My name is Sara,
I’m about 38. I’m Italian and I’ve always been living in Trento, in the North East of Italy.
I developed impactant balance disorders when I was 22, but the first memory about balance symptoms goes back to high school trips. After a long bus trip (8 hours) and after a train ride (12 hours) I developed some strange sensations that lasted only one night. Only some years later I learnt that these symptoms are commonly called Mal De Debarquement.
I’ve never suffered from motion sickness before. I always tolerated important vestibular stimulations as roller coasters . I could read the newspaper while sitting in the back seat during the road trip!
After a strong bronchitis, at the age of 22, I developed a progressive persistent dizziness. This sensation developed in a few days and it was anticipated by some strange sensations: photophobia, “Supermarket Syndrome”.
At the beginning I was very afraid because I immediately thought about some terrible illness.
An MRI scan shows Chiari I Malformation, but most specialists weren’t so sure about the relationship between my symptoms and MRI images.
The only sign that maybe explains that diagnosis is represented by strabismus and nystagmus. They were discovered when I was three. Strabismus was corrected simply with orthoptic therapy (Occlusion and exercises). I suffer from dissociated (vertical, torsional), pendular nystagmus.
I think I’m very lucky because at the beginning of my journey I knew Michele Conti, a local neurosurgeon. His calm, kindness were contagious. His approach was always cautious and conservative.
During a routine checkup he accidentally pronounced two words that aroused my curiosity: “There are some specialists that propose some exercises that produce vertigo. After a habituation period your body doesn’t feel these sensations anymore ”.
At first I thought:”Ok he’s drunk today”.
But usually I’m a very curious person so I decided to start some web research.
I read something about habituation training and coping strategies.
I was surprised to discover that these techniques are used from 1950 during daily training and rehabilitation of pilots.
Most of the articles I found while web surfing are published by the Research and Technology Organisation of NATO.
I found a solution to my symptoms but only after 7 years!
I perfectly know what I lost during my twenties, so I want to help people to find a solution to their problems as soon as possible.
Today I suffer from a sense of dizziness but usually associated with hormonal imbalance during my period. During my periods I also suffer from migraine with visual aura. But I’m lucky because I control pain and visual aura with “Over the counter” drugs, like ketoprofene or similar.
I learnt that hydration is the first aid drug.
But Knowledge was the definitive Drug, because through it I learnt to become patient and kind, brave with my symptoms. If you know the origin or the cause of your symptoms, you’re not so afraid about them, so you can tolerate them better!
This opportunity gave me the possibility to relax, like a sedative drug, so I could start swimming. At the beginning it was very difficult but today I can swim with an agonistic team.
I’m an environmental junior engineer and I’m also an electrician, so I filtered most of the information with the eyes of scientific education.
So my dream is to help people to find a solution to their balance problems with effectiveness and efficiency.
I created a logo that summarizes the “leit motiv” of my mission. In the middle of a labirintic bouquet there are two stylised flowers. The first one, a gear wheel, represents my engineering education. The second one, an electrical plug, represents my electrical education.
The knowledge of the human body chimico-physical equilibrium phenomena was the best remedy.
In July 2021 I attended a course to become a Postural Education Technician: I finally fell in love with these themes!
Now I’m also writing my history “Alpha, Bravo…Chiari…Come tutto è N.A.T.O.”. The title is a word trick. Alpha, Bravo are the first letters of the NATO Alphabet. I’ve changed the third letter from Charlie to Chiari, to remind the first scapegoat of my symptoms. The last sentence is a trick only for Italians, but I think it sounds nice.