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Den's Journal

Stories by a short, fat bastard

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happy den
The visit to the ENT went well and he explained to me what happened.

The throat infection caused the Eustachian tubes that drain the ears into the back of the nasal cavity to swell, effectively sealing them shut and causing negative pressure in the middle ear. This reduced pressure caused fluid to migrate from the tissues, and into my middle ear, basically shutting down both ears. My left ear Eustachian tube wasn't quite as blocked and allowed some fluid out to equalize pressure. The right tube was totally blocked, and the increase in pressure forced the fluid out through the path of lease resistance; ie through the ear drum.

So, he looked at my ears. Left ear: looks good with a little fluid visible. This will eventually drain away completely. The right ear drum has healed totally, leaving just a small area of weakness where the tear was. The doc used a Medical Thing to dig out all the residual dried blood and wax deposits to completely clear out my ear canal.

He recommended no further treatment, I don't need antibiotics and I can stop using the ciproxyn.

My hearing is almost back to normal. At its worst I had to turn the TV up to 85+ to hear ANYTHING. Now I can listen to TV with the volume at 25-30 and hear everything. I can hear the wind in the trees again, and birds, and music, and the distant train horns.

Which is nice.

Dr ENT doesn't bulk-bill, so the visit cost me $285. I will claim most of that back through Medicare.

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I'm very glad that you're almost completely recovered. Dunno what to tell you about preventing this sort of thing from happening again, but probably seeing a doctor at the first sign of upper respiratory infection (rather than toughing it out because you're a Bloke) would be a good idea :-)

I can't help myself because bloke.

I'd still rather not have your head explode :-(

Can you try being half-bloke? Tough it out until you've had a couple of days of pain, and then go see the doctor because it's not getting better, before it gets worse? Or at least when it first turns into really unpleasant pain?

Cautionary tale: someone we both know ignored a problem with their shoulder (that kept getting worse) because "oh, it will go away eventually" until it turned into something that required spinal surgery.

Glad to hear how well you have recovered.

I'm with starcat_jewel regarding the half-bloke thing. I could send you a mallet, if you wish, for cases like this: next time you have a cold, hit your toes with the mallet, that way you'll have enough pain to want to see the doctor right away. ;-)

(Deleted comment)
Fancy meeting you here! :-)

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