I referred in my last post to having "man flu". In truth, Tom first caught a heavy cold about two and half weeks ago and, whilst cheerful throughout it all in that Tom way, he was laid pretty low by it. Inevitably, Hels and I both caught it – it’s one of the worst colds I’ve had for years, causing aching muscles and particularly high levels of discomfort.
On Saturday, it took a new and more unpleasant turn for me. Neither of us had been sleeping well for several nights, so we were pretty run down. During Friday night, I got acute discomfort in my jaw which I guessed (correctly as it turns out) was down the the virus shifting around in my sinuses. Very early on Saturday morning, I started to get severe pain in my left ear which got worse and worse as the morning went on, with pressure building ever higher. As I found out later, what had happened was that the virus had got into the Eustachian tube causing it to swell up and close. Consequently (turn away now if you are squeamish) there was a mucus build up in my inner ear (hence the pain). In these circumstances, something has to give and, at around lunchtime on Saturday, that something was my ear drum. My ear has been oozing unpleasantness ever since, and I’ve lost most of my hearing in my left ear.
Thankfully, my parents came to our aid and took Tom for a couple of days. Hels took me to casualty and we were seen promptly by an excellent doctor who explained it all clearly (and spoke into my good ear!), and prescribed some painkillers and antibiotics.
I can assure you that this experience is really quite distressing.
On the plus side, most perforations of the ear drum heal well and quite quickly, with normal hearing usually restored. Let’s hope that that is the case. I’ve made an appointment with my GP for next Monday (as advised by the doctor in casualty) who will check the progress of the healing and will either send me on my way if things are going well or refer me to the ENT clinic if there is a problem. If I get to ENT then, depending on the severity of the problem, I might have to have surgery ranging from a graft to repair the ear drum through to more invasive surgery if there is damage to the inner ear. These are not prospects that I particularly look forward to.
Can I be honest? I hate the fact that my hearing is gone. I’m filled with dread at the notion that Tom might grow up and I might not be able to hear him properly. I’m also scared about what this means for me in my business (I need to be able to communicate). I am not a happy bunny at the moment. And I still haven’t shifted the cold, which is adding to my woes.