Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Me and Van Gogh

Van Gogh was a talented artist in the 1800's. He led a complicated life which was frot with all kinds of problems. It wasn't until recent years that the medical people decided that he must have suffered from menieres disease not epilpsy as many thought for years. Menieres is a terribly debilating illness. It starts out slowly and progresses into a living hell. A disease of the inner ear which is not totally understood to this day. There are very few doctors who can diagnos it properly. And then even fewer who know how to treat it.
In the early 90's I started to develope the disease myself. It eventually turned my world upside down. Attacks at first occured once a month, then once a week, and eventually they came to call on a daily basis. The nature of the disease causes problems with a persons thinking and ability to concentrate. Since you have one affected ear and one good ear, the brain gets confused trying to decipher two sets of signals from your balance system. This in time causes depression and a fear of going out in public for fear of having an attack. It is much more than being dizzy. It effects your whole mental being.
Most of the doctors I conacted didn't even know much about it or how to treat the disease. After getting to a point where I thought my world might as well end, i found a doctor who understood the disease and knew how to treat it. In 1999 I had surgery on the effected inner ear and have returned to the world of sanity.
Van Gogh wasn't so lucky. They say the reason he cut off his ear was probably because of the disease coupled with the horrible bouts of tinitis that comes with menieres. He eventually killed himself in an attempt to ecscape the horror that comes with a disease that most misundertood in his day. Having had the disease myself the painting above, Starry Night, makes perfect sense to me. X