Ariella Notis

I give thanks to God every day for my road to recovery and I am also grateful to my parents and family for not giving up on me but making sure I received the best medical care possible regardless of what it would take and cost.
Superior Semicircular Canal Dehiscence (SSCD)

Life is just beginning for me and no- I was not born yesterday. Growing up feeling "off", and popping advil on a daily basis, I never stopped to think that maybe there was "REALLY" something wrong. I had been hearing my heartbeat, feeling dizzy, unbalanced, and an inability to tolerate loud noise for quite some time or rather YEARS. My friends made fun that I formed a 4 day school week, in high school. But in retrospect, I realize that by the time Friday hit, I was completely shot and couldn't function. I did attend sleep away camp and was quite athletic but always suffered big time after any activity. going to the mall on a Sunday morning was the worst social activity I can think of. I would become disoriented in such large crowds, unable to focus with the noise and would then require 3 advils and a bed for the rest of the day.

While vacationing in Florida in January 2009, I was hit with a water bottle, on my right temple. Exactly four weeks later, I started to suffer untreatable dizziness and off balance. I also felt as if I had multiple heads since I had increased pressure in my head/ ear. It was this period of time that I was unable to force myself out of bed to work every morning, decreasing my case load, and becoming known as a couch potato. To make a long story short.....(17 months) after several medications, trips to various medical professionals, weeks sleeping on the couch and unable to get up, I was diagnosed with Superior Canal Dehiscence Syndrome (SCDS). It took a 4 hour trip to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore Maryland to get some idea of what I was up against. Those who know me personally, know quite well the medical field is not for me and i have a phobia of both hospitals, doctors and anyone in white. However, my life was now at a complete halt and I knew I needed help. I did choose to see one more neurologist, in hopes of obtaining some magical medication inorder to avoid surgery. However, I was explained there was nothing he can do for me and that I would need surgery. I had come to the realization that things were only becoming worse. I had scheduled surgery for 3 months later and hoped every day for a miracle. I refused to completely give up employment and trodded to work for 3-5 hours/day.

Being hit on the head, in florida, was a life shattering event.....it has helped me realize what a normal life is. Almost 2 years post-op, I have an increased ability to function at a greater level than I did years ago. Yes, this water bottle could have been the iceing on the cake but I am thankful for having a better sense of ability almost five years later. I currently can walk several miles, run several blocks, and accomplish a full day of work while still feeling balanced and without popping advil. My goals are to bike ride and run in a marathon soon. It has been a long road of recovery but if I have come this far, I will not give up but seek perfection. I give thanks to God every day for my road to recovery and I am also grateful to my parents and family for not giving up on me but making sure I received the best medical care possible regardless of what it would take and cost. I am also grateful to my Dr. and surgeon, Dr. John Carey, and the wonderful staff at Johns Hopkins for making my experience a bit more tolerable.

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