Saturday, September 10, 2016

"Mark van Gogh" and Cholesteatoma

For months I have been plagued with earaches. I saw several PAs and finally my doctor.

The PAs essentially said, "You have a virus but it'll get better." It did not.

I was prescribed an antibiotic to get better. It did not get better.

When I finally saw my doctor he laughed and said, "Wow! Your left ear is a mess!"


Finally I saw an ear doctor and then an ear specialist/surgeon.

It seems I have "Cholesteatoma is a destructive and expanding growth consisting of keratinizing squamous epithelium in the middle ear and/or mastoid process. Although cholesteatomas are not classified as either tumors or cancers, they can still cause significant problems because of their erosive and expansile properties resulting in the destruction of the bones of the middle ear (ossicles), as well as their possible spread through the base of the skull into the brain. They are also often infected and can result in chronically draining ears." 

I do NOT need any more brain damage!

Here's a short video about it: 

My surgery was yesterday. Technically it was outpatient. However, given my medical history (you know, strokes and seizures), I went to my second home Saint Alphonsus Hospital.

The surgery went well. I'm very relieved. 

Though it is serious, because of my medical history we had to prepare in a different way.

I take Plavix which is a blood thinner. When you have surgery, blood thinners are not good. Therefore, last Sunday morning, I quit taking Plavix and instead started to inject myself with Lovenox twice daily, a different blood thinner.

My abdomen is now a series of colorful bruises! During that week of preparation, I also made sure that my "papers" were organized just in case: passwords, Power of attorneys, living wills, etc. 

When I woke up after the surgery, the first thing that I wanted know "am I OK?" The nurse said, "You are OK. You did not have another stroke." 

I prayed a lot about that. I'm so relieved.

I took a picture of my bandages send to friends. One commented that I am "Mark Van Gogh." Perhaps I need better friends.

Bad ear aches were second nature to me when I was a kid. I used to pray that my eardrum would rupture. I'd wake up and the pain would be gone. What was left was a stained pillow. 

My mom would put a terrycloth towel on my pillow to catch the oozing blood. Last night, my wife did the same. 

My life has come full circle. Earaches from my childhood could've been the cause of this condition that resulted in surgery yesterday.

"The same as it ever was!"

1 comment:

Rebecca Dutton said...

I'm so glad you came thru this surgery successfully. I hope your recovery is uneventful.