Sharing the Patient Experience with the Medical Community

Posted by Kerrie Denner

Cindy Price has had balance problems all her life. She suffered from constant migraines and was bounced from doctor to doctor, receiving one diagnosis after another.

Finally she found a vestibular specialist who diagnosed her with bilateral superior canal dehiscence syndrome (SCDS) - an opening in the bone overlying the superior semicircular canal of the inner ear.

After two surgeries to correct her SCDS Cindy began to feel better. Then her symptoms resurfaced and she was back to square one. Recently Cindy had surgery to correct a perilymph fistula - a tear in the small, thin membrane between the middle and inner ears. After three weeks of bedrest she is finally on the road to recovery, one we hope will help her regain some semblance of a normal life.

Cindy's story is familiar to many of you, but a large part of the medical community is still unaware of how dramatically vestibular disorders impact a patient's quality of life. Last month Cindy spoke to a group of nursing students at Linfield College about her experience as a vestibular patient, including symptoms, treatments, coping strategies, and yes, the emotional toll this devastating condition can have on a person's sense of self and their relationships.

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