Monday, March 14, 2011

The Surgery

So, I know I have posted bits and pieces before about my husbands disease, but here is some detailed info...

Ménière's disease is characterized by the following symptoms:

•a rise in the level of endolymphatic fluid in the labyrinth of the inner ear
•hearing loss that comes and goes
•a sensation that the environment or oneself is revolving or spinning (vertigo)
•ringing, buzzing, or hissing noises in the ears (tinnitus)
•a feeling that the ears are blocked or plugged
--This description doesn't show vomitting, so let me just add that one in myself...

About 2 years ago, Cort was on an airplane when his ear clogged. Several days later, it still hadn't unclogged and he suddenly had a massive vertigo attack. The room was spinning, he could not stop throwing up and was sick for several days. And when I say he was sick...I mean can't even walk or get up from the very spot he has collapsed in--it is so bad. He went to several different specialist because he could tell it wasn't your usual bout of vertigo/sickness- something was going on. He was diagnosed with Menieres disease and put on a different range of medicine's that don't help much. He was told that if you can just get through the first year, the symptoms will mellow out and you won't be sick as often. Well, that has not been the case for Cortney. He goes a month at a time being sick. Usually his symptoms last for at least a week to a month and the last time he was sick, he lost 9 pounds in one day!! (I don't lose even close to that when I get the flu...I could only dream that going through something so horrible would help me on my diet!! ;)) It really isn't funny and there is no upside to this. It is terrible for him. It's not just the throwing up...its the constant ringing in the ears, hearing loss, hearing going in and out, throwing up and all the above COMBINED and AT THE SAME TIME!

It has been hard on the whole family, but especially Cortney. First we learned about a surgery that would sever the nerve in his ear. Yes, he would be deaf on that one side, however, it would eliminate the disease and he would be cured! He truly was considering it when he learned of a different surgery...

Endolymphatic shunt surgery is one of the surgical procedures available to treat Ménière's disease, which is also known as endolymphatic hydrops. The surgery is based on the theory that the disorder causes the inner ear to become overloaded with fluid and that draining this fluid will relieve the symptoms. The fluid is drained by opening the endolymphatic sac, a pouch located next to the mastoid bone at the end of the endolymphatic duct. The endolymphatic duct is a canal that leads to the inner ear. Then a very small silicone tube is placed in the membranous labyrinth of the inner ear to drain excess fluid.
After all the numbers come back, it is estimated that there is an overall 60% chance of curing the vertigo. We'll take it!! Especially because there is NO RISK involved with this surgery. The only risk is there is a 0.5% chance that there could be some hearing loss...which Cortney already has.
So the surgery is scheduled for Monday the 21st (a week from today). We are so prayerful and hopeful that this will at least significantly reduce the attacks, if not eliminate them completely. We are so grateful for all the thoughts and prayers that have been with us during these past two years that Cort has struggled with this. And all we can ask now is that you keep the prayers coming...at least on Monday!!
We'll keep you posted!

5 comments:

Mckenzie said...

that is so terrible. I'll send thoughts and prayers your way. hopefully this works!

beckaboots said...

So excited that things are finally moving in a positive direction! I can't wait until he recovers :) We will be praying!

Chanelle said...

Wow. Good luck to him and you. Prayers have been sent~

annieareyouok said...

That is so heartbreaking, but I hope that the surgery goes well and gives all of you the result you need.

Angela Frasure said...

Wow, I didn't know all the details! So would this have happened if he had never gone on the airplane in the first place?