Thumbs up, thumbs down

I’m wearing my contacts for the first time in like a whole month! Even though I have yet to see my eye doctor for a followup, I’m ready to stop with the steroid drops and more than ready to stop wearing glasses 24/7 (or 18.5/7, or whatever). However…

The silent scream, by David Alonso/Monocolor on Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons

As soon as one of my “peripherals” gets better, another goes. I can’t hear very well (read: at all) out of my left ear right now. It’s basically swollen shut due to some long-standing eczema/crud that even predates cancer, and seems to come and go. I’ve never paid all that much attention, but my laser focus now that I’m on drugs that can cause any number of random side effects means I don’t let anything slide.

I saw the nurse practitioner at my regular doctor yesterday, and she prescribed some topical steroid cream. I’ve used it three times and I can’t tell if it’s working. J tried valiantly but in vain this morning to find me an ENT to see. I tried to find a weekend dermatologist – same result. Leave it to me to develop these problems not only on a weekend, but a holiday weekend. I talked to Nurse Practitioner K late yesterday afternoon – she didn’t have any particular advice for me, but her empathy came right through the phone and almost had me bawling.

I Doctor Googled the problem, which may or may not be “swimmer’s ear,” and found that I should probably be seeing a specialist about it. Though it isn’t clear if that’s a dermatologist or an ENT. And it may be that this dubious steroid cream may not even be reaching the spot it needs to. One thing I did learn from Googling is, I should really stop using q-tips.

We are heading out to lunch now at the house of one of Young A’s classmates. I hope that social interaction beyond the four of us driving each other slowly insane in a small apartment will be a good thing… even if I have to keep my earlobe tugged just so, so I can actually participate in the conversation. Maybe I can pass it off as a sort of tic, like people who bite their nails or twirl their hair. I’m not quite in the mood to explain a cruddy ear today.

On a positive note, thanks to a friend’s intervention, I think I have the perfect location for a writing retreat I want to take next month. Now I just need to get a good result to my MRI, and all systems will be go.

3 thoughts on “Thumbs up, thumbs down

  1. Dear Deb, it hurts me to hear all you are facing these days and wish I could help somehow! Hopefully you will soon start climbing out of the gorge and up the curve. Curiously, these days I also gave up on Q-Tips with B&L Eye Wash to clean my eye lashes of a slow eye infection. It didn’t work, and as soon as I got several drops in each eye it worked permanently. Have you noticed that the latest Q-Tips have much less cotton on them? I think that may have something to do with it… Many kisses, and to a full recovery!!! pa


    1. I think the q-tips may be making the irritation worse, so I will stay away from them for a while. I also need to keep my ear dry while showering, which is hard. I rigged something up with a plastic bag and a rubber band that still enabled me to wash my hair.


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