Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ear's Looking at You

So here's the latest on my lovely left ear. It's now been a week since I could hear much out of it, so you can bet that it's REALLY getting on my nerves to be suddenly hearing impaired. Yesterday, I got to work and feverishly started calling ENT offices to find one that could fit me in right away. I found one not too far from home that could fit me in with the office's nurse practitioner, so I took it!

She checked out my ear and said it was really red and could tell that there is a lot of fluid behind it. She decided to prescribe me a stronger oral antibiotic and to also give me a antibiotic ear drop. Then based on a few little hearing tests, she wanted my hearing to be tested for a baseline. Well, I went in to see the audiologist and I guess my hearing in my left ear was worse than they would have expected. She said that it seems that I have the usual hearing loss from having so much fluid in there but she also possibly detected some nerve damage. But we really won't know anything until the fluid drains. She even asked me if I ever shot any rifles/guns. Um, NO. Ha ha ha! But the funny thing is that when I got home and told Jason he said, "You know you always said that you'd be deaf in your left ear someday because that is the ear that Bryce always screamed in as a baby." (Caroline and Piper have done their share, but Bryce definitely took the cake.) I'll have to ask about that when I go back in 3 weeks.

So I've been on these new meds now for 24 hours and don't feel a heck of a lot of difference. Of course, with a persistent infection like this I know it's not going to clear up magically. They also told me that once the infection is gone that it could take a few weeks for the fluid to actually drain. Sweet. My biggest complaint now other than intermittent dull pain is that my ear canal ITCHES. I want to stick something in there and SCRATCH SCRATCH SCRATCH IT. (Don't worry, I would never do that.)

I keep hoping that I'll yawn or sneeze or something and all of a sudden POP, I'll be able to hear again. This really has to be one of the most annoying things to deal with. I can't hear jack out of my left ear and if I'm laying on my right side, I can't hear a thing. It's disorienting too because I realize I'm not talking to people b/c I don't want to have to strain to hear them. I couldn't hear my kids talking to me in the back seat of the car today when I picked them up and that made me sad.

I'm just hoping this itching stops soon too. Talk about the itch you can't scratch. Yowwww.


Katie said...

Does the itching mean it is healing? Like with a wound or sunburn?
I'm sorry you are deaf in your ear, but seriously, maybe you and J should cool it with your weapons and hunting.

Erika said...

You know Jay and I are going all Sarah Palin up in this joint with our rifles and stuff.

I actually thought that too about the itching - maybe it's a good sign. This morning I had to get out a Q-tip and just itch the outer part of the ear canal and OMG, it felt good.

Erin said...

LOL @ the above exchange! ;)

I was going to recommend the kids' ENT, Dr. Clayton... he's right over at St. Joes. But sounds like you have it all squared away.

When I had that horrible virus in Feburary and my ear was all blocked, my internest actually said if the fluid didn't drain after a certain period of time, he'd recommend placing a tube (just like my kids have! LOL!) to get it to drain. Gah. Hope yours drains before that is necessary... though, I'm told it would offer immediate relief!

ERin said...

internest = internist... LOL.

Erika said...

Erin - I'm guessing that if it hasn't drained when I got back for my follow up in 3 weeks that we'll be looking at doing something like that - and by that point I will be pretty much willing to do anything for relief.

I think that this whole ear thing is giving me headaches, causing me to clench my jaw, and I just feel "off." If it's still clogged in 3 weeks, I'll be begging them to drain it.

Heather said...

Chew lots and lots and lots of gum! I heard that a chiropractor can do an adjustment to help drain the fluid...and using a hot pack can help. You can come visit me, I will teach you sign language!
-\ll/ (That's "I love you!")