Fistula Surgery & Vertigo – My Help for this Vestibular Nightmare

Holly Clegg's message for easy healthy cookbooks

Diagnosis wasn’t only vertigo as I needed Fistula Surgery

Fistula surgery wasn’t a term I had ever heard before. I sure didn’t know what vestibular disorder was!  I am a healthy cookbook author who writes about eating healthy on my healthy food blog!  What was going on with me? I didn’t understand vertigo and sure didn’t realize the importance of the function of my inner ear. One day after Pilates and a manicure, I was home getting ready to proof my new diabetic books, and within 5 minutes I felt an overwhelming weakness come over me.  I saw spinning one direction and then the next–then went to the floor and got sick….waiting for the ambulance to get there.  Two days in the hospital and home without balance and the ability to walk!

Fortunately, my neurologist  felt something secondary was wrong after seeing him a week later.  He sent me to Dr. Soileau at the Ear and Balance Institute, who is world renown for ear and balance conditions.  After grueling all day testing, my left ear failed miserably.  With 60% of its function gone and a loss in hearing, I was diagnosed with a leak in my inner ear and needed fistula surgery. I told Dr. Gianoli I write healthy easy cookbooks and people depend on me for spokesperson work.  I needed to get better!

Fistula Surgery with Dr. Gianoli

On to the prestigious and also very nice, Dr. Gianoli  who would be the one to do my surgery.  He had me stand with my eyes closed and march up and down for 30 seconds standing still.  When I opened my eyes, I had made a semi-circle to the left and I thought I hadn’t moved—wow, how interesting!  This experience has been horrible as three weeks later; I can’t wait for the surgery.  I don’t feel good and still not great balance.  It has also been interesting.

I conferred with my dear friend and favorite ENT, Dr. Thomas Hansbrough, who agreed with the surgery and said I was in good hands.  He also said in the hospital he thought it was a secondary issue like a fistula in my inner ear.  We take everything in life for granted and I think that is why I enjoy my job as I am always doing something different and learning.

Fistula Surgery Gave Me My Life Back

I know there are others that can identify with me and I do feel fortunate to have such an expert in his field as Dr. Gianoli to do my very specialized surgery.  My diagnosis was a Perilymphatic or labyrinthine fistula .  I have never had doctors spend so much time with me and explain everything as Dr. Soileau and Dr. Gianoli.  Hopefully, after July 29th I will start my road to recovery.fistula surgery successful and with family in Cabo

Feeling Better and Back to Writing and Promoting my Healthy Cookbooks

Five years later, I decided to update this post.  I have received calls from all over the United States and I hope I help answer questions regarding this situation.  No one understands what you are going through because everyone says, “You look fine!” However, this condition is unusual but so real. After speaking to so many people, everyone had a little different symptom they deal with but there are also common denominators.  Five years later I still deal almost everyday with issues regarding my inner ear, but I am very functional and lead a normal life.  You will too!!!  I offer my support to anyone who has questions.  Your life will be forever changed but you will be able to function again!  Email me if you have questions:

Passion and determination

Passion and determination have been the cornerstone to have sold over 1 million cookbooks.  I think I make a difference in people’s lives with my easy, healthy recipes.  Best of all, I am still writing the best healthy cookbooks!

If you haven’t been to my Youtube channel you’ll see I tape videos and no longer hold on to the counter.  I promise you will get better up to several years.  It is a slow process but there will be a light at the end of this tunnel.



Holly Clegg
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Holly Clegg

With over 1 MILLION COOKBOOKS sold, Holly Clegg has become a culinary expert on easy healthy everyday recipes through her nationally recognized best-selling trim&TERRIFIC® and Eating Well cookbook series, including Eating Well Through Cancer, (English, Spanish and Chinese editions), Eating Well to Fight Arthritis and Diabetic Cooking with the ADA. Clegg attended the Cordon Bleu Cooking School, London and has appeared on Fox & Friends, NBC Weekend Today, QVC, The 700 Club, USA Today, Cooking Light Magazine, Web MD, and Huff Post. She consulted and did spokesperson work for Walmart, Teflon, DuPont, The Coca-Cola Company, and hospitals throughout the country. For more information, visit About Holly or The Healthy Cooking Blog for more recipes and tips.
Holly Clegg
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