Just need to get this off my chest

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Date Joined Nov 2008
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   Posted 4/13/2009 8:24 AM (GMT -6)   
This is why i LOVE this forum.  Even if no one responds, just the mere act of typing what's on whatever is left of my mind is theraputic.
I have Meniere's Disease along with Fibro.  It sux.  I have had it for 35 years.  EVERYONE I am close to knows it.  I can't have salt, MSG, nitrates, or most processed foods.  It makes it very difficult for me to eat in restaurants or having dinner at friend's houses.  In a restaurant, I usually excuse myself(if there are others with me) and sneak to the back and ask if they use MSG, or peanut oil to fry with. (allergic to nuts).
So yesterday we went to my son's house for Easter.  My DIL and her family know about the Meniere's.  My son certainly knows as he has inherited this lovely disease also but salt etc doesn't seem to trigger his attacks...only visual stimulation.  Anyway...Here is the menu.  Chicken with barbeque sauce and Italian sausage.  No...can't eat that.  Greek salad...feta cheese, anchovies, olives and sea salt.  No...can't eat that.  Garlic bread slathered with provolone cheese and garlic salt.  Nope...be spinning after one bite.  Then I am hopeful because I see a beautiful platter of asparagus.  DIL sets it on the table and her mother picks up the garlic and sea salt and sprinkles it all over the top.  Nope!  Then something called 'Fixed Rigs'.  It's rigatoni made with a sauce of five different cheeses ...so salty it will ripple the roof of your mouth.
Now, I don't expect people to prepare food revolving around my disease...even though my DIL is a vegetarian and when she comes here I always serve something she can eat that isn't meat.  What I DO expect is when I don't put something on my plate for the entire table to start asking...'Don't you like that?  Here...let me put some salad in your bowl...why aren't you even trying that?  Geez...no wonder you're so skinny!""
I have explained this disorder a million times.  It is embarassing for me to sit at a table and have to repeat the mantra.  It makes me sound like I am a picky eater...that I don't like what is being served...that I am in ingrate and don't appreciate the work that went into preparing the meal.
I ended up eating two rolls that I brought and scraping all the salt off the asparagus.
While I'm at it....On Passover some friends from NYC were visting and staying with another couple we know.  They called and said they wanted to take us out for Passover. (hubby is Jewish)  We ended up at a Thai restaurant, of all places.  Everything cooked in soy and peanut oil.  I ended up eating a cucumber salad.  Being at a table of Jews, of course they kept saying 'eat...eat...enjoy!"  I explained once again this disorder and why I couldn't have any of the stuff on the platters of food that kept coming.  I was humiliated. 
Again...I do not expect people to cook a meal just for me.  I am only asking that they stop asking why I am 'not digging in' when all of them know.  I don't continually ask my friend with diabetes why she isn't eating the pie I baked for dessert.
It ain't just fibro, folks that people don't get.  Most people never heard of Meniere's.  That's okay.  Just leave me alone and don't get insulted when I can't eat like a normal person.  Like fibro...if any of them had just one attack of spinning, vomiting, headache and all the other things that come with an attack, they might just then understand.
Thanks for allowing me to get this out.  BTW...fell off my son's pool deck after dinner and have two lovely knots on both shins.  My DIL's father did the same thing about ten minutes before I did so it wasn't me...it was the deck stairs were loose!
fibro, menieres disease, RLS, anxiety disorder, disc compression, scoliosis, spinal stenosis TMJ  Meds: Lexapro and valium

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 478
   Posted 4/13/2009 8:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Oh Donna I can so understand b/c my mother had Meniere's and no one GOT IT!!! I t is just a little consideration that you are asking for. Great point about the dessert and diabetics, most of us would never even mention sweets. Why are other causal things any different???

Thank god you weren't very hurt, shins are bad enough.

Take care Lady, Patsie

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Date Joined Jun 2008
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   Posted 4/13/2009 8:49 AM (GMT -6)   
I don't blame you one bit for being upset about all of this- especially when they know you have had this for years! What is up with that??? If someone in my family had a disease and I knew they could not have certain things, I would make sure that I made something for them that they could eat. And I would not be schlepping you off to some Thai restaurant. Good grief!!!
Hope the ole shins are doing OK today- that could have been ugly, one of you could have been really hurt.
Fibromyalgia, Depression, Anxiety, TMJ, Arthritis/neck, SAD
Zoloft, Tylenol 4000 mg., Darvocet  

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9607
   Posted 4/13/2009 8:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Awe Donna, sure hope you'll be okay after that fall..if you have any problems from the fall
get into see the doctor asap...I have to avoid a lot of foods due to ocular migraines, sjorgren's,
gerd and asthma, and MSG is just a no no, can we even trust a japanese rest. even if they say
no msg, some places still use it...they did a crack down here on msg and found a lot of asian places
still had msg even if they said no msg on their store front and the ramone noodles everyone likes
has a lot of msg in them, my daughter got a aweful migraine after eating the ramone noodles to
the point where she threw up, yet she still wants to eat them as it's popular with the kids...
Be careful of everything even if it says msg free......People can be rude as they forget, it happens but
it sure doesn't make it easy, but for them to say rude things to you even after you've explain is just plain
mean, no one try to avoid food and well life is just going make things hard for us eh...
maybe start planning your outtings round the food and leaving before everyone sits down to eat, just
an idea...
lots and lots of soft hugz and please know I care......
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc, Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's and Ocular Migraines


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 1014
   Posted 4/13/2009 9:28 AM (GMT -6)   

Aww, Donna!!

I had never heard of Meniere's Disease till now. (I googled it so I could understand it better)  Sounds just plain awful.  Sorry you have to deal with that along with the wonderful gift of fibro.  I can't eat processed foods either, but I have problems with my face and hands swelling up & having this weird internal itchy feeling from the nitrates and whatevers that are in there.

I think its so RUDE for folks to ignore your food issues.   If you came to my house for a meal, I would call you ahead of time and double check the menu items, for sure.  Next time your DIL comes to your house to eat, why don't you make meat, meat and more meat for dinner.  GEEZ!! 

Sorry you were put in that position by your DIL.  I guess you'll have to eat at home before you go there again for dinner. 

I totally understand the Thia Restuarant problem too and I also understand the ethnic issue with your companions.  I grew up in a primarly jewish community so I think I'm more jewish than Italian.. LOL!!  I think you might have to start standing your ground when it comes to these problems and just say.. I just can't eat that, can we go someplace else this time.  Good grief girl.. you're gonna starve to death with these inconsiderate people all around you.  Well anytime you want to come to my house for a decent and considerate meal.. the door's always open!! 

Now .. go eat some REAL food!! (no offense to anyone who is Thia or Jewish.. or lives in the ocean and eats sea salt)


Fibormyalgia, 4x Lyme Disease Survivor, Depression, Anxiety Disorder, Dyslexia, 2 Lumbar Disk Herniations, Allergies, Bi-lateral Carpal Tunnel, Psoriasis. 
Meds = Elavil, Tramadol, Xanax, Lipitor
"Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you'll land among the stars" - author unknown

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2854
   Posted 4/13/2009 9:31 AM (GMT -6)   
yes...I know many restaurants say they are MSG free but I have found out the hard way that most 'servers' and cooks don't realize or care that MSG can be disguised with different wording.
Vegtable Protein extract
Hydrolyzed plant protein
autolyzed yeast
calcium casenate
textured protein
natural flavorings
yeast extract
glutamic acid
Soy protein
ALL MSG...and that's just a partial list.  A stupid can of tuna fish that says 'chicken broth' in it's list of ingredients is full of MSG.
I asked one of the cooks at Ponderosa if they used MSG on their meat.  'NO!" she said...no MSG in anything here except the mac and cheese.  Oh really?  I barely made it to the car.  She didn't know that meat tenderizer is pure MSG.
So many people are sensative to this stuff...I guess it's just a flavor enhancer but brother...it's in almost in everything.
fibro, menieres disease, RLS, anxiety disorder, disc compression, scoliosis, spinal stenosis TMJ  Meds: Lexapro and valium

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17060
   Posted 4/13/2009 9:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Donna, you should NEVER feel humiliated for something you have no control over.  THEY should be humiliated.  I know she is your daughter-in-law but, not to offend, she is a jerk!  This was a holiday meal, for heaven's sake!  There is no excuse for her.  She is totally insensitive and selfish.  (Sorry.  I'm calling it as I see it.)
I have a little nephew that is autistic.  He's on a gluten free, casein free, and beef free diet plus he's allergice to other foods and seasonings, too.  At Thanksgiving, I took the turkey broth, put some in a separate pan and thickened it with corn starch so the little guy could have gravy.  I mashed the potatoes with no butter so he could have that.  I usually spray my turkeys with canola oil before I cook them to give them a crispy skin.  He can't have canola oil so I used olive oil instead.  I've made him chicken and served everyone else steak. 
Golly, it isn't difficult to work around dietary problems.  They could have cooked some chicken with just pepper and garlic powder on it for you.  That would have taken less effort than slathering everything with barbeque sauce.  Asparagus should have been put on your plate and then they could have put the salt on the rest of it.  They could have started the salad for you and eliminated the olives, anchovies, etc.  This is not difficult.  This is why I said the harsh things I said.  I'm really angry about this.   mad   You have enough problems without this too.  I happen to agree with Patti about your next dinner that you have for your daughter-in-law.  Tell her it will be as yummy for her as her Easter dinner was for you.  I would have steak, grilled chicken, spinach salad with bacon dressing (set some aside for you with no dressing), pasta with meat sauce, etc.  You get the idea.

Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 1771
   Posted 4/13/2009 10:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Oh Donna, I so understand your frustration.  Like your son, my Meniere's is mostly triggered by visual stimuli, so eating has never been a huge problem for me, but my daughter is allergic to milk (which is in tons of processed foods and restaurant foods) and has the same problem.
It's unbelieveable how rude people can be to her sometimes with their comments.  And the adults can be just as bad as the kids.  I won't even get into all of the issues we've had with family.  These people have known she's been allergic since she was a baby but still somehow "forget".  I never ask that they don't serve items with milk; just make something milk free for her, or let me know what is being served so I can bring something.  I can't tell you how many times we've shown up for a holiday function and someone has decided to make homemade ice cream (or whatever), and they forgot to tell me.  I've spent many a Thanksgiving/Easter/Christmas trying to find a store open that carries soy ice cream/whipped cream/etc.  *Sigh*  While I could just ignore it if I had the allergy, she's a kid and shouldn't have to watch all the other kids eating ice cream.
She also gets embarrassed by all of the questions and comments.  She's had people try to coerce her into eating something because it "only has just a little milk in it."  Say What!!??   She's also had people get upset with her because they are adamant that something doesn't have milk in it when she is either unsure or knows for a fact that it does.  Um.... I'm thinking she should have the final say here since she is the one with the allergy.
Miss Manners says that it is ALWAYS impolite to comment on what someone else is or is not eating.  I think table manners have disappeared along with politeness and common sense.
I also agree that many servers and cooks at restaurants have no idea what is in the food they are serving and as a result, often give incorrect info.  I've been known to go into the kitchen and ask to see the ingredient list on the box/bag. nono
BTW - I agree with Patti that the next time your DIL comes for dinner, you should just serve only meat products.  I bet she would remember about the sodium and MSG next time.  devil
Hugs - Austen
"There is no charm equal to tenderness of  heart." - Jane Austen
Fibromyalgia, 2 back surgeries, Meniere's Disease, 30+ kidney stones, GERD, IBS, Asthma, Allergies, Endometriosis, Heart Arrythmia, Myofascial Pain, TMJ.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 1156
   Posted 4/13/2009 12:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Why did you DIL make separate food for you? It is not hard to do. All she had to do was separate your portions before she added the spices. With pasta, she could have boiled it separately without salt.

Sometimes I think people need to see you become ill from their food before they understand where they went wrong.

Your son needs to step up to the plate also. Maybe he can make your food to ensure you have something to eat.

Oi vey, how inconsiderate.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
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   Posted 4/13/2009 2:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Whole Foods Stores are a good place to shop..check them out, they do gluten free, diary free, and lots
of other items.. I've always asked my daughter's friends if anyone had food allergies before any sleep overs
so I could be prepared and have something for everyone...as I've had two bleeding ulcers and
not the h.plori type milk can be my downfall at times especially ice cream, as if I eat too much I'll
need to find a restroom fast...
How you (Donna) after the fall though? Hope your not hurting from the fall and soft hugz....
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc, Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's and Ocular Migraines


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Date Joined Nov 2008
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   Posted 4/13/2009 4:52 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi guys...thanks for your support.  Absolutely my son should have been more aware.  He was outside most of the time they were cooking, grilling the chicken and sausage and to be fair, he did grill be a piece of chicken without the barbeque sauce.  But when the huge pile came in on the platter, he couldn't remember which was mine.  When he is at my house, he never ever adds salt to anything I cook.  It wasn't my DIL...it was her mother that poured the salt on all the food and actually did it when she thought I wasn't looking. (put the box of sea salt behind her back and waited until I left the room but I could see her anyway).  I should have brought my own food, but when I asked my DIL what we were having she said, chicken, sausage, salad and a vegetable.  Sounded okay to me, except the sausage. I called three times to see if there was something else I could bring.  No.  I did bring some warm rolls, a potted plant and some dog yummies for her dogs.  I should have eaten the dog bisquits!

I wish we had a Whole Foods here but we don't.  I think the closest is 300 miles away.

Thanks for asking about my fall.  Both shins are bloodied and swollen and my hips aches a  little more than usual but other than that, I'm okay.

I probably over reacted to this...Easter isn't about the food.  This morning, I woke up annoyed because I was starving by the time I got home and had to cook myself something, after looking forward to finally having a holiday meal at someone else's house.

Oh well...this too shall pass!



fibro, menieres disease, RLS, anxiety disorder, disc compression, scoliosis, spinal stenosis TMJ  Meds: Lexapro and valium

MT Lady
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
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   Posted 4/13/2009 8:32 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't think you are over reacting Donna. It was very insensitive and you have a right to feel hurt. I hope your shins heal quickly and your hip pain subsides soon.
gentle hugs,

Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, scoliosis, back problems, hypothyroidism.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1495
   Posted 4/13/2009 10:09 PM (GMT -6)   
The mil actually hid the salt behind her back and put it on when she thought you werent' looking? That is an absolutely evil thing to do. Grrrr!

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Date Joined Jun 2006
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   Posted 4/14/2009 1:24 AM (GMT -6)   
The MIL could have killed you.


Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 4/14/2009 8:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Rude people suck
and they are evrywhere ........... especially from the land called "in law" it seems.
I better not even get started unloading on that one -

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
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   Posted 4/14/2009 10:24 PM (GMT -6)   
I'd pack my own lunch in the future, as you said, and NEVER count on there being anything that you can eat. Better safe than sorry. It's not like you can unsalt the food! Shame on Mom-in-Law.... If this disease shows up in the grandkids you are going to have to take her out just to protect the children!!!
~ Jeannie, Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. ~Mother Teresa

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
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   Posted 4/15/2009 12:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi vestabula!

I am so sorry your family hurt you so! (((HUGS))) It just makes me shake my head when this type of thing happens...I just don't get it. I am lucky that my family is thoughtful about my diabetes. I realize now just how very lucky I truly am.

I didn't know much about Meniere's Disease so did a little research. NOW I understand your name...lol How funny and clever of you! For those like me who aren't familiar with this problem I'll do some copy/paste from Wikipedia and the NIH. Some interesting stuff...

"Ménière's disease is an abnormality of the inner ear causing a host of symptoms, including vertigo or severe dizziness, tinnitus or a roaring sound in the ears, fluctuating hearing loss, and the sensation of pressure or pain in the affected ear. The disorder usually affects only one ear and is a common cause of hearing loss. Named after French physician Prosper Ménière who first described the syndrome in 1861."

So I wondered...what does eating salt have to do with dizziness???

#-| <puzzled Chutzie

So I found this information.....

"There is no cure for Ménière's disease. However, the symptoms of the disease are often controlled successfully by reducing the body’s retention of fluids through dietary changes (such as a low-salt or salt-free diet and no caffeine or alcohol) or medication. Changes in medications that either control allergies or improve blood circulation in the inner ear may help. Eliminating tobacco use and reducing stress levels are more ways some people can lessen the severity of their symptoms"

Donna, please never ever be embarrassed or humiliated because of the thoughtfulness of others. You have what you have, just like the rest of us. And if family members or others around you are rude and uncaring it's not on you. You don't need to 'sneak' to the back of a restaurant to find if they use MSG or anything else. Speak up and ask! It's no different than if I asked how a food was prepared because of my diabetes. Just ask! And if they give you a bad time say you are on a restricted diet and unless they'd like a paramedic van in front of the restaurant they might want to furnish you with the information you need. lol

Please take care and hold your head up with pride!
Co-Moderator Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums
Fibromyalgia, Ulcerative Colitis, Insulin dependent diabetic, PTSD, dermatitis herpetiformus, osteoarthritis and a few other side dishes.
Happiness is something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for."

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