Return of the Living Dead – Me Edition

I spent close to a week wearing a hand brace for “texter’s thumb” which I didn’t get from texting. Saturday April 24th I awoke with the right side of my face mildly swollen. Sunday while outside working in my garden, I got vertigo. I came in the house, took a nap, and went back outside where I got vertigo again. Facial swelling plus vertigo… I have an inner ear problem AGAIN. And of course, Krissy got her edits on NN4 completed and to me this weekend.

My first call Monday morning is the ENT, obviously my theory that there’s something wrong with my eustachian tube on the right side is correct, because I don’t have ear pain or hearing loss, but my right ear feels weird into my face. The swelling is from my ear to my bottom jaw on that side. It also doesn’t hurt, it’s kind of strange feeling; my skin feels taut and a bit tingly there. I explain all my symptoms to the nurse at the ENT and she tells me “it doesn’t sound like an infection and the doctor noted he suspected you had adult eustachian tube dysfunction could you come in May 4th?” I can, what should I do until then?

“There probably isn’t much you can do. If you were experiencing pain, I’d tell you to go to urgent care. Without it, it’s probably just inflammation and you don’t handle oral steroids very well. Are you taking allergy medications?” I am, I switched it up in Mid-April moving away from Flonase to Nasacort, which has worked a lot better with my symptoms, and I’m taking Zyrtec. “Well, stay on those and if you find heat helps with the swelling you can apply a heated compress to your face a couple times a day if you want. The other issue is you said the swelling wasn’t really obvious and you have other health issues, so even going to get a steroid shot at urgent care, could be misleading. If it starts to hurt in your face or ear, call us back or go to urgent care if it’s intense.”

Great, what do I do about the vertigo? My new regimen is to wake up and take a Dramamine to try to prevent vertigo. After I talked to her, I did take a Dramamine and it helped for about 4 hours. I even went outside and worked for a while. However, when it wore off, it wore off fast and I scrambled to get all my stuff packed and inside. The way the nurse talked, when I come in May 4th, they are going to look in my ear, check my hearing and immediately schedule me to get a tube in that ear, because the inflammation is caused by my eustachian tube keeping fluid behind my ear drum by failing to work properly. I just have to survive until then.

As a result, it will probably be June before NN4 publishes, because I am struggling to work on the first round of edits so it can go for copy editing. I feel like a zombie all day from the Dramamine and moving my head too fast can trigger vertigo as does being outside for a long time.

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