Lisa Shearin, National Bestselling Author

Having surgery Thursday & a SPI Files update

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I wanted to let you know that I’m having surgery this Thursday (July 16) to hopefully correct a condition I have—Superior Canal Dehiscence Syndrome (SCDS).  Essentially, it’s a hole inside my skull, below my brain and over my ear canal, which causes sound vibrations to bounce around inside my head. I included a link (above) to a Johns Hopkins article to explain it, and here’s another link to show where the hole in my head is. SCDS is rare with some seriously funky symptoms. The worst for me is autophony, which I started having over a year ago. I had a hearing test, and had some age-related hearing loss, so I thought that was it. Nope. I hear my own voice through my ears AND inside my head. It’s like hearing myself through a blown-out speaker while sitting inside a barrel. The louder I talk, the worse it is. The only level of talking that’s comfortable is just above a whisper. Chewing (especially crunchy food) and brushing my teeth are unbelievably loud, so I can forget trying to hear anyone talk while I’m eating. I’m also hypersensitive to loud noises, have tinnitus, vertigo/dizziness when bending over, and for the kicker—I can hear the muscles in my eyes move, my heartbeat, and my footsteps go boom-boom—all inside my head. At least I can’t hear my stomach digest food (some people with SCDS can).

I was supposed to have surgery in the spring, but Covid got in the way. On Thursday, I’ll have a middle fossa craniotomy which involves cutting a silver-dollar-sized hole in my skull behind my ear, moving the brain aside to be able to look down into the top of the inner ear’s semicircular canal. The surgeon will then use some of the dust from my skull incision to make a bone wax to plug both ends of the canal, and then essentially spackle the surface around it to completely seal the area. They’ll have to shave a little bit of my head on my left side, and I’ll have a bitchin’ scar. ; )  Oh, and I’m bilateral—I have the condition in both ears, but the bone is only thin on my right side; there’s no hole yet. Yay!    

I’ll be spending the first night after surgery in the ICU, move into a regular room on Friday, and if I can walk by myself without falling over, I can go home Saturday. My surgeon told me when I wake up in the recovery room, my world will be a WHOLE lot quieter. I cannot tell you how happy that makes me. Recovery is generally three weeks, with a lot of dizziness as the brain adjusts to having a plugged canal in one ear. Fortunately, Derek is still working from home, so he’ll be taking good care of me.

I’ll go early this week to have my Covid test, and on Wednesday, I’ll get the call for when I need to be at the hospital on Thursday morning.

In book news, I’m 1/3 of the way through the first draft on The Solstice Countdown (SPI Files 7). Even on my dizziest days, sitting at my desk working doesn’t bother me. My plan is to do absolutely nothing for the first week post-surgery, then get back to writing. Don’t worry, I won’t push myself too hard. We’ve moved a small desk into the bedroom, and I do some of my best writing on a notepad sitting up in bed. I’m thrilled with how the book is coming so far. You guys are going to absolutely LOVE this one.   

So, this Thursday, I would appreciate your prayers and positive thoughts for me and my surgical team. I’ll have my phone in the hospital, and if I feel well enough, I’ll post to my Twitter and Facebook accounts as to how everything went. 

Love you all, wear a mask, and stay safe!


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