Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.
I've been suffering from Meniere's for 3 years now. Meniere's is a combination of hearing loss, tinnitus (a constant ringing in the ear) and vertigo/dizziness. Meniere's is an invisible disability and not easily recognisable. Since 2015, I have lost most of my hearing in one ear, have had the pleasure of continually listening to the sound of a 1970s TV after the national anthem has played at the end of the day's broadcast (those younger ones out there won't have a clue what I'm on about) and suffered constant dizziness....constant being EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!
Although I've experienced some very dark days during this time, for the past 3 months or so I have been battling my condition with regular exercise....running in fact, which initially may seem a strange thing to do when you have balance problems. For the first few weeks, it was a big challenge...after running on the treadmill at the local gym for a mile or so, it took a good couple of minutes of holding onto the machine before I was able to safely dismount due my head being in a spin. However, I was determined not to give in to this bloody horrible condition and continued to hit the gym 3 or 4 times per week. As the weeks went by, I noticed that my recovery time after running on the treadmill was getting better and my general wellbeing was improving too....although my tinnitus and hearing remained unchanged, my constant dizziness was becoming a little more manageable.
As we enter the month of June, I continue to run at least 3 times per week and my dizzy feeling although not gone, isn't as debilitating as it has previously been. As I take no medication for this condition, I can only put my improvement down to regular exercise, i.e. running. With that in mind, I have decided to take on a marathon challenge of my own to raise funds for the Meniere's Society. I shall be running two half marathon events this year.....I have a fairly challenging run on the 7th July, which is the Black Country Half Marathon, challenging in that I will be running alongside the canal from Wolverhampton to Birmingham (a canal, with my balance issues!!) and then on the 14th October, I am taking part in the Birmingham Run (another half marathon), a safer option with the only water danger being from the various drinks stations along the route.
More importantly, the message I want to get across to anyone who suffers from any sort of vestibular problem is that regular exercise can make a difference. Exercise certainly won't be on top of your list when your head feels as clear as the sea at Weston-Super-Mare, and you may not see any immediate improvement, but it's just possible it will help your general wellbeing, so,
DO IT, BELIEVE IT, BEAT IT.........stand up to Meniere's.
If you know anyone with similar conditions, please get them to read my story...it may just help them to make some improvement to their own situation.