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's first test; he's standing on movable panelsI had Todd ask the technician about filming the tests for our documentary, and she asked the doctor. Dr. Gianoli wouldn’t let me film the test itself, just the setup of the tests, in case I might somehow affect the results. Then I was dispatched back to the waiting room. Damn!

But the technician does come and get me before each test and let me take pictures of Todd sitting there with electrodes on. The coolest thing is the picture of his eyes on the computer screen. It’s as if the screen is looking at you.Todd's eye on the computer

The tests themselves are pretty horrific, I think—they’re all balance tests, and the tech said they get progressively worse (more and more like the vomit comet). Todd has a strong stomach, so he’ll probably get through them without getting sick.

The technician just fetched me to photograph another test and described it to me: they were going to play sounds, and Todd was supposed to shake his electrode-studded head in time to the sounds, first side to side, and then up and down. I think that one was designed to measure nystagmus. I can’t keep them all straight.Yet another test--not sure what this test is

I have a tickle in my throat. I hope I’m not getting sick. Who knew sitting and waiting could be so tiring? My body is bored out of my mind!

I just took a picture of what I think is Todd’s last test. His face looked very red—he’d just had the tests in which hot and then cold water are shot into his ear. He also had a test in which they vibrated his mastoid bone, which produces vertigo, but his reaction was nowhere near what one of Dr. G’s other patients described last night at dinner—I think she screamed and fell over.

It’s a lot of hurry up and wait—just like making a movie.

The waiting room is quiet now, and empty. I am so tired. I want to take a nap, but I’m getting hungry. Apparently sitting around makes me whine.

Todd just found out he needs to get an EKG and blood tests before surgery. So after he paid $15,000 for the tests and the surgery (the hospital, which is in network, will bill our insurance), I drove back to the hospital in Hammond.

We went out to dinner at Cate Street Seafood Station in downtown Hammond. I liked that area—maybe I’ll spend some time there while Todd’s in the hospital.Cate Street Seafood Station interior

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  1. BernardL January 8, 2009 at 2:17 pm - Reply

    Wow, what an unpleasant ordeal for both of you. Hospitals and medical facilities are places I avoid even driving by.

  2. Beth January 9, 2009 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    I hope the results will be worth it.