Vicki Gunvalson

Vicki Gunvalson explains why her own surgeries inspired her daughter to become a nurse.

on Feb 5, 2009

Well the season is winding down and only a few more weeks left. Jeana and I are really focused on losing weight this year, and I’m proud of her that she is finally taking care of herself and making “Jeana” a priority in 2009. I think this is going to be her year! The Duzoxin is working great for both of us, and between that supplement and my 7am workouts with Gabe— it’s already making a difference. Watch for Jeana and I on the new cover of Defy Magazine that may be coming up soon.

I think Briana chose nursing as her career because of my ear surgeries. She grew up with me having ear, neck and brain surgeries, and I think being around hospitals she began looking up to the nurses who would take care of me. She told me she realized when she was about 13-years-old that she wanting to be a nurse, and that nursing was her “calling." If some of you are wondering what my condition is, I’ll fill you in. When I was 5-years-old, I was diagnosed with an inner ear tumor called cholesteatoma. I had surgery and at the time they removed the tumor, which caused me to lose 50% of my hearing. During the next 19 years of my life, the tumor kept reoccurring. I had a total of six surgeries by the time I was 25, which caused me to lose all of my hearing in my right ear. When I was 32 and newly married to Donn, the tumor had grown back so much that it had wrapped around my facial nerve, pierced a hole in my skull and started seeping up towards the right side of my brain. I underwent 10 hours of surgery and my doctor did not know if I was going to have movement of my mouth or face due to the severity of the tumor and the facial nerve damage that could have been there. I recovered 100% with no facial nerve damage, however my hearing was still gone.

She told me she realized when she was about 13-years-old that she wanting to be a nurse, and that nursing was her “calling."

About 3 years ago, I went back in for my last surgery to have reconstructive inner ear surgery and am happy to say they were able to restore my hearing to 80%. Let’s hope that’s the end of my surgeries!