marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
So my dearly beloved tympanostomy tube stayed in my ear for just over 2 years, instead of the normal 6 months.  My theory is that my eardrum knows it should have a tube in it, so hangs on to it.  Three months or so ago, I had a doctor check and it was still in there. Last week I was miserable with ear nonsense--vertigo, tinnitus, muffling--and my ear doctor was out of town and so I went to the prompt care/walgreens place, and the nurse said I have an ear infection and the tube is gone. The fuck? I can't go even three months without a tube in there?  So today the doctor came back to town and I decided to be a jerk and just go to the office first thing in the morning before they really opened to see if they'd make room for me in the schedule.  My reward for this was getting the first appointment of an otherwise totally full day, yay!

Doctor: Well, the results from audiology look pretty good; your hearing is ok and you don't have a lot of fluid in there, although there is a blockage.

Me: (*heart sinking silently because I think I'm no longer ill enough to get a new tube*)

Doctor: But...your ears, they're bad. You know that. So we can do a tube if you want.

Me: Yes please! it possible my eustachian tubes just aren't formed right, or something?

Doctor: Oh, there's no question. Definitely.

So, there it is. Bad ears.  It's kind of nice to have a doctor just say so.  So, on Thursday I go for my next myringotomy/tympanostomy--number five--and everything will be joyful again, at least in ear-land.


Oct. 13th, 2009 09:52 pm
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
I have to put ear drops into my tubeified ear for 3 days.  Last night--the first time doing it--I discovered that there is now a clear path from my outer ear into the back of my throat, via the myringotomy tube and the eustacian tube. Yecch!  Last night and today I've had an upset stomach....from the eardrops.  Hamlet's father would sympathize.
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
The procedure went fine...he only did the right ear, which was the one causing most of the muffling and all of the pain. The procedure hurt about as much as a minor dental procedure--a couple moments of OWW!! but nothing prolonged. Plus the brain going "aaaahh something's touching my eardrum stoppit stoppit!" Because in the normal course of things, one's eardrum normally doesn't gad about being touched like that.

Now I'm going to lie on the couch and watch Criminal Minds for a couple of hours while my ear settles down. Right now it keeps spontaneously popping. Also OMG THE LOUD, IT IS SO LOUD OUT, HOW DO PEOPLE DEAL WITH IT BEING SO LOUD? I suddenly can hear like the goddamn Batman, y'all.
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (collage1)
So the ear doctor was very cool, and after looking at my ears and sending me for a quick test with the audiologist (pancake, sidewalk, icecream...can't they ever use different words?) said that my ears have fluid in them and that there are two ways to take care of it.  1. Medicine including steriods 2. Tubes.  I picked option 2 and am scheduled to have the procedure first thing tomorrow morning.  For adults it's done in the office with a local anasthetic, and I can drive and work afterwards, which is good because I have hardly any vacation time left, so I'd prefer not to burn a whole day for this.

Basically the process involves holding still while he puts a little nick in the eardrum, suctions it (ew), and then inserts a tiny plastic tube with a flange on the outer end.  You wouldn't think a girl with 6 earring holes and 4 tattoos would be nervous about having to stay still while someone does owie things to me, but I am - I'm afraid I'll flinch and cause a problem.   For dental things of this nature I take a valium beforehand, but for the ear thing I'm just indulging in various soothing & bad-for-me foods.   Haven't decided what to have for dinner tonight but ribs from Portillo's are sounding good.

Last night I kept dreaming about children in my care being in danger.  Like, in one dream we moved into a house with a pool that didn't have any fencing or covering, and then I dreamed that I had my youngest nephew in the car but had accidentally put him in his stroller instead of in his car seat, so when I stopped the car the stroller rolled out into the street with him in it.  I retrieved him safely--no children were harmed in any of my dreams, but I kept dreaming about being very anxious about children.  I think this must be related to the tubes thing--Charlie just got them a couple of months ago, which was worrisome, and when I had them as a child the experience was always bad--getting them, I mean; having them was always great but the surgeries were difficult for various reasons.  Anyway I'm not sure quite how the dreams related but I'm assuming they do. 
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (collage1)
...well, like I need a hole in the ear anyway, which I totally do.  I'm headed to the ear doctor in a couple'a hours to see if he can do something about my stopped-up ears.  Charlie's been much healthier since his myringotomy but the ear/sinus infection I caught from him has been lingering for months, off and on.  So I'm hoping the doc will do the same procedure on me and just clear this crap up.  I'm particularly tired of the frickin' tinnitus, which is only on one side and only very occasional, but is still tinnitus which suuuuucks.

I just remembered that when we were kids we ranked our ears by what store they had supposedly come from, with most of the kids having "Gerard's Ears," meaning they came from the cool local drug store and functioned properly, brother P2* having "General Electric Ears" because his ears got red very easily, and myself and brother J having "K-Mart Special Ears" because our ears were cheap and sucked, with chronic infections and associated hearing impairment.

Oh and after a couple of weeks of being extra-good about allergies to try to get this to clear up,  I now want it NOT to clear up, since if it does (which will be only temporary) the doctor will not be able to see the problem.  So I'm off to the 7-11 to get something donutty and possibly even chocolatey (ooo! forbidden joy) for breakfast...just enough to keep the histhamines flowing without bringing on an asthma attack. Is this a stupid thing to do? Indubitably. I've been doing it for 3 days now (since making the appointment). Mmm, donuts.

*I have 2 brothers with the initial P.  P1 had "Gerards Ears"
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Charlie)
Charlie's ear surgery went great and rather than being dopey, he's all wound up and excited.  We figure this is either because he's not in pain from the pressure, finally, or because everything is louder now that his eardrums are free to do their thing.

We weren't with him when they put him under--they take the kids from the little prep suites back into a medical-people-only area to put them under; then they come get you when they wake up.  He was very glad to see me when he woke up, but when they took him to go put him under he was cheerful and flirty with the lady doctor who carried him away, after being frowny and angry with me for the previous half-hour because of the hungries.  No food or milk after midnight, no water or juice after 9 am, surgery was at 1:15...he was a little cranky.  Anyway I'm glad he liked the doctor, because I hate handing him to people he's scared of.

Thanks for the good wishes.   
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Charlie)
Charlie's getting tubes in his ears tomorrow.  The surgery shouldn't be a big deal, but since it's general anesthesia he'll have to fast for a whole lot of hours beforehand.  We can give him clear juice and other clear liquids up until 4 hours before the surgery, which is great except that he's allergic to apples, pears, peaches, and cherries.  Grapes are in the "maybe allergic" category so we're going to let him have a little grape juice and just deal with the rash if he gets one.  (Discovering his allergies is a process of giving him increasing amounts of a substance and waiting a couple days each time to see if he gets a rash or other reaction*.  4 small spoonfuls of pureed cherries, no rash. 6 big spoonfuls a week later, rash all over, plus vomiting.  Good times. Grape juice has passed two rounds.)

It feels very strange to scour the grocery store looking for clear liquids, checking ingredients, and buying only the stuff with NO natural ingredients.  We've came home with "tropical fruit" pedialite, "strawberry" jello, and "grape" kool-aid. I am a 1950's mom! Better living through chemistry!


*neither skin tests nor blood tests are particularly accurate at this age
**note: ad may be fake. I collect vintage ads, but this is not one of mine.

marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (CharlieChomp)
Everyone's feeling 50% better today, thanks to all for the sympathy and well-wishes.  Charlie is scheduled for ear-tube surgery on July 14.  Yay tubes! There are some risks with them but they helped me tremendously when I had them (in fact I wish I had some RIGHT NOW).  Anyway he needs to have a physical before the surgery, and he also needs a cardiology clearance because he has a small PFO, which theoretically isn't a problem but I'd rather be safe than sorry, since upper-limb deficiencies sometimes have heart involvement and there may be more to it.  Unfortunately the next available appointment with his cardiologist isn't until August, so we hope they'll do the clearance based on looking at his existing test results, or else maybe his pediatrician can clear him for that as well.

In the meantime, his fever finally broke, and his mood and appetite are improving, and today's a holiday, so we're going to lay around the house and watch Stargate DVDs and take antibiotics...which isn't so different than a normal weekend.


Jul. 2nd, 2009 10:01 am
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (collage1)
Me: sinus infection has recurred. Taking more of same antibiotic in the hopes that an extra week of it will knock it out.  Otherwise will have to go on scary, sick-making antibiotics.  Or maybe just get one full night's sleep to recharge my immune system, HA HA HA, clearly it's likely to be the scary antibiotics for me.

Charlie: source of recurring sinus infection. 2 nights of 102 degree fevers, puking at the slightest provocation because of sore throat.  Am managing to get new, stronger antibiotic to stay in him mostly.  I am taking him to his ENT doc today to talk about tubes, because this is 5 infections since MARCH, for frell's sake, and we're just teaching these bacteria to laugh at antibiotics. (see above re: Me.)

Mike: mysterious back pain yesterday turned into excruciating, less-mysterious back pain in the middle of the night.  He is at the hospital right now (God bless his brother, who took the day off from work to take him to the ER while I take care of Charlie) getting X-rays and a Cat scan.  All signs point to a kidney stone. A KIDNEY STONE.  OH C'MON, UNIVERSE!

ETA: cat scan shows no kidney stone, YAY! His back is just all fucked up, which is comparatively deal-with-able. Whew.

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