May 14, 2004

Good News is Always Welcome

I just got off the phone with my ENT's (ear, nose, throat) nurse. I'm as healthy as can be, which was the best news possible and not what I was expecting.

A week and a half ago, I had my normal check-up on the parotid area. I mentioned some ear ringing and, more annoying, some "ocean ear" - what I describe it as anyway - a vibration of some sort that makes noise within my ear but doesn't actually hurt. This has been an off-and-on thing for a few months.

They ran a hearing test and determine that in my right ear I have moderate hearing loss in the top two ranges. Then, the doctor ordered an MRI to make sure there wasn't a tumor in the general area causing the hearing loss and the ringing/ocean. The doctor was pretty sure it's caused by the radiation, but the question is, I guess, whether it was caused by a tumor caused by radiation.

My body just lovvvves to make tumors. I've actually had 4 (if you don't count cysts, and if you do, it's up to 7). Only one was malignant, but with that kind of track record, the likelihood of a tumor seemed pretty real to me.

But no tumor. That means I can be something other than a ball of stress figuring out details of how to deal (like how would I wear my hair if it had to be shaved for surgery? How long would I be out of work? Would my muscles atrophy? Is there enough money in savings? Is hospital food healthy enough for me, blah blah blah). I don't have to deal with anything today but work. Phew.

Only point of contention now is whether I need a hearing aid. Audiologist said "no" when I had the appointment. The doctor seems to think otherwise. So there's still a bit of drama to unfold, but it's no longer the sort that a tv show might want to film.


Posted by hln at May 14, 2004 08:23 AM | Anecdote | TrackBack

Glad to hear the forecast was mostly sunny :-)

Posted by: Harvey at May 14, 2004 10:42 AM

A bit over fifteen years or so ago I had an ENT do the same kind of thing to me -- the high frequency hearing loss in my right ear was probably caused by a combination of age (age? I was only in my mid-40's at the time!) and exposure to loud noise, but he wanted me to get an MRI just to "rule out the chance of a tumor" -- And back then MRIs were not quite as ubiquitous as they seem to be today, so I had to travel (from my home at the time in Binghamton, NY) up to Syracuse, the location of the nearest MRI center at that time. The two weeks or so of delay that this involved gave me plenty of time to activate my imagination, so I was quite relieved to get the word that there was no tumor.

I'm glad to hear you got a clean bill of health.

(And I still don't need a hearing aid. Huh? Eh?)

Posted by: JIm at May 14, 2004 04:52 PM

I guess we won't have to deal with those TV cameras around the office filming the drama of your life after all.

Glad it was "only" the radiation.

Posted by: hans at May 14, 2004 08:06 PM

So glad to hear the nastiest sources have been eliminated.

I especially couldn't have borne the thought of all those pretty bike muscles being wasted lying in bed.

A far as the aid goes, I don't really see the reason not to get one, if there's a chance it will help. (and assuming you can afford it) The new digital versions are so small as to be invisible, and for most people are tuneable to eliminate magnifying the ambient noise.

Stay healthy!


Posted by: Light & Dark at May 14, 2004 11:04 PM

Glad to hear the good news!

Posted by: Ted at May 16, 2004 06:56 AM

Hmmm... kinda quiet around here. Might have to rustle up a posse & go lookin' for ya, Heather :-)

Posted by: Harvey at May 18, 2004 10:04 AM

I have had nerve deafness since I was a little kid. I'm in my 40's now. I had ringing in my ears when I was younger also, which seemed to clear up when I wore my hearing aids. the audiologist said this wasnt possible, but I disagree.
case in point: 2 years ago, the left hearing aid was sent in for repair, and out of the blue, I developed an ear infection in the right ear. (I rarely get infections). During the 2 weeks without any hearing aids, the ringing returned, and mercifully went away when I was finally able to put them back on again. Do what your gut tells you to do, the experts aren't right about everything. and good luck!

Posted by: Shay at May 18, 2004 09:53 PM