine and two (very expensive) nights in a hospital. I can handle pain if it saves me money when there’s nothing they can do anyhow. But, I’ve officially sworn off doctors. Not once have they ever told me something I didn’t already know but they usually pick the wrong thing, then just prescribe pills that make me sick. So, then my ailment remains and I also feel sick from their stupid fucking pills. Thanks Doc!

But anyways, I guess what I’m saying is that even though I feel like shit, it could be much worse. I’m not out of the woods yet, so maybe it will get worse (who knows?), but I’m gonna take solace in the fact (and knock on wood) that it could be worse. Look, I’ve even forgotten, temporarily, as it were, how fucking depressed I was last week (see previous post). Not that that ever leaves me, but it was good to not have to think about anything other than trying to breathe without coughing, trying sleep without coughing and waking myself up and trying to not interact with a single human being since I lost my voice anyhow. Not interacting turned out to be the hardest one for some reason. Seems like people always know when you feel like shit and that’s when they need you for something…

But, looking back on the Meniere’s (which I still have but - knocks on wood - doesn’t affect me but maybe once in the past year), I think the scariest thing was not knowing whether I could play music again. For a while, it seemed like I would never have normal hearing again. But, I finally put together all those times over the years when suddenly I couldn’t find a note, hear myself and felt like I would fall over and pass out at any minute. I always assumed that was too much drink, too much drugs, too much exhaustion (which it may have been time to time) but it was likely the Meniere’s just poking it’s head out and testing the waters. But, when it was bad, it was bad. I honestly doubted I could ever play again. And I’ve played shows with the flu, bleeding intestines, a broken thumb, a broken foot, a fractured ankle and a broken nose. I’ve played shows high, drunk and everywhere in between. But with vertigo and severe hearing loss? I did it, but I always remembered those shows. They were fucking awful. Awful for me, not very good for the audience (although I’m told only one time was it noticeable to the crowd) and must have been weird as fuck for the band. They probably just assumed I had partied too hard before the show. Crazy thing is, those were usually the shows I was straight up til the show, probably because I didn’t feel good and sensed the impending doom. I remember throwing up in the green room bathroom (never a good place to even shit in, let alone bury your face in) after a show and blaming it on the Korean barbecue.

But, all that started up with some allergies last year (and a couple car accidents. Not my fault, rear-ended at a red light both times, swear to fucking god). Well, I guess it didn’t start there, but that’s when it went from once or twice a year issue to once or twice a week I feel OK issue. So, fuck allergies, but fuck Meniere’s twice…

(dictated but not read)