Thursday, January 31, 2013

Can You Hear Me Now?

The Friday before Christmas last year, Daryl had some significant pain in his left ear for a few hours. A few days later it started draining heavily and that lasted until after we returned from Christmas vacation. Thanks to a recommendation from our friends the Baughers, we got Daryl in for an ENT appointment at Shands for Monday, January 7. His ear was so heavily infected that they gave him oral antibiotics and antibiotic ear drops - both were to be taken twice a day for ten days. The ENT suspected that Daryl had a perforated eardrum but because of the infection and inflation could not say with any certainty.

This is the ear that Daryl has had trouble with all of his life. Lots of ear infections as a kid, tubes twice, a perforated eardrum as a teenager and surgery to perform a graft on the eardrum and do some other work in reshaping his ear canal. His hearing in this ear has not been great for years.

Yesterday we went back to Shands for Daryl's followup appointment. The good news is that the infection is gone. The bad news is that Daryl does indeed have another hole in his eardrum. They ran a full spectrum hearing test on him for both ears - including bypassing the outer ear to test the nerves and sound of the inner ear. His hearing from the left inner ear is fine, but there is significant hearing loss in the left outer ear. That's more good news in that the nerves are not damaged inside; however bad news in that something is preventing the sound from reaching the inner ear. The ENT feels like the hole is not big enough to produce this kind of hearing loss and so Daryl will go back in a little over three weeks for a CT scan of his head to check the structures of the ear and then see one of the ear surgeons in the practice.

While this loss of hearing is an inconvenience, we are so thankful that Daryl is not experiencing ongoing pain. We would appreciate your continued prayers and we will keep you posted.

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