that's life (Australia)

Medical shock: I could hear my eyeballs moving

Evelyn started to hear some strange noises

- Evelyn Dingfelder, 45, California Gully, Vic

Sstanding up from bed, the room spun so I sat back down. Trying again, the world was spinning and

ipping. Crawling to the toilet, I vomited.

‘What happened?’ my boyfriend, Reagan, 40, asked.

Seeing my condition, he rushed me to Emergency where I was told I had vertigo. Given medication, I was sent home.

But the nausea stayed for three weeks. I couldn’t eat, talk or get off the lounge.

And if I stood up, I had to hold onto something.

‘You look drunk,’ Reagan said.

My kids, Trinity, then 17, Jess, nine, and Lilly, three, got so used to the vertigo, they’d pass me the sick bag when an attack started.

‘Are you sick again, Mummy?’ Lilly asked.

In and out of hospital, medics thought I had Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), which meant crystals in my ear canal were loose and made my brain think I was moving when I wasn’t.

The vertigo eased, but my head and body ached and I got tinnitus in both ears as well as double vision.

Then, one day, I noticed a thudding noise.

What’s that? I wondered, puzzled.

Suddenly I realised, it was my heartbeat!

Then, turning my head triggered a crunching noise.

Worse, if I moved my eyes I could hear the rustling sound of my eyeballs moving!

It was constantly noisy. Chewing became deafening and talking seemed unbearably loud.

‘Don’t scream,’ I said to the kids, even when they were whispering.

Anxious and depressed, I was sent to an ENT specialist.

‘I can hear my eyes blink and move,’ I said to him. He seemed shocked and prescribed medication for my headaches and motion sickness but it didn’t help.

Doctors wondered if it was Meniere’s disease or lupus or multiple sclerosis, but nothing was con rmed.

‘We love you, Mummy,’ the kids said when I was so exhausted I couldn’t take them to the park.

After three years, a neurologis­t had a diagnosis.

‘You have superior canal dehiscence syndrome (SCDS),’ he said.

A tiny hole in both ears was causing me to hear the inside of my body.

‘You can hear the air going into your lungs and your blood rushing. When you speak, you not only hear it coming out of your mouth but also from inside the body,’ he added.

I was numb with shock.

‘At least I’m not crazy,’ I joked.

But it was no laughing matter. I needed surgery to plug the hole in the superior canal in my left ear, but it was risky.

‘You have no quality of life right now,’ Reagan reasoned. ‘So it’s worth the risk.’

When I woke up after the surgery last year, I waited to hear my heartbeat.

‘I can’t…’ I said, crying with joy, so grateful – the noises and vertigo were gone.

I still have headaches and might need surgery again.

For now, I’m focusing on enjoying every peaceful moment I have! ●

I could hear the inside of my body

 ??  ?? After three years I had a diagnosis
Trinity, me, Jess, Lilly and Reagan
I needed to have surgery on my left ear
After three years I had a diagnosis Trinity, me, Jess, Lilly and Reagan I needed to have surgery on my left ear

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