Friday, August 24, 2007

All I Hear Is...

Did I give the saga of last weekend? I don't remember. I know I've whined to everyone who'll listen, but I don't think that included my illustrious blog readers. Let me give a quick recap b/c it's germaine to today's update.

I know I talked about my headaches of last week & how horrible they were. Friday I was finally able to (mostly) kick it and by Saturday I was 100% headache-free. So I got up early, feeling great, took Dori for a walk & hit my long-neglected chores outside. I worked several hours outside until I was without shade & then retreated inside to work on inside things. Anyway, I rewarded myself with an afternoon of Harry Potter. I noticed after a few hours of reading that I had another dull headache. It wasn't at all bad so I opted not to take anything for it. It was tolerable, ya know? Anyway, I decided to run to Wal-Mart to do the grocery shopping before going to the neighbor's for a birthday party. As I'm shopping, my headache is worsening. And I'm having that sinking feeling that it's only going to get worse. Thankfully, the list was pretty short & I knew I could get done pretty quickly. I'm tellin' ya, by the time I got in line to check out at Wally World, it was all I could do to stand upright, get things checked out, get to the car, get home, get unloaded, & get in bed. In fact, by the time I got in bed, I was in tears--that's how bad my head hurt. This was a full-blown, haven't-had-one-of-these-in-at-least-nine-years kind of migraines. Needless to say, I didn't go to the birthday party. I didn't even eat. I took a bunch of drugs and just laid in bed hoping either my head would explode or I would just die in my sleep--either way, my head wouldn't hurt anymore. Anyway, I finally fell asleep. Got up the next morning, surprisingly no worse for wear & with just the remnants of a headache--more like, an I-had-a-migraine-yesterday kind of dull headache.

However, I couldn't hear very well out of my left ear. Sounded like someone had shoved a bunch of cotton balls down it. I thought it was weird but figured it was probably from working in the yard. You know, allergy drainage and all. Figured it would clear up in a day or two. By Tuesday, I was going crazy so I called the allergist & we got a game plan. By Thursday, no better & now my balance was kinda off & I was a little loopy feeling all the time & everything sounded loud but muffled. So I called the allergist back and scheduled an appointment for this morning. I mean, I have to get on an airplane in 8 days. My ear HAS to be better!

So...ultimately, the allergist comes to these conclusions (after exam & all): I do not have an ear infection, there is no fluid in the ear drum or behind the ear drum, there is not an excess build-up of wax, I do not have any kind of infection that could be contributing to the ear issues, there is a vacuum in my ear that is not allowing the ear drum to function properly, the vacuum is likely being caused by inflammation in the Eustachian tube. So our defense is thus: I'll be taking cortisone to reduce the inflammation, decongestant in case the inflammation is being caused by fluid behind the Eustachian tube (which he can't see), and Afrin for short-term nasal symptoms & in hopes of speeding the entire process so everything's kosher by the time we board the plane next weekend. I'll keep you posted on how the hearing progresses. In the meantime, I'll try to keep my sanity. I mean, imagine hearing everything out of your left ear like Charlie Brown hears his teacher?! Annoying!

POSTSCRIPT: My doctor was so kind to say that, had we been flying this Sunday instead of next Sunday, he would have insisted that I cancel my flight b/c of the likelihood of an eardrum rupture in flight. How 'bout them apples?


sarahk said...

Ack! That's awful! I hope you're better very soon...

Have you tried cutting back your sodium? It probably won't help in this case, but that actually sometimes causes ear problems.

As to the migraines... I'd start keeping track of when you have them, what you've eaten the day before and the day of the migraine, and see if you can pick up a pattern with any particular food or grain. Yeah, I know... really easy to do when you have a migraine, write stuff down.

Susan said...

my ear issue is likely not caused by sodium intake. i had to cut that out of my diet a few years ago when i was diagnosed with hypertension. oh how i (used to) love my salt! i think my ear problem stems from allergies. they've been going absolutely wacko lately & we've had ozone issues to boot. and then last weekend when all this went down, i worked in the yard & stirred up the very things i'm most allergic to (fungus & mold that grow in dirt). very shortly after that's when i had the migraine & then the ear issue the next day.

i guess i always pass my headaches, in general, off as side effects of my allergies. but you know, i really should consider a food sensitivity, too. i mean, with a sensitivity to nasal stimuli, it only makes sense that certain foods might be triggers too. good thinking on the log. i'll do that.

and that just might put us to the cause of my ear issue too.

i'll keep you posted