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  • Written Nov 10, 2009 4:30am

    It's been a pretty busy month or two here with the addition of a new puppy to the family. He's a gem, lots of fun, and lots of work. We're awake right now, and he wants to play. I'm hoping he'll sleep a little while longer before his breakfast, though I doubt it. Silly boy.

    My ear hasn't been so good the last few weeks. We've had a lot of weather change, from summer to fall, from dry and sunny to rainy. It seems to have calmed some this last week with the stability of the weather, but there were a few weeks when I felt I could barely hear from it.
    I'm going in this month to have it looked at. Some days, I long for the hearing I had from 1998-2005. I called it my "miracle ear" back then. But other days, I simply do what I must to get through well with what I have.

    God is still in control of my ear even when I don't feel like He is. I don't understand the last four years of chronic problems, or what the end result will be, but I choose to trust. He is all I have.

    As always, I'll update if anything significant happens, though I may talk some about life with hearing loss as a blind person and my own experiences.
  • Written Jun 1, 2009 10:26pm

    Hello.

    It's been far too long since I've given a proper update, and my sincerest apologies for my being so remiss.

    I have not had surgery since late 2007. I still get ear drainage on a fairly constant basis, and, at my last checkup, I requested several months' refill of Ciprodex, because it is the only thing that helps my ear stay clear of drainage, and allows me to hear better.

    I thought several times last year that I'd have to go back in for another cyst removal opporation, but each time I've had my ear checked, they've assured me that this was not the case.

    I went to the ENT clinic late in April, and I was told that the eardrum, aside from the hole, looks good, and that the cartlage behind it is holding well. Thank You, God, that it has not moved. This means that when I have "good ear days", I hear very well with the left ear. Granted, those days are few and far between, but I'm grateful for what I do have, and I cherish them when they are here.

    When the doctor suctioned my ear drainage, it itched, and afterward, felt very clean, as though something that had been irritating my ear was now removed. This is so common since fall of 2005 that I almost don't recognize it until it gets very bad, so when it was gone, I noticed. I think it's just one more fact of living with chronic drainage.

    They say there's no sign of cholesteatoma, and at this point, I have no reason to doubt that. I've been more or less stable since I healed from the last surgery.

    I'll be sure to update when or if anything significant changes.

    Thank you to those of you who have been praying for me, and to my mom, who came up to see me for the last surgery. Thank you too, my local friends, for being tolerant of my "bad days", and working with me accordingly, and to my doctors--you know who you are, even if you don't read this page--for the help through the years, and for putting up with my myriad of questions.

    God bless each of you.

    Amy
  • Written Nov 7, 2007 2:09pm

    Recovery has been slow but steady. That seems to be my motto--pace myself, slow but steady progress. There isn't a significant amount of pain most of the time, but I often hear my heartbeat thudding in my ear. Unnerving, and tiring, it also keeps me awake sometimes. I'm not sure if it's a precursor to pain, but when I take pain meds, it lessens.

    Yesterday I went to the ENT for my first post-surgery appointment.
    So far, my ear looks good. It's still bleeding at times, or draining, whichever the case may be. Dr. Z suctioned some of the blood and small scabs out of the ear. Because most of what they did surgically is behind the eardrum, they can't see the healing process.

    This is for my own records, and so I can look back later and better understand what was done. It may be repetitive of last week, I'm honestly not sure.

    Last week, the doctors removed the cyst, which was in the mastoid bowl--where theywidened the ear canal, drilling into the mastoid. There was a good amount of granulation (scar) tissue, and infection in the bowl. They removed that, smoothed out the bowl (I don't even want to know how or with what). On the top of the eardrum there was some of the scar tissue, so they removed it. The drum itself is healing well, and, though they didn't repair the hole in it, they did clean up what they could on top of it. Also, a piece of cartilege was taken and placed between the eardrum and the stapes (spelling?), the last of the three ear bones, and the only one I have remaining. Their hope is that it will graft in, and work as bone between the two, so that I can have some hearing restored.

    I presume if this doesn't work, they'll need to reconstruct the bones artificially. I admire and respec their attempt to use some of my body's own cartilege first, which it cannot reject, like a foreign thing, i.e. titanium.

    My respect the clinic is genuine, the doctors, and their willingness to explain all this to me, explain the different procedures, and possibilities, is truly helpful. I'm praying for more heaing, and I know now that the reason I lost hearing with the last surgery is because the eardrum and the bone behind it never integrated well.
    I go back in three weeks, and in the meantime am still on restrictions--no lifting more then ten pounds, no blowing my nose, no bending--for a month.

    Progress has been slower this year, my activity level still low after a week. I find that last year I was weaker initially, but the changes, while slow, were more obvious, definite. I was so doped up at first, I couldn't walk to and from the bathroom, but by the weekend of the first week, I was able to do that and be up and about.
    This time, I'm up and about some, but when I get home, I'm in some pain, and still very tired.
    However, I thank God for progress made. I'm so grateful to Him for getting me through the surgery, for people who have been here to help, and who have followed my progress, praying all the while. It means far more than I can say.

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tobydog05@gmail.com