Friday, October 24, 2008

Ear Infections Suck....

In the last post I explained about how I have an ear infection. I have to say that of all these I've had previously, this is the worst one ever!

With previous infections, I've been able to carry on and work. I've had some pain, but not too much; at least not to the point where I felt incapacitated by it. That is not true this time.

Sunday, when it was first manifested, there was the "normal" pain I expect from an ear infection. Monday turned into a pain I've never remembered experiencing before. I've had fingers mashed, my right thumb broken, various scrapes from bicycle accidents, and wisdom teeth surgically removed. None of them compare with the pain I've endured with this.

Thankfully, the doctor prescribed Vicodin for the pain. However, at times even that didn't have much affect. I've had to double the dosage a couple times in order to sleep. It's been hell. I've not been able to work since Monday. This really bothers me since we have a ton of stuff going on & I know I'm really needed.

Another thing that I've had with this ear infection that I've not had with the others is nausea. I've been on the verge of throwing up (and beyond a couple of times) since the Ear, Nose, & Throat (ENT) appointment. The thing is, I can't tell if it's from the infection or the stronger antibiotics he gave me. Initially, I was thinking the antibiotics, but I'm now leaning toward the infection itself. This is because I've noticed being pretty wobbly just when walking around the apartment.

Well, I went to the ENT appointment, and he confirmed that it's probably the infection itself that's causing the nausea. He said that even though he felt that the infection was exterior, that he strongly doubted that any of the meds I've be taking would cause the nausea. He also said that though the swelling has gone down quite a bit, he still can't be sure what's up since he still can't see very far into the ear itself. So, he gave me more meds (antibiotics, ear drops) & another appointment for the 12th of next month.

He's also scheduled me for a hearing test on the day after that. I'm glad about that because I've not been able to hear out of that ear since Monday. I'm a bit worried about how this will effect my hearing. Luckily, I have two ears; so if I have a loss in the left, I'll still have the right ear. :)

I've gotta go lie down now before I hurl. :oP

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pain, suffering, and a new friend....

It all started Sunday morning. I woke up, and my jaw was sore on the left side at the hinge point. I just assumed I slept with my mouth in some strange position, and that caused it. However, there was more.

I took a shower, and as I was washing my face I noticed a tenderness just in front of my left ear. It was fairly painful when touched. That's when I knew what I was in for; and ear infection.

For a little back history, I've been pretty susceptible to ear infections since I had a really bad one when I was 18. Since then I try to be diligent about keeping my ear free of moisture. I swab with Q-tips after every shower and whenever I feel a tickle in my ear. I always have Q-tips close by, both at home & at the office.

Normally, I get a bit of a precursor in the form of slight pain when swabbing my ear (it's always the left one by the way). When that happens, I take a cold/sinus pill & try to lay on my left side as much as possible the rest of the day. That will avert a full-blown infection about 90% of the time. However, there was none of that this time. Friday & Saturday I felt fine. Sunday I woke up in pain. Of course I had to wait until Monday to make a doctor's appointment since the offices aren't open on Sunday. Well, by Monday things got much worse.

When I looked in the mirror Monday morning I could see the entire side of my face in front of my left ear was swollen. There was pain even when not being touched, and pain when chewing or yawning. I went on into work, took Alleve for pain (which had no affect), made the appointment as soon as the office opened, and tried to work the rest of the day. That didn't go so well. By the time I left for my appointment at 3pm, the pain was constant & throbbing. I also could no longer hear out of the ear at all.

I saw the doctor, and he was worried. He said it was so swollen inside that he couldn't see into the ear canal. He consulted with a Ear, Nose, & Throat guy (ENT) who told him to give me antibiotics, & drops. He also wanted to see me the next day (today). Luckily, the doctor introduced me to my newest & bestest friend, Vicodin.

Though there's still some pain after taking the Vicodin, it's not nearly like without it. I was able to sleep pretty well... until it wore off about 2am. I woke up in a whole new level of pain. Of course it took about 30 minutes for the Vicodin to kick in, but at least I was able to get back to sleep.

I went to ENT, and he also said there was too much swelling to see anything. He also didn't think the drops I had were making it inside the ear. So he put a wick in my ear and gave me stronger drops & stronger antibiotics. He also made a follow-up for Friday. He said the swelling should be down enough by then to allow him to make a diagnosis.

Now I think it's time to converse with my new friend again. ;}

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Little Sump'n Missin'....

I want to start off by saying that I am truly head-over-heels in love with Seattle. I so wish that I'd moved here long ago. That being said, there are still some things that my love can't seem to supply to me.
Today I had lunch at a place called Bayou on First. It's billed as Cajun/Creole food, and the food is good, but it's lacking a major ingredient.... Okra. Any true recipe for either gumbo or jambalaya is supposed to have okra. At least they always do in the south. This lack of okra is not just a phenomenon at this eatery, I've had either gumbo or jambalaya at 3 other restaurants in town, and they all have this same omission.
I also noticed that Bayou on First didn't offer Fried Okra as a side dish. However, in one of their veggie dishes, I did see okra as an ingredient. So this confuses me. Why omit a key ingredient in one dish, then offer it as a meat substitute in another? I don't know. I do have to admit that their corn muffins were passable. They didn't taste like Momma's, but they didn't taste like the "cake" flavored corn muffins I got at Ivar's. :)
I've also noticed that I haven't seen okra available in Safeway or QFC either. I need to do some checking at the vegetable stands at Pike Place Market. I think I might be able to find some there. At least I hope that I can. If not, I might be forced to bootleg okra up from Alabama. I might have to get Mom to Next-Day some to me. :)