Dad’s update 1

7-14-2012.            Hi everyone!

I thought I would quick update everyone at once about Amanda rather than try to call you all like in the old days.

As you all know seven years ago Amanda had the procedure to treat her Meniere’  Disease on her right ear. The surgery went very well, recovery was quick and she had few symptoms for all these years.

She began to sense minor issues over the past year, but around Memorial Day, she was hit hard with extreme debilitating vertigo. Since most of you have read her blog I’ll dispense with more details about the past month.

Monday (one week ago, 7/9) she had the same procedure on her left ear. The surgery went well again. Dr. Paparella is a pioneer in this surgery (and is right now in Brazil teaching a team of surgeons his methods) and told us after the surgery that he was able to “see and correct the obvious physiological signs of the disease”. He suggested she should have a substantial improvement in her symptoms.

The first three days were unremarkable. She was still cautious, but was moving around quite well and we were all kind of celebrating.

Last Thursday, she became abruptly weak and was unable to stand without help. She felt as though she would fall over if she stood up, which did indeed nearly happen. I was at home when Kathie called to tell me they were heading into the emergency room at River Falls. Matt had to carry her down the stairs of their apartment and into the car for the trip there. By the time I got there around midnight, she was pale and weak and the hospital had performed a bunch of tests to find out what was happening. They found out she had an electrolyte imbalance and particularly low on Potassium. They started an IV and began loading her up with things to correct those problems. By Saturday she was better and we were hoping she could go home, but that didn’t work because she was still unable to walk unattended due to the sense of imbalance when she tried to stand.

Sunday afternoon she was finally able to go home, but with constant supervision.

A Vestibular specialist has been involved all weekend with her care. The chemical imbalances have all been resolved but she continues to experience the light headed, weak feelings. The specialist told us the brain uses three inputs to control your balance; your inner ear (most critical), your eyes and the position of your spine. She essentially is missing the ear component right now. She must basically train her brain to recognize the new information it is receiving from her ears. It almost sounds like she is like a toddler learning to walk. They have also said she has to receive minimal stimulation so that she doesn’t constantly move her eyes to watch the action which then leads to disorientation.

We are seeing Dr. Paparella again on Wednesday and will hopefully confirm all of this. I am sure you all know how agonizing it is when your kid is not doing well, especially when we all thought this would be a cake walk like the last surgery.

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