Monday, February 28, 2011

Say what?

I came down with a cold, and then suddenly I went from having full hearing in both ears, to one of them being so blocked, my hearing was muffled. The "fullness" in my ear did not subside overnight, and the next day I was pulling and tugging at my ear and it was getting increasingly more painful.

I finally sucked it up and took myself to urgent care. Lo and behold, I had an ear infection. They sent me on my way with a prescription for amoxocillin and I expected I would be feeling better in a couple days.

When things did not start turning around, I called my regular doctor's office to be checked out again. The infection was still hanging around, and this time I left the office with nasonex, in hopes that the swelling would go down and that whatever was blocking the eustachian tube would finally free up and give me some relief.

Two days later I woke up with a fever, vomiting and generally feeling like I was going to die. When I finally got my stomach to settle down enough, I called and got in to my doctor's office again.

Infection was still there, and the stomach issues may or may not have been related. I may have just been lucky enough to grab a stomach bug on top of the cold/ear infection I had going on. But the doctor changed my antibiotic, telling me to stop the amoxocillin and start the z-pack. She also gave me a business card for an ENT, and said that should be my next stop if it still didn't clear up.

Now, I should say that when it comes to actually seeing a specialist of any sort, I will drag my feet. To me, in my eyes, a specialist is serious business and that just makes me nervous. So, avoiding the need was my top priority.

Except I just couldn't tolerate it anymore. When you have to continually say "What?" or turn the tv or radio up louder because one ear is barely working, there's a problem. Not to mention how it feels. While it's not painful per say, the feeling makes me want to stick a fork in my ear and poke a hole in there.

I called the ENT, figuring it would probably be at least a week or two before they could see me. Imagine my surprise when they offered to get me in at 2:20 that same afternoon. So, I put on my big girl panties and took myself in after work.

I can't say there weren't tears. The ENT asked me what was making me sad, and I felt like a great big idiot, but I explained that I'm just frustrated.

All in all the visit wasn't nearly as terrifying as I thought it could be. The infection is cleared up, but there's still fluid behind my eardrum. I was instructed to continue with the nasonex (nasal steroid) and I am also now on an oral steroid (prednisone). The doctor said that the steroids usually do the trick, but she did mention that if it doesn't, I'll likely need to have a tube put in (this is the 2nd time I've had an issue with this ear - the first time I didn't have an infection along with it, but I did have fluid in there).

I'm hopeful the steroids will work their magic and I'll be feeling more like myself soon. I've got a follow up with the ENT again in 2 weeks.

I'll tell you one thing.....when this ear finally opens up and my hearing is back to normal, it's going to be like angels are singing. Glorious angels.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Waiting for Spring & Losing My Sanity

Just last week we got hit with a blizzard, and our entire area was pretty much shut down for 24 hours. I was on my way home from work when it really started getting bad, and the road I took home was already covered with drifting snow. Visibility was next to nothing and it was the scariest ride home of my life.

It also made for some challenges at work. And work has been a challenge as it is. There are some big changes on the horizon, and it is stressful.

I do believe I can work thru it, but the unknowns are worrisome to me. I've got a meeting with the bosses coming up, and hope my mind is eased a bit more after that.

I'm hoping Spring is around the corner - both for sun & warmth, and also for my sanity. Winter is really becoming a drag.