Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Hole in the Ear

This is what your ear drum looks like.  The vertical thing is one of your hearing bones.  I have to say, the anatomy of the ear is a total mystery to me.  I keep reading about it, and I keep not understanding it.  There are ligaments in there.  Ligaments attach bone to bone.  The hearing bones are suspended and attached by ligaments.  What eludes me is how is the eardrum attached to the ear canal?  Or is it?

Anyway, the hole did not close itself. 

Although Jim and I both heard the surgeon say two weeks ago that the hole was in the center of the graft, apparently it's not.  It's off to one side.  I'm obsessing over this a little because I still don't know if it's on the very edge of the graft.  Actually, I don't know if that's important, either. 
When my heart went bad, I went to school on flutter and fib.  I learned to recognize a flutter wave on an EKG.  I actually knew that one of my cardiologists was misreading an EKG and that the drug he wanted me to take was not safe or effective.  The heart stuff I could understand.  The ear is just confounding me.
The surgeon did the paper patch myringoplasty today.  We go back in two weeks to make sure it's still in place.  It can take up to six weeks for the hole to close, if it does.  The thought of staying here for another six weeks is depressing the hell out of us.  Dr. Duong is funny, he seems to think we're based here and that we go and come back here.  So far we're not clearly communicating the fact that we want to get the hell out of Dodge and head south.
If the patch doesn't fix it, the next escalation is to harvest fat from the ear lobe, and create a plug.  Again, the hope is that the hole closes over the plug.  If that fails, then I have no idea.
So, for the next six weeks, I'm still showering with the cotton ball, the Vaseline, the band aid and the dixie cup over my ear.  This is getting old.


  1. I am really sorry, Allison. What a disappointment not to get the outcome you (we!) had hoped for. I know six more weeks seems like an eternity, but try to think of it as just temporary. Can you do as Dr. Duong believes? Leave and come back? There are a lot of great places to explore around there, and six weeks would give you time for a nice change of pace.

    Take care of yourself,

  2. I feel so bad for you. I have no idea how the ear works and had no idea that is how it looks inside there. But I know how hard it was for four months to shower with a cast on my leg. I hope you can get away for awhile and just relax. Sending you prayers and hugs that this is soon over with for you.

  3. I can't imagine how distressing it was to hear that the hole didn't close. Hope the patch will be successful.

  4. I can't imagine how distressing it was to hear that the hole didn't close. Hope the patch will be successful.

  5. Oh my what a bummer. There isn't much fat in an earlobe...

  6. I feel your restlessness… having just got final medical clearance to get out of Dodge yesterday (we were going to leave anyway, but it's nice to have the doctor's blessing). Hopefully you will have a pleasant October and November. If not, maybe you should come as far as Utah in the Mo Ho and drive the pickup back for appointments, once they are far enough apart. We know people who work full time, but bring their rig down to the Virgin River RV resort for the monthly of November and just drive down for weekends. Of course they are only as far away as Salt Lake, but still. Hope you can work out some compromise.
    Box Canyon Mark

  7. So sorry to read that your troubles continue. Hope there is success in the patch:)

  8. Thank you all for your good thoughts. I appreciate your comments. I'm going to be interested to see how much fat he gets out of the earlobe. I suggested other body parts, but to no avail.

  9. I'm so sorry, Allison. I feel for you and can only imagine how frustrating this must be. I agree with the suggestions that perhaps you could investigate taking a side trip for awhile and returning for the next appointment.