I learned today that my hearing is actually "pretty good," that is for his frequent patient in their 60s. He has seen far worse, but my left ear still was significantly worse than the right, both in negative pressure and in hearing scores.
The steroids made no impact, leaving me still with 200 (pounds? I'm unsure of the level of measurement) of negative pressure in the left ear, about 10 decibels less hearing in the left than the mildly nerve-damaged right, and a significant drop off, to profound hearing loss, on the left when it comes to some ranges/frequencies.
He did in-office-surgery to put a tube in that left ear. He had warned me ahead of time that the numbing ear drops might burn a little. I never felt any "burning," just crawl-off-the-table acute pain for less than 10 seconds. After it took effect, nothing more for the rest of the procedure. It did sound a bit like someone was eating Rice Krispies in my ear canal, for all the snapping, scratching and popping sounds, but quite tolerable.
When he made the cut in my eardrum I didn't feel any pain, but I did, instantly, feel like someone had turned up the volume, even before he got the tube placed. He says, because of my different kind of hearing loss, that I will probably need hearing aids also, but this should at least help balance out pressurization from the injured eustation tube.
If the combination of this surgery and hearing aids don't significantly improve things, we may be looking at another surrey under general anesthesia where he will cut the outer ear of from behind, fold it forward, and go into the inner ear for exploration and hopefully for repair. I would very much like to avoid such surgery!
Between the ENT office and our car, my ear spontaneously popped 3 times! I feel this is encouraging step toward equalizing pressure.
This afternoon I have an ear ache, headache, side of my face pain, and jaw pain. It is manage with extra strength Tylenol, but I think a good nap will help even more. Nothing like two surgeries in less than a week, though today's was far less invasive or emotionally traumatic.
I can't hear well at all right now, worse than before the surgery. I'm guessing this is from swelling and only temporary? I go back in six weeks for a post-op check up (and I think another round of hearing tests, though I am not sure) unless I have any new drainage, then I am to go in sooner. Then back to my other audiologist for hearing aids, if needed.
I did find out today that the bones in my ear are "beautiful." :)
On a different note, my neurologist is starting me on some medication (I think a newer anti-depressant) as early as tonight or tomorrow (depending on when the pharmacy has it ready) for my emotional swings and black moods. We have crossed the threshold of adding depression to PAB. It could take up to two weeks to feel any kind of difference from the medication. Thank you for your prayers!
Verse of the day:
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8