"Everything was moving and shifting towards the left. In order to walk down the stairs, I had to crawl." - Karyn B
Karyn is the definition of a go-getter and high achiever. Before her falls in 2019, she was the 5 am runner, the do-it-all type of parent, and the hustler working as a full-time Assistant Principal at an elementary school during the day and a realtor in the evenings.
The elementary school was where she was in her element. Karyn loves working with kids who don't exactly fit the mold of a normal classroom. Not only was she the kid whisperer but she moved around that school like an athlete, walking 5-8 miles of hallway per day.
In September of 2019, everything changed for Karyn. During lunchtime, she was in the cafeteria coaching some student leaders when she saw several 3rd-grade boys starting some trouble. She started walking toward the boys and slipped on something, falling and hitting the right side of her head. She was knocked out. When she came to, she stood up to continue tending to the kids and fell again and hit her head again on the right side. After the lunch period was over, she fell once more on the way back to her office.
Later that afternoon, she tried calling her husband but could not see the phone to make the call. Something was wrong. She couldn't stop crying. "I'm a cusser, not a crier," she told us. Her husband took her to the ER and they eventually sent her home to rest.
A week after the initial fall, she got dressed to go to work. She walked to the bathroom and walked into the door jamb and fell. Her husband said, "You are not going to work!" Within the next few days, she couldn't walk or get out of bed. Her speech was off, and she couldn't stop crying. She got really scared.
Over the next few months, Karyn saw a chiropractor, a functional neurologist, and an EP Cardiologist. She then tried 4 months of Speech and Occupational Therapy followed by 5 months of physical therapy.
In November, things got worse. She started experiencing tremors on the right side, and her eyes would slam shut unexpectedly. Her right leg would give out and she'd fall. She could not go to hockey games, walk, or go into big department stores.
Things were not progressing. She had done all the exercises and therapies at home. Changed her basement into a gym. Was told not to do prism glasses - at least for a while.
Fast forward almost two years – it's January 2022 and Karyn, her husband, and her mom arrives for her NeuroVisual Evaluation. They had been through so much and had been disappointed. They almost canceled because it felt like just one more thing.
When they began the exam, her doctor had her walk down the hallway and back to analyze her gait, posture, and balance. She says she almost looked like she was drunk. They progressed through the exam, and finally was ready to try on her pair of microprism lenses. Her husband was amazed by the difference the glasses made to her gait. "It's like Christmas – that's how it felt with the glasses."
She almost cried when she picked up her glasses. She and her husband barely talked on the way home because they were so blown away.
Six weeks later Karyn came back for her Progress Assessment exam, where the NeuroVisual Specialist reassessed her vision and symptoms, and fine-tuned her prism prescription. In Karyn's case, they had uncovered an inner ear condition (likely Third Mobile Window Syndrome or TMWS) during the initial evaluation that was likely playing a big part in her symptoms. Clinicians often find TMWS as a comorbid condition post-TBI for symptomatic and dizzy patients. This can impact patients' binocular vision and how they respond to microprism.
Once her inner ears are assessed and treated for possible fistulas and dehiscences, Karyn will continue her NeuroVisual journey to refine her microprism prescription and continue to relieve her symptoms. Her care is ongoing and we are excited to follow her progress.
Thank you Karyn for sharing your story with us! ❤️