It's no secret that I have a lot of sinus, respiratory and allergy issues. 4 years ago this July I had sinus surgery. Earlier this year I started on Allergy shots. And while those have helped, I have been having some ear issues for about 6 months. I had to switch to a different ENT, because of Insurance, but it has turned out to be great as I really like my new ENT and wait times are soooo much shorter than my old one! And he never makes me feel like he's rushing or that I'm asking stupid questions. He explains things Great and I love that! So all in all I really like my new ENT and I'm thankful my stupid insurance made me change!
Last week I had my first apt with him, to get established and shared my ear issues with him. He had me come in today for a hearing test. Not because my hearing is bad, but apparently hearing tests can gauge ear issues and show things that might be having a problem.
So I had my hearing test, and long story short, I have more than excellent hearing. The lady was actually really impressed and said I had way better hearing than most people. Strangely enough after my sinus surgery I felt like I could REALLY hear stuff. I frequently will be teaching a lesson and stop and say did you hear that? I will hear a faint tiny sound, or something far off, and my students will think i'm nuts until a really loud car drives by 4 minutes later.
So I have more than perfect hearing, hurray! My Dr outlined some steps, which we had already taken, and gave me some options. He thought my best bet would be to have a tube put in the ear (my left ear) that was really bothering me. Try it out, see if it helps the situation, and helps me not to have any ear infections in that ear. And then possibly put a tube in the other ear as well.
I said why not! I was already there, I was already SUPER NERVOUS, no clue why but I was! I figured I would rather do it right then and there, than have to go home and think about it and get myself even more worked up and nervous for an apt the following week.
He went and got the nurse and moved me into another room for the procedure and I very quickly texted my Mom and Auds for a quick prayer request. Thankfully he didn't give me much time to get completely terrified!
I was very thankful that he really explained the whole process and procedure, and told me what he was doing before he did it. I told him that afterwards, and how much I appreciated it, especially given how my packing removal happened at my previous ENT's office. (Otherwise known to my Mom and me as "That which we shall never speak of " )
Part of his explaination was that he would put a "Numbing Agent" into my ear that would "Burn a little" as it went in, but would go away in about 15 seconds.
I can handle that I thought to myself.
I almost threw up.
I posted on my fb that I think he confused Burning a little with being stabbed with 9,000,000 knives going through your ear canal and ear drum.
Add some acid to that and you basically have the "numbing agent"
I needed a Numbing agent FOR the Numbing agent.
I'm dead serious.
It hurt SO BAD. I was trying not to throw up and was doing my lamaze like breathing just trying to make it thru. If I could have counted to 15 I would have, but that was more than I could handle! ha!
Thankfully the blinding pain went away in a little bit longer than the 15 seconds but it did go away.
(Lest you think I am a wimp when it comes to pain, I deal with pain on a daily basis with my chronic illness, AND I am the same girl that had Wisdom Teeth surgery and Sinus Surgery and only took Tylenol. I am well acquainted with pain. Y'all this HURT.)
After that the actual placing of the tube was no big deal! He made an incision, which I heard, and that was weird, but it didn't hurt at all. He placed the tube in and that didn't hurt either. He did have to move it a bit to get it into position and that hurt a little bit but we're talking for maybe 2 or 3 seconds.
The whole thing took about 5 minutes. Which I was thankful for :)
I'm writing part of this the day after getting my tube. It has been very interesting so far!
Immediately after having the tube placed, my head felt weird. Not quite dizzy, but my head felt off balance. The left side of my face/ear felt like I was under water. My Dr warned me that it would be like that for a few days and to call him if it hadn't gone away in two weeks.
I spent the entire rest of the tube placing day really not hearing much out of my left ear.
My right ear on the other hand was like SUPER EAR! Not only could I hear well, it felt even louder, if possible. And I don't know why or how, but now all loud noises, make my head/ears vibrate. Yes, I said VIBRATE. It is the strangest sensation.
I have a railroad behind my house and the first time a train went by after I got home from my tube placement I about freaked out! It was crazy loud and my head just reverberated from it. I have since learned, thanks to a quick drive out this afternoon, that my head/ears also reverberate when I am driving and around running vehicles. I don't think I will be driving much anytime soon! HA! I'm sure it will get better. I have been able to handle the trains better today, the day after my tube placement, but I can still feel them., AND I can hear/feel them coming from way off. Like, Oh a train is coming 5 miles away. 20 mins later it's here. Ok maybe not 20 minutes later, but I have caught myself walking around my house trying to figure out what the loud noise is that i'm hearing. I will finally give up and sit down only to hear a train go by several minutes later.
Another weird thing is the popping and tube noises I hear inside my ear. For instance if I yawn, or sometimes clear my throat, or do things like that I will hear this popping sound of my tube. It's quite like the sound of a cork popping on a bottle. Super weird, and even weirder to me that I'm the only one that can hear these things!
Don't get me started on the people in my neighborhood that played thumping music all of Friday afternoon into very late evening. I couldn't figure out where they were at, thanks to only hearing out of one ear. But I could FEEL the vibration of the beats. As I type this on Saturday night they are playing it again, I still have no clue what house it is, but thankfully it is not vibrating in my head anymore. that was pure torture. You would think only being able to hear well out of one ear this would not be a problem. but with the vibration..... I ran two fans and my loudest humidifier last night, just so i could try to drown out the noise and vibration.
Day One and Two of One Ear Tube are over. I'm hopeful by the time I have to teach again on Monday that I will be fully able to hear out of both ears. And Lord willing my head will quit vibrating with loud and thumping sounds!