Scotch Plains Rescue Squad Medical Mystery of the Month

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What is all that noise I hear?

The world can be a noisy place. Sometimes you just have to get away from it all, find a quiet place and relax.

However, what if the noise was coming from inside your own head? What if you could not get away from it, ever? For people who suffer from Superior Canal Dehiscence Syndrome (SCDS), it can make everyday living a nightmare.

As reported on, “Researchers at Johns Hopkins identified superior canal dehiscence syndrome (SCDS) in 1995. This condition involves an abnormal opening in the uppermost canal of the vestibule of the inner ear. SCDS may be caused by the bony surface of the canal not growing to its normal thickness during development.” Common bodily functions, such as chewing or swallowing appear very loud. Those afflicted can even sometimes hear their own heartbeats or the blood coursing through their veins. And any external noises, such as coughing, speaking or a telephone ringing can cause vertigo, blurred vision, headaches, anxiety and nausea since every sound is amplified. Flying, head trauma, or any straining, such as giving birth or heavy lifting, can cause symptoms to appear. Some people also notice it as they grow older.

According to, others with SCDS may experience an echo when speaking or chewing, and/or think that items that are stationary are actually moving. Until recently, these complaints were considered psychosomatic and patients were often referred to psychiatrists.

Once diagnosed, the only way to fix the condition is through surgery. Additional physical therapy may be needed to overcome any lingering dizziness. For more information, go to the SCDS Society at

The Scotch Plains Rescue Squad is a volunteer organization of Neighbors Helping Neighbors. With over 90 volunteers, we answer emergency calls not only in Scotch Plains but in surrounding towns as well when needed. Besides answering calls, you will see our ambulances at many special events held in town, such as Scotch Plains Day, the Memorial Day Parade, high school football games, and the summer concerts on the Village Green. We are also available to provide demonstrations for Boys and Girls Scout troops, clubs, and any other group that may be interested in what we do. In addition, we lend out wheelchairs, crutches, canes and other assorted medical equipment free of charge. Our Auxiliary Group holds fund raisers and provides other much needed support for our members. Please reach out to us if there is something we can do for you, or if you would like to become a part of our organization. (908) 322-2103 for non-emergencies or

Written by Susan Baldani, a life member of the Scotch Plains Rescue Squad.

Then She Was Gone – book review

The She Was Gone

One of the biggest fears of any parent is child abduction. In Lisa Jewell’s newest book. “Then She Was Gone,” we get to experience the heartbreak and devastation this crime can bring upon a family.

Ellie Mack was a golden child: pretty, smart, loving and happy. One day, at the age of 15, she disappears on her way to the library. Her parents, Laurel and Paul, are frantic, convinced that she was taken, but the police are thinking that maybe she is just another runaway.

No leads are found and no one reported seeing anything unusual that day, and pretty soon the case goes cold. As the years start to pass slowly with no sign of Ellie, sadness and frustration take their toll. Family relationships are frayed and eventually broken. Her parents and siblings drift apart, at times trying to forget and go on with their lives, but also hoping that one day Ellie will be found.

Laurel may be the one who finds it the hardest to move forward; she does not want to let go of the fantasy that her daughter will return to her safe and sound. One day, a little girl comes into her life who so reminds her of her daughter. The more time she spends with her, the more convinced she is that young Poppy is almost a clone of her daughter. Other people start to notice it as well. But how could Poppy and Ellie be connected? After all, there has been no sign of her daughter for 10 years.

Told from the viewpoint of each main character, the book explores the psychological turmoil that the victims and their perpetrator experience. The pain is heartfelt, but then so is the reasoning of the kidnapper. You will get to know each character’s story and get a feel for who they are and what motivates them.

Born and raised in north London, Lisa Jewell is the author of 12 bestselling novels. She lives in Swiss Cottage, a district in the London borough of Camden in England, with her husband and two daughters. To find out more about her and her other books, go to

Written for The Woodbridge Magazine (UK)