SCDS is superior canal dehiscence syndrome, a condition of the inner ear. Typical symptoms are autophony (hearing your own voice in your head), dizziness, and balance problems.
Todd keeps surprising me.
Sometimes I’m surprised by how well he’s doing, and I have to remind myself that he had surgery to patch a perilymphatic fistula only two weeks ago. Sometimes I’m surprised by how quickly his stamina disappears.
And sometimes I’m bemused at and a little proud of his stubborn determination to get back to normal as soon as possible.
Todd knew he would recover quickly because his symptoms were mild compared to those of many other people. Dr. Gianoli’s other patients that we met have marveled at how soon Todd mastered his dizziness; he was standing up and walking to the bathroom the first day, when some patients were in bed for days after the surgery. He’s now able to take a shower by himself, work at his computer, fix a simple dinner, be a passenger in a car for an hour, watch TV, and walk around the neighborhood.
What he is not allowed to do for four more weeks: drive, bend over at the waist, pick up anything heavier than 10 pounds, sleep flat on his back (he sleeps at a 45-degree angle), blow his nose, sneeze through his nose, cough, strain (as in going to the bathroom), use earplugs, or do anything else that might caused the newly installed bone in his inner ear to separate from the old bone. He’s also not allowed to “partake in any activity where poor balance may place you or others at risk for injury.”
He had to stop watching Saturday Night Live because the show made him laugh so hard that his head felt full of pressure.
Weird little things cause problems: we did a few seconds of slow dancing to some bluegrass on Saturday, and that made him dizzy, probably because I was twirling in front of him. My moving in circles, even slowly, was too much for his eyes and brain to process.
But he was in tune enough with the bluegrass to be able to pick out mandolin, fiddle, banjo, guitar, and bass (I could hear only the bass and the mandolin, and occasionally a guitar note). When we were last in Hammond, Louisiana, eating lunch at Tommy’s on Thomas, he could determine which song was playing on the speakers, but he heard it twice, once in his left ear and once, like an echo, in his right.
I can see why Dr. Gianoli specializes in conditions of the inner ear. Those who are medically inclined would find it a fascinating field of study.