Greetings - I am a new member to this group and was recently diagnosed with a 1cm AN. I was initially diagnosed with vertigo and then Labrynthitis by my GP who then sent me to an ENT who ordered the MRI where the AN was found. Like I am sure all of you, I never thought in a million years that this would be the outcome. I am scared and so very worried. I will add that I have an anxiety disorder, which does not help me manage the worry and subsequent symptoms that go along with that - kind of a catch 22 because the symptoms of anxiety mirror the symptoms of AN, at least for me.
I am not to the stage yet where I will be making decisions about treatment as I have my first otologist appointment later this week so trying to take things one day at a time. What I am struggling with is the symptoms (dizzy, loss of balance, hearing loss, fatigue) and feel like if I could manage these symptoms, I will be able to face this next stage of making treatment decisions more easily.
As I am sure like many of you, I feel like my life has been stripped away. My symptoms were so severe in the beginning I had to use a walker to walk and could not leave the bed. 19 days on prednisone has helped, I am able to work (work from home) but I cannot drive, walking like I'm drunk/unsteady and ear feels like it is clogged. With the prednisone, I feel like the hearing has improved a bit. I have had to quit my beloved softball league, cannot work out, music and going to concerts are my passion (probably 5-10 shows a year) and I love to dance. Basically, I work and I sit. At least I can now read, which is also one of my passions. I am very depressed because of all this and it is very demoralizing. I am also so anxious about other symptoms arising -- any little twitch in my face makes me feel like paralysis is going to hit. On top of that, we are supposed to be going on vacation to a lake cabin at the end of the month where we spend 95 percent of our time on a boat (!), not to mention, I would love to have a beer while on vacation but I guess having the beer is the least of my worries.
I am very blessed and grateful to have a full life with many passions and I don't mean to whine. I feel like I will be able to face this next stage better if I felt more myself but no one seems to be able to help with the symptoms. I am told to accept the timeline. I feel like once I am off the prednisone, the severe symptoms are going to come back and that in itself makes me anxious, which causes all those dizzy feelings etc. Can anyone suggest ways to decrease symptoms, tips, questions to ask the doctor. It has been a month that I have been living like this and it is really wearing me down and taking a toll on my family as well (husband has to take time off work to drive me everywhere etc). From reading some of the boards, I am fearful that that this is the way the rest of my life if going to be. Life can sure turn on a dime can't it. (51 year old female, 1 teenage daughter, husband that is trying to hang in there, Boston, MA). Thanks for any guidance you can provide and I hope all are doing ok.