Sunday, May 8, 2016


Yesterday, I saw my ENT at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, WA. She had good and bad news about my lifelong hearing loss and problems. You see, I had a lot of ear infections as a child - think toddler and little kid age - and, as a result, my eardrums are scarred, causing some hearing loss.

Well, at least that is what all my ENT's up to now have believed and told me.

My new ENT looked in my ears and nose, felt my throat, watched my eyes (dizziness test), and has no idea why my hearing is so bad. She has me scheduled (on a 4-6 month waitlist) for a tympanoplasty surgery which requires grafting a piece of my skin to make a brand new eardrum. During the operation, the surgeon will do a middle ear exploration to see if I need a mastoidectomy--surgery to remove a mass of dead cells called a cholesteatoma from my ear/head bones. In addition, the surgeon will see if any of my ear bones (malleus, incus, and stapes) are fractured, broken, etc. That would be an entirely separate surgery to fix: a stapedectomy.

In the end, my hearing is decreasing year by year, something I didn't want to believe or admit; I need surgery to (hopefully) fix broken things, remove bad things, and replace non-working things; and, although the prospect of hearing better is STUPENDOUS, I'm anxious and have a lot of thinking and planning to do before I have the surgery...

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