Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fear of clogging

No, I'm not talking about the dance, I'm talking about the inner ear.

I've been 98% deaf in my left ear since I was under age 5. Sometime in my toddlerhood I had a serious viral infection and suffered nerve damage. Luckily it was after I learned to talk and I never had to "adapt" to losing my hearing: I can't remember ever being able to hear out of that ear. Tinnitus is also something I can't remember being without; surprisingly, I have it in both ears.

Since I was I kid, however, having my ears clog up is my most troubling problem. There have been times when I fell asleep in the car as we drove up and down steep grades while coming back from my grandparents' house and it took days of swallowing, yawning, chewing gum, etc, to get my ears to open up again. The Valsalva maneuver is my friend because my ears will clog up if I go down a freeway off ramp! Sometimes even eating ice cream can make my ears clog up. It is really ridiculous. I may have the world's smallest Eustachian tubes.

My looming long plane ride has me worried that my ears will clog up for an extended period and I fear that thought will keep me from sleeping on the plane. I'm probably worrying for nothing but that's not stopping me from worrying!

As a bit of irony, my main job for the past 20 years is all based on HEARING. I am a medical transcriptionist and for 13 years also used to conduct lengthy intake histories for injured workers being seen by an orthopedic surgeon. How's that for a coincidence?

1 comment:

VeeV said...

I have ear problems too. Plane rides...frighten me.... only because of the ear issue.

My doc suggested (before this last flight) to take drixoral BEFORE I fly. I believe it's 8 hours before flight.. worked like a charm!!

No one understands ear issues...unless they've had ear issues... they're amazing appendages!!