New Here, Not New to the Crappy Ear Club...

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by gc_1123, Jul 12, 2015.

    1. gc_1123

      gc_1123 Member

      Hey everyone! So, I will share my story then you guys can tell me what you think. It's a long one, so to quote my 4 -year old, "hold on to your underpants"

      I have had tinnitus for as long as I can remember. I thought it was normal growing up to hear ringing in your ears. I never realized it meant something was wrong until I was much older. I also suffered with horrible ear infections, and was diagnosed with chronic ETD. So, crappy ears from the get-go, something I have always dealt with and for me, was the norm. And as a side note, my right ear was always worse than the left.

      Fast forward, I join the military, despite barely “passing” the hearing exam. I actually failed it a few times and retook it until I “passed”. I became a jet mechanic, which is absolutely the worst thing for someone with crappy ears. But, that is neither here nor there. My crappy ear problems followed me though, and I ended up having my adenoids taken out and 2 separate tympanoplasties w/cartilage grafts. They put me on Lyrica and something else that I can’t think of the name, but my ear just always hurt and nothing ever seemed to make it better. Oh, and I have had DOZENS of pe tubes, the first set of which I got before I was even 2. My hearing never improved so the fitted me with a hearing aid.

      I got out of the military in 2009, went to school for a couple years and went to work in the real world. I work in an industrial environment (welder) so they perform audiograms every year. I never pass of course, but last year I bombed it on my right ear. So I went to the ear doctor. Now, I hadn’t been to see an ENT since I got out of the military, because for me, I was resigned to the fact I had a crappy ear and was hard of hearing and that’s just the way it was. So I get there and he diagnoses me with a cholesteatoma, says I have an attic crust, one of the tell-tale signs, I have a CT, which supports this by showing complete opacification of the middle ear and mastoid air cells. He sends me to a fancy doc in the city, who I absolutely love, and he confirms this diagnosis and performs a tympanomastoidectomy for removal of the ctoma this past November. I am ecstatic to FINALLY have a reason for my crappy ear. But when he cuts me open….

      No cholesteatoma….

      But, he did say there was this weird layer of like irritated skin over my inner ear, and my hearing bones were fused together. So he cleaned it all up, gave me a prosthetic second bone, and closed me up. The first couple months after surgery I really did feel better. No headaches, no more drainage from my ear, no ear pain or fullness. Never regained my hearing back but I wasn’t totally surprised by that.

      Now here is why I am on this forum. The last 2 months, my symptoms have returned, with a vengeance. I’m talking sudden onset out of the blue. The tinnitus is worse than it has ever been, and non-stop and only in my bad ear. And when it is really bad, that side of my tongue is one fire and tastes like metal. I can feel it all the way up to my eye, which will start to water. I also developed a mass in my neck. I had CT done on that and the VA says it’s nothing. The headaches are nonstop now and the CT I had showed that once again, I had complete opacification of the mastoid and middle ear. Oh, I should also note that my surgeon said drilling through my mastoid was like trying to drill through a bowling ball. I get extremely dizzy with any sudden movement, I have trouble talking sometimes, like I stutter and my brain and mouth just aren’t on the same wavelength. And I have noticed a definite change in my personality, like I am so short with my son, I get so irritated and short-tempered, which makes me feel like a horrible person…But I don’t have an infection. It doesn’t hurt, no fever, just feels full. I haven’t had an MRI, but I am curious if I need one, if any of you guys had some underlying condition that wasn’t caught on a CT but showed on and MRI. (I have read that happens a lot)

      So, I am going to see a new ENT at the end of the month. Not that I don’t like my old doctor, I just hate driving to the city all the time and want a doc that is closer. So, we will see what he says…

      Thanks in advance for reading my story

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