Saga Of The Ear, Continued

Because social media platforms will likely pick the first image as a preview here’s a picture of our best boy.

So.

Here we are again.  You and me.

We’ve never really been apart but it feels like you haven’t been around much.  You just did your thing and nobody really noticed.

You were keeping half of the sound to yourself that should have mine but I’d gotten used to that.

And then you wanted some attention.

You developed a hole.  Apparently my head needed some ventilation.

We noticed the hole back in August and decided to see if it would heal on its own or if you would try to kill me again.

You decided on the latter.

I’m being a bit hyperbolic here.  Beware my gentle-hearted readers.  There will be photos below the fold.

Ok, enough with me talking to my stupid ear.

On Thursday I went back to UTSW to get the hole fixed.

They took me back to pre-op, asked me a thousand questions about my health, why I was there and asked my name and birth date about 10,000 times. Got me hooked up to an IV by a student.

At some level you have to trust your doctors in much the same way that you trust your car mechanic.

You either know exactly what they’re doing but are letting them do it for whatever reason you have, or you are letting them do the job because you have no idea what they’re doing.

And you just hope that they do.

So, even though I’m thinking that I didn’t sign up to be a guinea pig, and actually jokingly saying that, I let the larval anesthesiologist, under supervision by a fully molted anesthesiologist,  insert the IV needle in my hand.   Things went fine.

More questions come and go and after about an hour my primary doctor comes by to say hello and take another look at the ear.

For a moment we all had some hope that we were wasting our time as he couldn’t find the hole.  If the hole had healed, everyone could just go home. I remembered how much difficulty they had finding it the first time and was thinking “yeah, not gonna happen.”  They needed to clean things out and use a microscope to be sure though.

So they rolled me into the OR, got me all prepped for surgery by wrapping my legs in an even weirder gadget than last time which felt like a giant worm was constantly trying to suck my legs into its maw, just without the slime.  All in the name of preventing deep vein thrombosis.  They also tucked me under some nice warm blankets, which was nice.  I highly recommend the warm blankets you can get in pre-op and the OR room.  I don’t recommend anything that will lead you to being in those rooms though.

The Doctor (no, not that Doctor) took a closer look at my ear and pronounced that we could all go home!

Yeah, that last part didn’t happen or you wouldn’t be reading this.

The hole was still there.

I have no idea of the scale here, but yeah. That’s a hole. [edit, turns out it’s not. Keep reading]
Here are a few more pics.  Not sure what parts of my ear we’re looking at here.

Next up, they administered the anesthetic and I went bye-bye for a couple of hours.

I went bye-bye for a lot of hours.  Several more than expected.

Turns out that my ear wanted me to die and the cholesteatoma was back and eating up my ear canal.

The Doctor had to do reconstruction on my eardrum and prosthesis (planned) and on my ear canal (not) plus a bunch of other little things I don’t have the details on yet.  He also had to open me up behind my ear, which I was really hoping he wouldn’t have to do again.  One of these days I’m going to get video of him working on me but really I just hope he never has to do this again.  I suspect that’s an unrealistic hope.

By about 3-ish I woke up in post-op with an aching throat thanks to the breathing tube they had me on and otherwise felt fine, no doubt due to the painkillers they had me on.

The next several days I spent resting as much as possible though 2 days in I did feel well enough to go for a short walk with our boy.

Three days in things started to head a bit downhill with more discomfort and bleeding that just kept going on slowly but steadily.

On the fourth day (today, as I write this) it’s gotten to the point where I was concerned about the level of bleeding and swelling behind my ear.  An afternoon visit to the doc and I find that he’s not worried by this and it should stop in another day or two.

I also found out that the hole in my eardrum wasn’t a hole at all.  The skin of my eardrum had been pulled into a pocket that was so transparent that it looked like a hole.  I had something similar in my ear canal, both needed reconstruction to keep things from collecting in those pockets.

The doc thinks there’s something like a 5% chance this will recur sometime in the future.  Probably higher for me since my eustachian tubes are completely fubar’d.

I’m back home now, watching other people dance in my living room while I keep very hard from joining in.

If you want to read up on the rest of the tale, click here.

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Author: Michael Harrison

Husband, Programmer, Irish dancer, tinkerer, astronomer, layabout (as much as possible)

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