Gentamicin is an aminoglycoside (antibiotic) that can have devastating side effects. It can cause deafness, severe kidney damage and completely destroy the vestibular system which is essential to an individuals sense of balance. Often there is a need to learn to walk again using other sensory and visual cues. Normally the vestibular system allows the brain to cancel out head motion from the visual images around us. Without it a visual disturbance (oscillopsia) gives a sensation that something fixed is moving or wavering back and forth. This can cause a person to appear to be intoxicated when they walk - hence the name 'Wobblers'.
I first came across the original wobblers web site in 1999; the personal site had been started by Lynn Brown of Alabama as she worked to raise public awareness of the dangerous side effects of the drug and provided support to many others. However the continued widespread use of the drug has resulted in many more people experiencing adverse effects. My motivation then in redesigning and expanding the web site arose from personal experience when trying to learn more and what I perceived as a need for an up-to-date one stop shop for information. As well as including what are hopefully useful links for Wobblers a number of people in the support group chronicled their experiences and made them available from the web site's Our Stories page. In the sites most recent makeover in 2016 I have left the content largely unchanged but made the layout responsive to different screen sizes (eg. smart phones and tablets)
In my view the greatest continuing value of the Wobblers web site is the sharing of information and the bringing together of people who had experienced the toxicity of Gentamicin. If you are visiting the site for the first time looking for answers I hope you will also find comfort in knowing you are not alone. From the menu please use the resources on the Links for Wobblers page to learn more. Read other peoples stories and join the support groups. By sharing the good and bad days we can feel better prepared to get on with our lives and if along the way we can also raise awareness of the dangers of Gentamicin then we have used our adversity for something positive.