My adventures with Secondary Endolymphatic Hydrops: salt and my first attack

Secondary Endolymphatic HydropsThis is the second part of a series chronicling my experience with Secondary Endolymphatic Hydrops as a result of a concussion in September 2013.

After being on the diuretic for awhile, I slowly eased into being able to eat 1200 to 1500 mg of salt (sodium technically) a day. Which was hard. And frustrating. I cut out 99% of processed goods and got really good at estimating salt content. I used myfitnesspal a lot at first to help me keep track. I would look for an item similar to what I was eating and then enter in the quantity of that item that matched with the amount of salt I was eating. I didn’t bother entering in food that I was eating that didn’t have salt, so it wasn’t an accurate food log, but it did help me to keep track of salt. Plus I liked the summary option that would allow me to see how much sodium I had eaten at the end of the day.

I could usually tell within an hour or two after a meal if I had eaten to much salt as my ear would start to pop incessantly and the pressure would increase.  If I had too much salt, then the worst would happen. I would basically end up with what I eventually termed a “salt hangover”.

The first time it happened, I had been watching my salt for a month or two, and I had Korean food. And I wasn’t really paying attention. That evening/night I definitely felt off, and really thirsty. I didn’t sleep well and could tell my ear was filling up. I made it to church and was dizzy enough at the of the service that dad drove me home. At home I napped and tried to do yoga, meanwhile I could feel doom approaching. I kept drinking water, but I was slowly getting more and more nauseated and dizzy. I didn’t really know what was happening, but at some point I took my diuretic and when that didn’t seem to be helping I took it again (maybe 4 hours later). I drank and drank. And felt more and more nauseous. It was the worst feeling in the world. Knowing that drinking fluid was the only thing that could help, yet being nauseated at the same time. At one point, I thought I was going to start throwing up and black out and that’s when Mom gave me a valuable anti-nausea pill. It took the edge off the nausea so that I could start breathing better and it helped me able to drink more. I wish I had a picture, but at one point I was lying on my bed with a water bottle and two 1.5liter pitchers filled with water so that I could refill from my bed and not have to get up. I spent most of the night drinking and dozing in a dizzy stupor. I only slept a couple of hours (I think) and by the next day I was still dizzy and feeling like I had had a really bad case of the flu. I made several trips to the functional neurologist and it took me all week to fully recover from my carelessness!