Thursday, February 09, 2006

My Night in the ER

Those of you finding this page by searching "plugged ears," check out my second bout here and here. Also, I've had good luck this year with round 2 using Afrin (sparingly), an antibiotic (Septra) and any decongestant containing pseudoephedrine. You may also want to try Mucinex, which contains guaifenesin.

For the past several days, I've been suffering from a very minor cold. Nothing big... a few sneezes, plugged nose, etc. But right when it seemed to be going away, low and behold my ears start to plug up.

Now having plugged ears during a cold is something I've dealth with before, and I am usually able to unplug them without a problem. Not this time. It seems that there has been fluid building behind my eardrums which has been gradually increasing in pressure over the last few days. Last night at about 11pm, I was close to insanity from the pressure and pain. I had lost my ability to unplug my ears, and things just kept getting worse.

I know that there isn't much doctor's can do unless the ear is infected. In my case, they say it's just fluid and that I'll have to deal with it over the next few days. They prescribed me Pseudovert (a decongestant) and Vicodin (a narcotic pain-killer). Yeah, so that helps with the pain... but what about my hearing loss?

My ears are now so clogged with fluid that they feel as if someone has their fingers stuck into the sides of my head. And if that wasn't annoying enough, my hearing has probably decreased about 50% - and since its more clogged in my left ear, thd hearing on that side is worse. So... the varying levels of volume are playing annoying tricks with my brain. A sound to my left sounds like it's coming from my right because my hearing is better in that ear (less clogged). And on top of that, my balance is all screwy too.

So with all of these things happening at once, and with me being totally OCD about my ears and hearing... I feel driven to the brink of insanity. It literally makes me want to scream at the top of my lungs. That, or light myself on fire. It's THAT annoying.

Hopefully, I can convince the ENT doctor I'll be visiting tomorrow to perforate my eardrum and relieve the pressure. However, from what I'm told they only do this if the problem hasn't resolved itself in 3 weeks. THREE WEEKS OF THIS?!!! I'll die first.

Here are some fun pictures from the hospital at 1am.

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