Housebound v.s. 'The World'

Discussion in 'Your Living Room' started by hollymm, Jun 22, 2011.

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  1. hollymm

    hollymm Me, 'in' a tree.

    I am voluntary housebound as going 'out' usually increases all my symptoms - Nausea, steadiness, dizziness, tinnitus. Many people seem to believe that that route is abnormal and there's something wrong with not engaging the world outside my front door (yes, I have friends and family who come over). I'm thinking it's ok if it help my symptoms. How many or you have that tendancy or have come to stay home more often since you first started your symptoms? Does going out even affect them?
  2. Taximom5

    Taximom5 New Member

    I think that's normal for ANY illness!

    I do hope you are able to get outside, though, even if it's just in your back yard. Sunshine and fresh air can do wonders...
  3. lulu48

    lulu48 New Member

    Holly I was housebound for many months a few years ago. Every time I would go out I would have panic attacks and feel so much worse. I got someone to help me overcome the panic attacks and the depression that went along with it.

    I still have symptoms sometimes when I leave the house. Driving in the car is tough, fluorescent lighting etc. but I do the best I can to keep getting out and not let myself become housebound again. I'm even going tomorrow to try and get a job!

    I think we all deal with this stuff in different ways. Being housebound was how I dealt with it for a while and no one should be made to feel like it is abnormal behavior. We just have to take things as they come and deal with one thing at a time and in the best way we can. ((Hugs)) to you sweetie. :-*
  4. June-

    June- New Member

    I wouldn't say normal, abnormal etc. It's certainly easy to see that the symptoms encourage this. But for me, even though going out was difficult sometimes with my hearing and balance issues, I wanted to get out there. Not necessarily among people :D but out there. When I lost my balance due to surgery, I walked long distances with a cane. No apologies. Sometimes I avoided shows and things where the sound was just going to be noise and I even asked my friends if we could meet up in 'quieter' places, ie not a noisy restaurant where I couldn't hear a thing. I didn't expect them to do that all the time but once in a awhile. I just kept going because I want to and I have found it is the best rehab for me. I would encourage you to line up whatever accommodation you need - cane, ear plugs etc and go do the things you really like to do . Moving, fresh air, exciting sights and sounds create endorphins and make us feel better. Many times I don't feel like going out but I force myself to put on my shoes and take two steps out the door and before you know it I have had a great day and feel totally entitled to that good nights rest.
  5. jaypr

    jaypr New Member

    I agree with June. I know it is very difficult alot of the time but being housebound could create more problems. I hope things improve for you.

  6. hollymm

    hollymm Me, 'in' a tree.

    So, I'm encouraged to see it has affected everyone's life as far as doing things in an uncontrolled environment. It seems as though all of you have beat it in one way or another but still, at times, stay home due to the exhaustion of dealing with outside influences. Am I reading it right?

    I'd need a walker as a cane does not help my steadiness, it confuses it. I use a shopping cart when I go to the store. The embarassment of a walker keeps me from trying that route. But just the sound of the tires on the road increases the tinnitus. I know I've been diagnosed with agoraphobia but I wonder if it's just the fear of symptoms increasing propelling my my need to stay inside. That's not agoraphobia - is it?

    How could being housebound increase my problems? Just wondering...
  7. June-

    June- New Member

    Balance is improved by challenging it over and over and over. I think not going out doing everyday tasks slows your improvement. Use it or lose it.
  8. jabber

    jabber New Member

    It took a good therapist that deals with chronic conditions to overcome the need to stay home because of the panic attacks and the depression regarding what happens if I have a full blown attack while I'm out in public ?? First- we got a handicap sticker for the windshield of the van,- had to see the Dr. for a prescription for that one. Then it was the wheel chair,- just in case I did have one, at least I was sitting down and I wasn't alone and the person with me could get me the heck out of where-ever I was in a hurry. Then I graduated to a rolator type walker. It didn't happen over-night but darn it, I was out and about.
    My ears are extremely over-sensitive to sound, I had hearing aids that just would not work for me but they were the molded in the ear type, SO- when I know i'm going to be where there's going to be a ot of noise that's going to bother me, I remove the battteries from the hearing aids and stick them in my ear and I manage just fine... I don't have the vertigo so much anymore but it's left me with a real balance problem and if I can't be using a grocery cart to hang on to, I'll take the walker with the wheels and the seat.

    A good therapist will make you see that you are no different than someone that has had a stroke or has any other type of a dibilating illness, MS etc. You have a chronic illness and the sooner you learn to accept that fact and deal with it the better off you'll be.. DO NOT under any circumstances be ashamed of a wheel chair or a walker, what do you think these aids were made for ? The most important thing is for you to get out of those doors and get to where there are other people. You can't spend the rest of your life hiding away like a hermit because you'll only get worse and worse if you do that.. Just remember that this illness can't take your life away from you unless you yourself let it.. Meniere's thrives on stress, don't forget that either. Good luck---
  9. Titus

    Titus New Member

    I think each person is different. I'm MUCH more productive for my work if I'm at home and not being bombarded with noise, interruptions, navigating elevators, stairs, meetings, and visual overload.

    That said, I do challenge myself and walk each day, go to the store, go out to eat (once in a while). The thing is that people coming over and parties I throw ALSO give me sensory overload.

    So, I guess the question is what is making your symptoms worse.....going out or the anxiety that is involved in going out? If it's the anxiety involved in going out, then it's a different issue and needs to be addressed separately.

    All I can say is thank goodness for Xanax.
  10. Taximom5

    Taximom5 New Member

  11. hollymm

    hollymm Me, 'in' a tree.

    You all make it sound so easy...just get up and go do it. It takes most of the day to convince myself to get out the front door for things I need. Believe it or not, some days are easy. I just get up and go. Don't know the difference between those days. To make the get up and go permanent. Good therpist? Good luck. I've seen at least seven and none has helped. One suggested the rubber band method... Hell, I have a hard time making it to the appointments alone! I understand the longer I wait the more difficult I have with outside sensory hurdles.

    All the advice is good to get started?? I accept the fact that I have a chronic illness. I stay away from flowers with bees in them cuz I'm allergic how is that different than staying away from the things that make my illness worse? Circles and more circles back to back, making it worse. I mean, I can't walk around with a bee keepers suit on during the spring and summer because I might get stung, right? Is it to silly an example?

    You start off by forcing yourself? Is that the thing? What epiphany starts it?

    Anxiety is a big issue. I think that's why I was dignosed with agoraphobia. I've always been a 'homebody' but this has created an anxiety that zanax is the only helpful thing I've found. I almost always take zanax a bit before I force myself out those front doors. I do arobics and stretching here in my house. I have other, pain issues that top off the charts too. Shoulders, hips and feet are issues with walking a very long distance. I'm not trying to make exuses, they're just there. So I'm not dealing with just Meniere's here. But the fear of going out doesn't change just because I have numerous health issues.

    I appreciate your post Kim, it makes me feel I'm not quite alone but you're still leaps ahead of me :)

    "Sensory overload" - good visual.
  12. June-

    June- New Member

    Holly, take the first step. Don't commit to spending the whole day out and about doing great things. Commit to a 10 minute walk to the store to get a pack of gum. Then put on your shoes and do it. Do it again tomorrow. Things get a sort of momentum on their own. The body wants more of what you give it. If you give it some sunshine and fresh air and a little exercise it will start to want more and tell you and it will become easier. Just commit to shoes on, butt out the door and let the rest take care of itself. Take those ear plugs and cane, walker, walking poles, whatever helps you steady yourself and have confidence. Don't worry about other people. Truth is, they don't care whether we have those things or not, they are all wrapped up in their own little life dramas. Go for it!
  13. Henrysullivan

    Henrysullivan New Member

    No great advice here, Holly, just great thoughts and prayers for you to find your way. And interacting with the good folks here who have been there, and who have dealt with it successfully, is a great first step out the door.

  14. lulu48

    lulu48 New Member

    Holly I started out just walking to the end of my driveway the first day. It was only about 15 feet but I did it and every day I went just a little further. It was really tough....I had to force myself to do it and just breathe through the panic that would set in. Before I knew it I had walked all the way around my block!

    I then started making myself get in the car and do one small errand every day. Go to the post office, go buy milk etc. Anything to get me out of the house.

    Now here I am several years later....I walk 5 miles every morning that my MM lets me. I drive where I need to go. I even took a 1200 mile road trip to Missouri (by myself) back in December to visit a friend. I was so proud of myself! I still have to fight off the panicky feelings on occasion but I've learned how to deal with it much better.

    I know you can do this sweetie. Like others have said, get whatever you need to make you feel more secure when you go out. A cane works for me but something else might be better for you.

    You are such a wonderful person hon....the world deserves to have a little Holly in it. So try and get out there and let the world embrace you and love you just like we do here. ((hugs)) :-*
  15. Imnoscientist

    Imnoscientist New Member

    I have mixed feelings on this and some personal experience.

    I live alone and for a few years lived in the country where I didn't have a lot of people who could help me. So I'm very self sufficient. Even when I was so sick just being awake was hell (so I slept 14 hours a day) I still had to get to the doctor or buy groceries. So I did it. On my own. I also go stir crazy if I'm inside too long so going on those trips kind of gave me a break from the whole 'I'm housebound' misery.

    Now I live back in the city and have a lot of friends around me. Even so, I would still force myself to do a lot of that stuff on my own - for the 'empowerment' of being able to do it. I would also force myself to get out to a have a meal with a friend in a restaurant (early, so it's quiet and after making them snuff out the candles and turn down the lights etc), just to remain engaged with life and get a little exercise from the walk there.

    BUT I also don't think everyone HAS to do that. There are plenty of happy hermits around. Homebodies. Wolfpacks of one. People living rich, full internal lives away from the busy-ness, noise and fuss of The Big Wide World.

    Holly - you have family, you have friends - you are definitely still connected to the world. And your dogs!

    All I would say is:

    a) don't worry about canes or walkers or what anyone else thinks. Seriously, who gives a f*ck right? and

    b) do get outside - even if it's just in your yard - sunlight, a garden and lungfuls of fresh air work wonders.
  16. gert157

    gert157 New Member

    Hi Holly,
    SOOOOOO much of what you write, I deal with as well...... You are not alone... You mentioned somedays you just go and do and you don't know what the difference is on those days that you can go out, maybe the mm symptoms are not as difficult that day... I have those days too... It almost to me feels like on those days all my "systems' are running correctly, normally as they should.. It makes me feel so good to be able to go out and do especially if I can accomplish it without the anxiety and the mm symptoms being overwhelmingly present....Its very rewarding... How do you start you ask? You start one step at a time, I mean that very literally... One footstep at a time... Go out to your yard, walk to the mailbox, walk to the end of your street and back.... Little tiny steps and on the days things feel easier to do, walk just a bit further, on the bad days do just what you can and know you TRIED!!! That's all we can ask from ourselves.... Its hard, I live it too... Crowds, lights, all those things are hard for us and make us physically uncomfortable and when that happens then comes the anxiety and the ever present mm symptoms, it is so very hard. You do not struggle alone my MM friend, many here feel what you are being brave enough to put on this board, just sharing what your struggles are is helpful, don't you think?? I sure do.... I would be more than happy to pm with you anytime, maybe we could help each other?? Ya think?? Living outside our comfort zone is sometimes very scary, but it is doable, slow and steady wins the race!! Wanna run????
    Take good care and pm me sometime, I would love that!! So many here get what you are saying, they feel it too!!
    Sending you well wishes and good thoughts.....
  17. Max Stooge

    Max Stooge New Member

    Ditto Holly to what the others have said. Just get outside, take in nature, take that walk around the block, go to the store even if to walk in the front door and turn around and leave. The next time you will get (and tell yourself you will) to the checkouts, next time you do a couple of aisles, and get your stuff. I've had days when I thought I was gonna die before I got out of there. A coincidence, I also have hard to control high blood pressure and have had very anxious moments. I asked for and got a prescription for an anti anxietic, it helps. So, I do my thing, if it's a bad day I don't worry about other shoppers, I just take care of me, look straight ahead and handle it. I've overcome the anxiety about it, the shame of "being in public". You do what you have to do. I hardly ever take one of those pills anymore. Go for it girl, we all got your back.
  18. lulu48

    lulu48 New Member

    Holly I find that if I wear sunglasses inside of stores or places that have fluorescent lighting, it really helps me too. I don't tend to get that weird feeling like I'm going to start spinning really it makes me look cool like a movie star. 8) ;D
  19. Sholly

    Sholly New Member

    In your photo, you are outside at the beach. You look very happy in that picture. I think you need to go to the beach with a friend and feel the sunshine and the sea breeze. Don't be embarrassed by a walker, cane, etc... Whenever I see someone using one, I admire them for getting out there in the world no matter what. They don't allow their problems to stop them from doing what they want. There is nothing wrong with being a homebody, but you don't want your home to become your prison.
  20. burd

    burd New Member

    Going out still can affect me, we live in a caustic smelly world and I often get attacked by intrusive scents, chemicals, smoke and all kinds of stuff. The first few years I stayed home a lot, because I was sick all the time to some degree. I was afraid to leave the safety of it. I tried, baby steps. But as I got better and figured out what I was dealing with and started getting some kind of control back then I also regained my confidence and my independence. I think most of us have experienced where you are at right now. But don't give in. Keep on fighting it.

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