Where did I go?

I’m struggling with whether or not I should delete this blog. I have obviously been neglecting it for months, and I’m not sure that maintaining a moderate sodium intake of 2,000mg a day is enough material for a blog. The truth is that I have not been paying attention to my sodium intake at all, and therefore have no clue whether I’ve been maintaining my 2,000mg a day range.  I’m hoping Meniere’s Disease just ignores me and never impacts my health, but that’s ridiculous. De Nile isn’t just a river in Egypt! (hyuck!) I still sometimes feel stuffy or hear something funky in my left ear. That probably means that meniere’s ISN’T GOING AWAY! So I should recommit to tracking sodium, and recommit to this blog.

Keeping track sucks! I’ll just say it! It sucks!

Maybe I will challenge myself to track my food on this blog (count sodium only, not calories or anything else) for a while to see if (a) I’m capable of that sort of commitment, and (b) it spurs some new blogging inspiration.

Lets see if I can remember what I ate today:

1/2 Cup Milk – 51 mg
1 Cup Corn Chex – 289mg
1 cup OJ – 2mg
Breakfast total: 342 – Not bad!

2 slices asiago bread – 416mg? not sure of sizing
6? slices deli turkey (maybe 4 oz?) – 1494mg?! not sure on this one either
1 tsp mustard – 57mg? that is a surprise
3/4 cup french fries – 496mg …this is starting to hurt…
1 tbs ketchup  – 167 mg
Lunch Total: I can’t count that high… OK fine, 2,630mg. OUCH. Someone needs to work on healthy lunches at work!!

1 ciabatta roll –  270 mg
green giant “healthy weight” frozen veg  (entire box, 2 servings ) – 480 mg
Dinner Total: 750 mg, which is still too much for one meal.

(sodium amounts are from the USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference except for the dinner stuff which I found elsewhere online.)

wow, it always amazes me how tracking your food makes you SO NOT HUNGRY. Blech.

So Today’s estimate of sodium intake is 3,722mg.

Um, yeah, maybe I need to start paying attention again. Also, I lied, I kind of am hungry.


Happy Hydrops!

Hello my fair blog readers! I’ve got some good news for you!

I just went to my ENT Doc for a follow-up visit to the sad and depressing diagnosis in March. I had another hearing test (audiogram) and my hearing is NORMAL!! Wahooo! There is still a bit of a difference between my left and right ear, but both ears are in the “normal” range. Yay for normal!

He explained that a small subset of Meniere’s Patients never get the dizziness symptoms (I still haven’t) and those patients are said to just have “Endolymphatic Hydrops” which just refers to some kind of inner ear craziness:

wow, look how engorged that membranous labyrinth is! (um, click through to see what the normal one looks like. it's like those games where you have to find the differences in the 2 pictures!)

So the plan is for me to just keep taking my little green and yellow water pill every morning for the rest of my life and to keep sodium around 2g a day for the rest of my life. You know, as best as I can. Without going crazy. FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.

In other news, are there enough of you out there to do a product giveaway? I might have an offer to do one that I’d be interested in trying…I feel like a real blogger now that I’ve got an offer to give away products!

Low Bass Tone

Whenever I think of tinnitus, I always think of the phrase, “ringing in the ear” which implies (to me) something that sounds maybe like the bell signaling the changing of class periods in a high school.

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP.

A somewhat mid-range tone that’s clearly audible. Starting last night, I’ve been hearing some craziness in my left ear again, not at all like what I thought “tinnitus” would be…

I’d describe it as a low bass tone, sometimes interrupted with short stops rather than being continuous, and (thankfully, I guess) barely audible. It’s pretty distracting because I was just laying in bed last night trying to notice it enough to characterize it. Hmm, I’m listening for something that isn’t there, I think that means I’ve officially gone nuts? It was sort of reverberating. I was trying to tell if it had a pattern to it, if it was in sync with my heartbeat (I don’t think it was) or whether I was imagining the short interruptions entirely and it really was a continuous low tone… I guess I eventually fell asleep and woke up to hear it once more.

There may have been a day or two that I forgot to take the diuretic pill  I’m supposed to take to keep the Meniere’s under control. Whoops! Maybe that’s why I’ve been hearing it. I took the pill this morning and I think the tone is gone for now, but then again it’s harder to listen when there’s ambient noise in the room!

I don’t have much for you in the way of low-sodium eating today… lately I haven’t been paying much attention to sodium… just trying to stay away from over-processed food and seeing if I can get away with it!

Feeling the Effects

My food choices haven’t been THAT bad lately. Yes, I stopped obsessively freaking out about every milligram of sodium, but I haven’t been inhaling overly processed foods at every chance, so I can’t be THAT overboard!

Then why have I been experiencing the telltale symptoms of Meniere’s lately? My left ear has been booming? pounding? boom-boom-powing? I don’t know how to describe it… whumping? It kind of reminds me of how a baby’s heart sounds on a heart monitor/ultrasound I think, (from what I’ve heard in movies… no babies for this girl!) except not that loud, thank goodness. I also have distorted hearing through my left ear on phone conversations again and feel a “stuffy” kind of pressure in my left ear.  It’s really distracting at work, and builds the pressure (no pun intended) to get back to strictly low sodium (as in, strictly under 2,000 mg not “as low as I can go”!!)

But then I wonder about the other triggers for Meniere’s. I haven’t been drinking any alcohol or caffeine (thank goodness I’m not a coffee person!) but then there’s stress. I am pretty sure I read somewhere that stress can be a trigger and OH MY GOD has work been stressing me out lately. It’s not like I can measure my stress and keep it under 2,000 mg a day (I wish!), and the doctor didn’t say, “make sure to not get so stressed that you want to slam your head onto a sharpened pencil” so how can I tell if this added stress is really contributing to my symptoms?

At this point I can only guess. I’ll pay closer attention to my diet in the next few days and hope that the feelings subside. One month until my next hearing test and ENT appointment!

Hi again, Sodium!

Yes, it’s been a while since my last post but I’m still here, I promise! Here’s a novel to explain where I’ve been during the last 10 days:

The thing is, “cutting back on my sodium” gets really frustrating when I go off the deep end and EVERYTHING starts seeming like a “bad sodium choice” because it has sodium in it. Any sodium at all.  Let’s just say it culminated in a sad incident at Whole Foods wherein I was already very hungry, tired, and stressed when I walked up to the prepared foods section and sheepishly inquired about the sodium content of their offerings. The nice man behind the counter ever so gently informed me that gee, he really wished there was something for me, but everything is seasoned with salt and pepper so he can’t be sure if anything is ‘low sodium’ and so he’s very sorry, but Does Not Have Anything For Me. Continue reading

Sodium Hangover

Birthday celebration last night – the Husband picked a Chinese place which of course makes it just about impossible to stay low-sodium. I had grand plans of asking the waitress for no seasoning, but chickened out last minute when I decided to order a dish I hadn’t tried before, Mandarin Chicken with Garlic. My dad was there and valiantly ordered the Three Delicacies with no salt (the waitress was like, “it will not have flavor” and he was like “that’s fine with me!”) and it was pretty good. I wish I had ordered low-sodium too! We then had TWO kinds of birthday cake (it was my Dad’s birthday AND the Husband’s birthday (and my Grandpa’s*, but he wasn’t there) …got to have one cake for each!) Overall it was a pretty indulgent evening.

Me and two of the Birthday Boys

So this morning my eyelids feel puffy and my wedding rings are tight around my finger. There was no alcohol whatsoever involved during the entire evening, and yet I’m feeling overtired and sluggish. Yep, I’ve got a sodium hangover.

Luckily the strategy to get over a sodium hangover is much like getting over a regular hangover – drink tons of water and have a greasy breakfast! OK, not the greasy breakfast part. I had my tasty shredded wheat with no sodium this morning. But bring on the water!!

What’s your strategy to get over a hangover? Are you all about the greasy breakfast or do you just sleep it off?

*yes, for three generations in a row, women in my family have married men who were born on April 21st. What are the odds of that??

Frosted Mini Wheats

I was visiting a friend’s house up in Minnesota (where I went to school!) and I was trying to find something low-sodium to eat (you know, to counteract all the delicious restaurant food we were eating.) I was pleasantly suprised to see that Frosted Mini Wheats contains a mere 5mg of sodium per serving!(OK, I’ll admit it, their website is kind of cute)

yum yum!

I love it when I find “regular” foods that are ALREADY low in sodium!  It inspired me to look at some other cereals and their sodium contents:

Frosted Mini Wheats: 5 mg per 59 g
Kashi Autumn Wheat Biscuits: 0 mg per 54 g
Cheerios: 190 mg per 28 g
Cracklin Oat Bran: 150 mg per 49 g
Kix: 210 mg per 30 g
Cocoa Puffs: 150 mg per 27 g
Rice Krispies: 220 mg per 33 g

Kind of a random selection, I know… I just wanted to illustrate the vast range of sodium within the breakfast cereal category. Obviously I went out and stocked up on Kashi Autumn Wheat and Frosted Mini Wheats! What’s your favorite cereal? Check its sodium content and leave it in the comments!