Tag Archives: running

The Superior Canal Dehiscence Tractor Beam

Try though I might, I can’t run anymore. My shredded vestibular system cannot handle the vertical rise and fall, and the pounding of the road makes me feel foggy. Plus, there is a limited range in which I can keep my heart rate steady before it feels like my brain will rocket right out of my skull. These are small complaints. I feel mostly okay most days doing what life requires of me, and often more. I feel like I remain more active and energetic than a lot of people. Lately, since it warmed up, I’ve been feeling pretty darn good (knocks wood). So I’ve been walking a lot. Today I did four miles. Walking doesn’t bug my brain, and it’s helping me dump weight – far more slowly than I used to, but it is what it is. Still, there’s this streak in me that gets all uptight and angry when someone runs past me. I should be grateful to be outside exercising. I definitely take my recovery for granted. But I suppose I’ll never shed that competitive streak that got me over mountain tops on a bike, allowed me to descend at 60 MPH to catch the pack, and pushed me across the finish line of a marathon. I used to target people when running or riding. I’d imagine I was pulling them in with a tractor beam as I tried to catch them. It’s not the same when walking. Walking is what you do when you go to check the mail.

Anyway, my good friend Alex told me I should be glad that I got to do all of those things before SCDS hit. Most people don’t. And, of course, he’s right. But some part of me continues to grieve the loss I feel for pieces of my old self.

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Track and Field

Hello all,

When I first joined support groups on Facebook, I’d panic at every side effect or bad outcome I read about, when it came to Superior Canal Dehiscence surgery. A wise woman in one of those groups told me to remember that all of the folks with good outcomes had moved on with their lives, and didn’t have time to be checking the boards all f the time. That made sense to me, but only about two weeks ago.

I’ve been back at work for three weeks and feel like I’m tuning in much better than before, and getting stronger. I’m not to where I was this time last year before my symptoms began, but I’m getting through my days fairly well now, and my work days on campus are quite active and stimulating — physically and mentally.  I must also say, that for reasons unrelated to SCDS, my last two weeks have been emotionally stressful, and my response to that stress is drastically improved from the worst days of my symptoms.

The best news is this. I had to teach my daughter to ride her bike, which necessitated running along side her as she rode for brief stretches. Then, trying to keep up with her as she went around the block. If you read My SCDS story, you’ll note that I was a runner before this all went down. In fact, a month before I became severely knocked out, I finished a 5K in about 27 minutes — my best time ever. Well, that jogging with my daughter, led me to think I could run again, and I’ve started back without too many problems. I run one minute and walk three, and can cover two miles that way in under thirty minutes. My fastest mile is 13:48. I have five minutes to shave off, but I’m thrilled to be running again.

I mostly stare at the ground, but try to challenge myself and raise my head to hold the horizon every several seconds, and the bounce seems to be improving. My legs are sore, naturally, but not just from the exercise. My lower back, neck, and outside leg muscles continue to be severely stressed by my new balance situation, so I’m at the Chiropractor and message therapist at least once a week.

The dizziness still comes, but only slightly, and it’s very manageable. I’m starting to believe it’s from my unrepaired side. Two milligrams of Valium each night before bed help with that. My balance is good. I’m no late-life gymnast, but I can walk a balance beam front to back, then do it backwards, then turn and repeat without touching the floor (most of the time).

Noisy, stimulating environments still wear me out, though. And my hearing has not improved in my repaired ear. I may never know why this happened, when so many people report better hearing post-op. Right now, I’m trying to get the most out of every day and enjoy this good period. Because with the other side unrepaired, and potentially unable to be repaired due to the possibility of complete deafness,  I can’t be sure how long it will last.

Here’s a picture of me attempting a (very short) long jump for my two kids: