Actually, this is my 11th ear surgery (plus 2 others for other things) if we’re truly counting… but tomorrow is the 4th surgery on my left ear since October. It’s supposed to be a doozy.
I have been spending a lot of time day dreaming about all the amazing things I’ll do when…
- I can drive again.
- I can talk again (without the sound reverberating around my head).
- I can leave the house (other than to the doctor’s!).
- I can be around more than one or two people at a time without cringing (because of the noise).
- I can walk without dizziness.
- I can sing again.
- I can turn my head comfortably without things going out of focus.
- I can go shopping (even grocery shopping sounds fun!)
- I can be me again.
Life has been very, very difficult and I’ve been writing about all my ear problems ever since my first ear surgery back in October… You can read more here: My debilitating medical problems and crazy symptoms. The upshot is that I have had three ear surgeries to fix a myriad of problems. (For example, I wound up being allergic to the bone filler that was used in October and we had to drill that out and remove it. And, two weeks ago we removed the prosthesis that was put in there in October (my bone had eroded away as a child.)
None of those surgeries have actually been able to fix the problem I have with one of the semi-circular canals. Those canals are responsible for helping you keep your balance. Because of the dehiscence/hole, my vision goes blurry when I turn my head or bounce (ie. take a step or move up and down in the car.) The problem in my ear not only affects my balance, but is causing sound to be processed incorrectly. I have weird symptoms like being extremely sensitive to noise (despite a huge hearing loss in that ear). I am sensitive to my own voice and can hear lots of sound through my bones (like the strike of my heal on the floor feels like I’m booming on a kettle drum). I have a lot of tinnitus — day and night sounds of drilling or jingle bells or whooooo or shhhhhhh. Yes, it does wake me and keeps me up at night! The entire ordeal has meant that I cannot drive (who wants someone one the road who can’t turn their head without things going out of focus?!). And, much of the time I have to keep away from people…. simply because sound is so overwhelming. Can you imagine?
Thank goodness for my in-laws who have been here for the past 2 1/2 weeks since my third surgery. I come in and work with the kids for a couple of hours… but otherwise they have been holding down the fort completely. They’ve been my long-term subs as well as our cooks and chauffeurs. They are unbelievably wonderful and have been keeping our household going!
Tomorrow, I am heading in for a very rare surgery to “plug” the horizontal canal. It *should* address the noise sensitivity and pressure I feel in my ear… but… the surgery means that I will have horrendous vertigo for 3-5 weeks. I have heard from people who’ve had a similar surgery on their superior canal that the first 24 hours the vertigo is so bad that you can hardly move without being nauseous and vomiting. Uck. I heard from someone else that they were essentially bed-bound for a month. Just great, huh? But believe me, I am determined to throw myself into re-hab to retrain my vestibular system and get myself better!
As you can imagine, it has been a challenging period of my life. But, I really have been spending a lot of time day dreaming about being better… This ordeal has taught me to deeply appreciate my friends and family, has helped me zone in on the things I absolutely LOVE about my life — my family, homeschooling, writing, being outside and being active. The kids and I have spent hours talking about going hiking, biking, camping and doing the things we love outdoors.
So, that’s about it. I have posts scheduled for a couple of weeks… and if I feel up to it, then I’ll resume writing and posting and you might not even notice too much of a difference on the blog. But if things are bad, then I’ll need to take time off. I guess we’ll see pretty soon!
P.S. The photo above was taken by my Dad, John. That’s quite a contrast to the pictures I shared today of yesterday’s snowfall. We had seven inches (and hopefully that’s the last for this season!)
My other ear posts: