A Month of Major Setbacks and Stress
"Life has a way of testing a persons will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen at once." - Paulo Coelho
(If you don’t read the entire post, make sure to at least read my special announcement at the bottom!)
It’s been a tough month.
For the last six years, I’ve run a small business from the comfort of my home. It never made me rich, but it provided a steady income and allowed me to work on my own terms.
It was perfect for someone with Meniere’s disease. I worked with amazing people, it was almost never stressful, and for the last two years it had become largely self-sustaining, only requiring a fraction of the time it once took to make it all run smoothly.
And I put that free time to good use, too. I got married, learned countless new skills, read nearly 150 books, created Mind Over Meniere’s, Rewiring Tinnitus, self-published a book and so much more. The last two years were some of the best of my entire life.
But after six years of success, regulatory changes have forced me to shut it all down.
And it’s thrown my life into turmoil.
I feel confident today, but my stress levels have been out of control and my health has taken a real blow at a time when I need it more than ever.
For the first time in my adult life, my professional career is a big question mark and it’s terrifying.
So for the last several weeks, I’ve had to force myself to slow down – to go back to the basics and reprioritize self-care. I’ve been meditating regularly, pushing myself to exercise more frequently and making sure to get extra sleep.
But it’s not enough. I’m still struggling and all of the stress has given rise to a new problem: grinding and clenching my teeth.
It’s a health condition known as bruxism, and typically it happens while you’re sleeping. But it can also occur while you’re awake as a neurological response to stress. For me, it’s been day and night.
The problem, however, is that bruxism, and its closely related cousin temporomandibular joint disorder/dysfunction (TMJ/D), can cause vestibular symptoms like dizziness, vertigo, and tinnitus.
It probably goes without saying that some people with TMJ/TMD/severe bruxism end up misdiagnosed with Meniere’s disease. And it’s more common than you think.
If you suffer from TMJ/TMD and Meniere’s disease, I encourage you to check out the wonderful work of Susan Drago McDevitt and her page Meniere’s No More to learn more.
A Grinding Problem:
For the last week or two, I’ve been fighting a constant state of fatigue and disequilibrium. I’m not certain that it’s connected to the bruxism, but it seems likely.
My jaw has been pretty sore, the muscles are tight and knotted, and I constantly catch myself clenching. The dizziness I’ve experienced doesn’t feel like normal Meniere’s dizziness, either.
I have no ear pressure or fullness, as I normally would when Meniere’s strikes. My sensitivity to sound hasn’t changed either. It’s just this constant sense of unbalance.
If my professional life was in order, I know I would be able to cope much more effectively.
The stress load and health problems have made it tough, but I know I’ll bounce back eventually. And at the end of the day, I’m still playing the long game.
I also know that everything could be a lot worse.
I planned for the possibility of regulatory changes and built something of a financial safety net. I’ve also been working hard on two promising projects: A brainwave training meditation program called Zen Vitality, which I announced recently, and a second book that’s almost finished called Rewiring Tinnitus.
I don’t know if either will be able to support me financially, but I’m hopeful.
What I do know is that I want to continue helping people. For the last few years, I was comfortable in my routine. I rarely stopped to ask myself what I really wanted out of life. I suppose the one thing I’ve gained in this whole ordeal is clarity of purpose.
I want to put my energy into something that’s about more than money. I want to show people who are suffering, whether with Meniere’s disease, tinnitus, or otherwise, that there is hope – that this is not the end of their story.
And if there’s a way to do that and earn a living at the same time, I hope to find it, because I know in my heart that it’s what I want to do.
So in the meantime, I’m going to try something that I’ve never done before and reach out to the community to help me make a difference!
For my end of the bargain, I promise to keep creating - delivering new content, blog posts, videos, tools, and so much more, each and every week.
But I need your help.
Mind Over Meniere’s and Rewiring Tinnitus will always be free. But it unfortunately costs me a lot of money to maintain. Between hosting, my email list, and everything else I use to run the site, my monthly fees are increasing at a steady rate.
So here’s my proposition:
If you can make a donation to Mind Over Meniere’s of $5 or more today, when my new book - Rewiring Tinnitus: How I Finally Found Relief from the Ringing in My Ears - is finished, I’ll send you:
- An early access eBook copy of Rewiring Tinnitus before it becomes available on Amazon (I expect it to be ready sometime in November)
- An early access sampler of my forthcoming Tinnitus Relief Project - it’s a brainwave training audio program designed to help calm your tinnitus and dramatically speed up the process of habituation
Donations of $25 or more will receive everything above, plus a discount code for 50% off the upcoming Tinnitus Relief Project brainwave training audio program, as well as 50% off the Zen Vitality Meditation Program.
Donations of $50 or more will receive everything above, plus a pre-release manuscript copy of Rewiring Tinnitus (sent to you within the next 24 hours) as well as the full Tinnitus Relief Project program when it’s completed.
Donations of $100 or more will receive everything above, plus the full Zen Vitality Brainwave Meditation Program, and a 1-hour phone call with me (we can talk about anything you’d like!)
I’m not going to do this kind of thing all the time, but right now, I feel like I’m in a unique position to make it worth your while. So if you’ve benefitted from Mind Over Meniere’s over the years, even a little bit, I encourage you to make a donation today!
P.S. If you live in the US, make sure to bookmark the Mind Over Meniere’s Amazon Portal! If you shop on amazon through this link, Amazon sends me a small percentage of your order at no extra cost to you!
10 thoughts on “A Month of Major Setbacks and Stress”
Susan Drago McDevitt
I was told to learn to live with it. I was diagnosed for 25 years with Meniere’s. I had NO jaw pain. All of my previous dentists missed it. I urge those diagnosed with Meniere’s. I was relieved through proper treatment by a dentist who had taken additional post graduate education on how TMJ can trigger ear symptoms. I urge you to have TMJ/ occlusion issues ruled out. Please see the above link that Glen so kindly shared. Meniere’s is often considered a diagnosis of exclusion. Everything must be excluded. Sadly most ENTS have not taken post-graduate education in how TMJD or occlusion can cause ear symptoms exactly like Meniere’s. Please click on my name and see if my journey sounds familiar. Never give up. NEVER assume that you must “learn to live with it”
Thank you Susan for all the incredible advocacy work you do!
My name is Veronica, and I recently was diagnosed with Ménière’s at 44. I had Endolymphatic shunt surgery on October 24th and in the recovery process. I was looking into living with Ménière’s when I found Mind over Ménière’s. Thank you, for all the words of encouragement and hope. I look forward to reading your books.
In regards to TMJ, a few years ago I was told by a dentist I was grinding and clenching my teeth and recommend a mouth guard. Dentist questioned if I was going through a stressful time in my life. Of course my answer was yes. No additional questioned were asked and within a few weeks, I was wearing a mouth guard at night. Now that I’ve been diagnosed with Ménière’s. I think it’s time to revisit the dentist.
Hi Veronica, I think finding a good neuromuscular dentist is a great idea. Susan Drago McDevitt sent me this link to find qualified specialists. Most of these people seem to know about the TMJ/Vestibular connection: http://www.aaop.org/content.aspx?page_id=2720&club_id=508439
Sorry to hear about the challenges your facing, Glenn. I am curious as to what regulatory changes are impacting your home business? Working from home is such a great option for those of us suffering from chronic illness. It is disappointing to hear they are making it tougher. I wear a bite guard at night at it stops any grinding, you might want to talk to your dentist about one.
Hi Stacy, I basically ran a wholesaling business and there were new regulations that affected several products that made up the bulk of our sales. I may have been able to figure out a way around it, but at the end of the day I decided it wasn’t worth it.
And with the dental issue, I’m definitely looking into it. I’ve already been to one specialist and am getting ready to see another. I think it’s going to end up being a orthotic, rather than a simple bite guard. Thanks!
Gail van der Leek
Hi Glenn, sorry to read all this.
I am sure it will lead you down a better path.
You are resilient. I am not in a position to contribute at this time but I will most likely buy the book when it’s finished. My money is worth so little in USA!
Sending positive thoughts to you.
Hi Gail, thank you so much for the well wishes and no worries at all!
Hi Glenn, so sorry to hear of your issues, you were my saviour when I was first diagnosed as when I searched the internet on the subject “Mind over Menieres” was top of the list and helped me get some understanding of it all, unfortunately my Mum passed over in March this year which really upset my MD and so I found myself in a situation where I had to give up work as with the brain fog I was making too many mistakes so I certainly understand the financial issues you have as in England they do not accept MD as a reason to not work so could not get benefit but I am also lucky that in November this year I can claim my state pension. I would definitely like to donate to your cause but unsure of the best way as any transfer from sterling to USA dollars the bank charges me and as the rate of the pound is so bad you would not get the full value of the donation.
If you or anyone else know of a way to get around this then I will go for it but in the meantime all the best wishes for you to get through this as soon as possible and please do take care of yourself, you have given us so much already so take some time for you.
I believe we have chatted before regarding the clenching and grinding of teeth aka bruxism. But maybe this can be useful to your readers. Bruxism often times turns into TMJD. In order to diagnose TMJD requires at the very least a 3D Cone Beam x-Ray and a dentist trained in treating this. However Meniere’s symptoms can be the result of bruxism without TMJD. Still if bruxism is suspected and even without a 3D Cone Beam X-Ray is highly recommended. No since in guessing and prolonging agony.
Regarding bruxism, in our search for answers we need to research serotonin deficiency. I know for me simple 5HTP once a day ended my clenching of teeth. But for some 5HTP is not enough and we must research and in turn educate ourselves in steps and co-factors required for serotonin production that include Iron, Magnesium, Calcium, Vitamin B6 and Folic Acid. I know for myself my magnesium levels were in range but low, my iron in the low range, plus my copper to zinc ratios were off in addition to high unbound copper a result of low ceruloplasmin levels. Now that I am addressing these I no longer need the 5HTP. That’s good as 5HTP was causing a bad case of acne, another puzzle to solve.
Tests to research then consider and finally choose are SAM-e to SAH ratio to learn more about blocked methylation pathways, NutrEval FVM by Genova Labs, this a blood and urine test that tells you what your body is doing at a cellular level. Be prepared to research the day lights out of the results. Chances are doctors will miss a lot in the interpretation of these results. Another test I hear about more and more is the Organics Acid Test by Great Plains laboratory. Lastly it’s always best to do a 23 and Me test then take the raw data and run that through a site such as Livewello. There are many others including a hair tissue mineral analysis that can provide a lot of useful information. Then there is another test by the name of Spectracell that measures mineral and vitamin content inside the blood cells. A good natural path should be able to recommend tests they believe will provide keys to whatever is causing serotonin deficiency. We also need to be sure of our adrenal stength any blood sugar conditions such as insulin resistance and how these enter into the larger picture. Lots to consider when faced with Meniere’s.