I thought I would share a little bit about the condition that led me to have surgery. It's rare, not well known, even among doctors, and was only first discovered in 1998, so maybe sharing my story can help one of you or somebody you know. It's called Superior Semicircular Canal Dehiscence, which basically means that there is a hole in the bone covering the superior semicircular canal of the inner ear. I first started having symptoms this past fall. I started getting dizzy every time I had to blow my whistle at the end of recess. The dizziness would only last as long as the loud noise, so, even though I thought it was strange, I didn't do anything about it. But then my son's basketball season started, and the buzzer, cheerleaders, even a loud fan sitting nearby would make me dizzy. I mentioned it to my mom who said, "That's not right - you need to see a doctor." (Mom always knows best.) my doctor thought it was strange and referred me to an audiologist and an ENT.
One of the tests the audiologist did was to turn up the volume of the sound sensors until I got dizzy. She could then observe my eyes making some crazy movements. This, combined with some other irregularities in the hearing test, made her suspect Superior Semicircular Canal Dehiscence, and she passed on her findings to the ENT. The ENT agreed, and referred me to a specialist at Stanford. I'm just so thankful that the two of them were familiar with this, because many people with this condition go undiagnosed for years, with doctors thinking they are crazy! The reason that she referred me to Stanford is that this can only be diagnosed with a hi-res CT scan, which isn't available everywhere.
So, 2 1/2 weeks ago, the CT scan confirmed it. By then my symptoms had increased to the point where I was having difficulty teaching (hearing my own heartbeat and my voice and footsteps echoing in my head, extreme fatigue and "brain fog" caused by my brain constantly trying to find equilibrium, and extreme sensitivity to noises). Some people with this condition can hear their eyeballs moving, and I'm just thankful I didnt get to that point! I learned that the dizziness was being caused by sound waves going through the hole and hitting my brain! I was really lucky to get the surgery scheduled for the next week, so I would have my Spring Break as part of my recovery time.
The surgery was not a simple one. They had to do a craniotomy to be able to resurface the outside of the semicircular canal with a synthetic bone material. I have about 30 staples in my head that I can't wait to get out tomorrow. Luckily, even though they had to shave part of my head, I have a LOT of hair to cover it, so you really can't tell. The good news is that all of my symptoms have been resolved. I have some new issues with balance and dizziness, but these were to be expected and should be temporary. I started vestibular rehabilitation last week to help my brain adjust to my new inner ear set-up, and I'm making good progress.
This takes me to today's card. So many people have been incredibly supportive during all of this, so I have a lot of thank you notes to make. Last week my mom set me up with my Cuttlebug, and I spent about an hour just cutting out all different colored stars to make a bunch of these cards. It was hard work, with the cranking motion making me dizzy, but I've been told that the more I push through dizziness, the faster I will recover.
The next day I used my Versamark ink to stamp the pattern on all of my stars (this way I didn't have to change the ink color.
On day 3, I stamped the sentiments and pop-dotted the stars. Yes, these are very simple cards compared to my usual work, but the effort they took makes me just as proud of them! My goal this week is to attempt using my Cricut. My sister-in-law got me Tags Bags Boxes and More 2 for my birthday, and I'm dying to use it! I want to thank all of you for the well wishes the past couple of weeks! I've loved reading them!
Products used for this card: