Dad’s Update 3

Amanda Update 7.18.12
We just returned from a visit back to Amanda’s surgeon, Dr. Paparella. The news was mixed.

The surgical site and the interior of her ear look “perfect”. She had her staples removed and upon return home she was able to manage a bath and had her hair washed for the first time in over a week. That alone helped bring up her spirits.

The problem continues to be her light headedness and instability when she moves her head. Most of the time she is comfortable only when sitting in her recliner with her head tipped slightly forward. Any movement of her head causes blurred vision and a sensation that she is about to faint. This is a different sensation than the profound vertigo she experienced prior to the surgery. She must be attended to at all times and cannot be left alone to walk into the bathroom. We can see slight improvements in her eye control each day and when she does walk, we are back to holding her hand and arm rather than having to grasp her tightly around her waist to avoid her slipping sideways and stumbling. She still shakes a little bit when standing, which again is far better than the shakes she had last week. We were pleased when she asked to try to work on her computer and answer text messages on her phone. These were common acts she could not perform since the surgery.

The doctor told her he is surprised that she is not recovering more quickly since she recovered so well from her first procedure. He did say that this prolonged recovery was not typical but was not unprecedented either. Because of the [extensive] work done, he feels she just needs more time to heal and let her brain acclimate to the revised signals coming from her inner ear. Kathie and I surmise she may also be slower to regain balance this time because we don’t know how well the other ear is helping her brain cope with balance signals. Seven years ago, she had a relatively healthy ear helping her brain. Maybe not so for this ear.

Amanda is very frustrated about her condition. She was not at all pleased when Dr. Paparella suggested it may take another three weeks to a month before she is comfortable with her balance. His story sounded very similar to the vestibular specialist at River Falls Hospital; she is simply needing the time for her brain to recognize the new stimulus from her left inner ear. He promoted continued physical therapy and seems very confident in substantial improvement in her symptoms.

It is tough for us to watch her slow recovery. We know the future will be much brighter, but we all wish this was a done thing NOW!

Thanks for your continued support and prayers.

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