Monday, April 9, 2012

Simple Thank You & A Story

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:


20 comments:

Melissa said...

Oh my goodness, I just seen a story like this on the news or a talk show....something I don't remember what. It was just the same as yours....I even want to ask, was that you? That's just how similar the story was, they had to do the surgery too. I am so glad you are doing better!!

Carolyn/MamaC said...

Katie, thank you for sharing your story. What a blessing to have specialists and medical people who had knowledge of this condition. I am so happy that you have had the necessary surgery and you are recooperating so well. Never underestimate the power of the Cuttlebug! That little machine can be a wonderful therapy tool!
:0) I think you card is beautiful!
Carolyn
http://cccscraproom.blogspot.com

char52 said...

So happy you are on the road to recovery.

Glora said...

WOW Katie. I can not believe how crazy this whole thing has been. I'm SO glad that they figured it out before it got to its worst point. Take it easy and get well soon. Oh yes and I love your cards! Hugs- Glora

AJ Scrapbooking and Cards said...

Aww Katie God is so Good! I didn’t know you had so much going on. I’m so happy you were able to get a diagnose. Glory to God! Your card may be simple but it comes from the heart and that make a big difference. I pray you have a speedy recovery. I think your card turned out wonderful. Blessing AJ!

OCCricut said...

Katie, thank you for sharing your story!! Thank goodness you were diagnosed early!! And, I am EXTREMELY impressed with what you have accomplished here on this blog while recovering!

Best wishes for a speedy recovery!!

janner said...

I'm very happy that you are on the road to recovery. Besides your family, I know the kids in your room and the other kids at school must be very worried about you and miss you terribly. Wishing you a speedy recovery.
thejanner@xcelco.on.ca

lindagk23 said...

Hi Katie! Thank the Good Lord you were diagnosised early! I am so happy to hear that your are on the road to recovery and I hope you have the worse behind you. I too am very impressed with all you have accomplished while you were going through all of this! And I LOVE your card! I think they are beautiful and I know the people receiving them will too. Take care and I hope you have a wonderful week!

Brenda said...

Way to go Katie!!!Your card may be simple, but speaks volumes!!! Glad you are recovering nicely!!!


Brenda W.

Linda said...

Too often we take our health for granted. I am so happy to hear you are doing well. Take care.

Ruth G said...

So glad to hear you're recovering! Sounds like your Drs were a real blessing! I'm betting Cricut therapy will help a lot!
Take care and thanks for sharing!

jordanbev5 said...

Hugs!Will pray for your full recovery! God bless!

Anne said...

Thanks for sharing your story Katie. Wow thank goodness you had those doctors who know what it was. Glad to hear you are recovering nicely. Your in my thoughts and prays. Feel better real soon. Love your card.

Anne :)

Anonymous said...

I too heard a story recently about this. I thought the woman was here in the Kansas City area but not sure. Glad to hear the surgery was a success!

Sherrie K. said...

Glad to hear your on the road to recovery;) Sending prayers and hugs your way..take care Katie!
Sherrie K
http://sherriescraps.blogspot.com

Linda Kaiser said...

Katie, I am so happy that you are doing better! Yikes, what a scary time for you.

I love your card and please let me know if I can do anything to help.

Get well soon!!

Linda

Anonymous said...

I wish you a quick recovery. That must be really hard to hear those sounds in your head, and am glad there is something to correct it. I enjoy your blog and your projects.

Kim H said...

Katie ~ first of all great explaination! I really hope everything turns out even better than before for you! I LOVE how crafting is actually helping you to recovery! Okay so it may have taken a few days but the rehab with the cuttlebug... GREAT idea. The card is just , again, so CAS! I LVOE it! I love how the sentiments flow with the star!

Cathryn said...

Oh Katie these cards are great!!! I'm so glad you got yourself back crafting right away, that is amazing!!! All of this is almost behind you now, I am so happy for you Katie! Love and Hugs, Cathryn :)

quilt4fun2 said...

So glad for you that you were diagnosed and able to get this problem fixed. I hope you will be back to normal soon and recover quickly. Love your cards...simple looks so elegant.
quilt 4 fun 2 at hot mail dot com