On January 11 2001, life as I knew it ended. My left ear was plugged with wax, I could not hear and it was very uncomfortable. I went to the Walk In Clinic, hoping that the doctor would flush it out. Instead he told me to put mineral oil in the ear to loosen the wax and come back a week later. I COULD NOT IMAGINE ENDURING A WEEK OF THIS NUISANCE. I have always been an individual who has to have things a certain way. Every hour, I kept dropping oil in my ear hoping it would fall out.I then, desperatly began trying to flush my ear with water. As I tryed and failed, I got MADDER and MADDER. I was enraged that my weekend was RUINED by THIS and that I would have to endure a week of this discomfort. Then, I flew into a blind rage similar to that of a father shaking a baby that would not stop crying. I raised my left hand and punched out my left ear three times. Each time the hand struck, A sound like tin foil being struck was heared. Then, there was a loud humming sound. Terror seized me. I knew I had REALLY DONE IT this time. I would soon find that I was right. An hour later, a terrifying and unbearable symptom appeared. Horrible popping in my left ear. What I could not stand was that there was no way to PREVENT or STOP it. Eventually, I was referred to an ENT. He would fix me up, stop the popping and my life would be back on track. Instead, he looked in both ears for ten seconds and told me that I had "A perforated ear drum" and that "It would heal in six weeks". I could not imagine six weeks of suffering. Two weeks later, the hearing returned, but the popping and congestion remained. Each time my ear would go into a popping attack, I would clench and shake my fists and growl like a sick old man. I could not STAND it. Over the next four months, the popping went away, but the congestion remained. Then the thumping started. Unbearable muscle spasms in my left ear. These were almost as terrifying and unbearable as the popping. In October 2001, I had botox injections to the roof of my mouth. This stopped the thumping, but caused patulous eustachian tube dysfunction. The roaring sound of my voice and breathing and the feeling of my very tender ear drum being sucked back and forth was unbearable. The only way to STOP it was by lying down. In November 2001, I had the tensor tympani muscles cut in my middle left ear. Despite this attempt to prevent the thumping, when the botox wore off, the thumping returned. In June 2002, I had Aria Calcium Hydroxylapatite injected into my eustachian tube to STOP it from opening abnormally. Not only did this stop the PETD, but the thumping almost disappeared. The only nuisance that remained was my ear feeling uncomfortable and congested.Then, in December 2002 the thumping returned. I hoped this to be a temporary nuisance. In March 2003, it got so bad that I went mad. I drove to the ER. My plan was that if they would not do anything, I would MAKE IT STOP once and for all. I was prescribed 2 mg clonazepam 3* a day as needed for the spasms and 1-2 30 mg codeine/acetaminophen for the pain every four hours as needed. Sometimes this stops the thumping. It has now been two years, two months and sixteen days since my extreme act of STUPIDITY ruined my life. I continue to suffer horribly. Instead of suffering for six weks, recovering and LEARNING MY LESSON, this condition drags on and on. I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENING TO ME. Before THIS, I was 6 feet 2 inches, 180 pounds and in excellent physical shape. I cycled and jogged every day and lived life to the fullest. Now, exercise makes my ear more uncomfortable and pop. I CAN'T STAND THIS so I don't exercise. I am now a 220 lb FAT BODY like Private PILE in Full Metal Jacket. If I knew this would be dragging on for so long, I would have QUIT in January 2001. One thing is for sure. I REFUSE to spend the next 30 to 60 years like THIS. I don't deserve this punishment for one stupid mistake. I WANT a second chance.
Sorry to hear about what you've been through. I've been having eustachian tube probs for 7 months now, and believe me, I know how infuriating and life-changing this rubbish is. Don't beat yourself up about what you did. How the hell were you to know what would happen. Ear problems are enough to drive anyone crazy and before you know what you're dealing with I'm sure people do all sorts of ill advised stuff. Also, if it's any consolation, my supposed problem to start with was ears blocked with wax, went to have my ears syringed and that's when the party really started in my ears. Just having water pumped in there sent my ears bananas and that was in a doctor's surgery. Yes, there was wax in my ears, no, that wasn't the problem. It's possible that you have been giving yourself a hard time for your ear punching episode and you had an underlying eustachian tube problem anyway. Yes, you perforated your eardrum, but who is to say that you wouldn't have developed a load of eustachian tube problems anyway. I never punched my ears, my condition started off mildly and then rapidly escalated. Ok, I'm not a doc, and I could be wrong, but it's a thought, and whatever, it's bad enough living with these horrible conditions without the added awful stress of beating yourself up for having it.
Thank you very much for your support and not telling me, "Serves you right!". I have heard that too often. The only odd thing I had with my left ear before punching it out was once in a great while while driving, listening to my car stereo, I would get a fluttering sensation inside my left ear. This was neither terrifying or unbearable. Since the muscle was cut, I have not had this fluttering sensation. One thing to add was that this condition cost me my job (I worked in a noisy environment and the torment from the symptoms was too great to function), moved back to my parents and focused on getting it fixed. I was appalled how the doctors reacted to my condition. One ENT told me that he thought "I was overeacting to it.". Another said that there was "Nothing I can do. It is up to YOU to heal.". My father's GP prescribed me Zerzone an anti-depression drug which made me sick. In fact, the thumping started when I was given paxil by the psyciatrist at the ER after the first of many nervous breakdowns. The third ENT initially recommended to "Learn to live with it." but then referred me to a specialist for the botox injection. He also did the surgery cutting the middle ear muscle. I was seen by psyciatrists and psychologists and participated in a "Rehabilitation Program" for people with mental problems. All the time, I knew I was not mentally ill. The REAL problem was my EAR. I was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome a condition where people can't adapt to unpleasant changes or situations and who have to have things a certain way. For the longest time, I was on Zyprexa, an anti-psychotic drug for my fits of rage when the thumping attacks and petd tormented me. It dulled my mind. In the Fall of 2002, I tried university but dropped out. I couldn't handle writing papers and concentrating in class. I then applied to jobs at gas stations, convenience stores, grocery stores and Wal Mart. In December I quit the Zyprexa. This made me very sick for a month. Also that was when the thumping returned. One thing was for certain. One of the social workers asked me "What are you going to do if you were told this condition will NEVER go away?". If that were fact, it would be worse than getting a DEATH SENTENCE. Now, I am taking Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning at Algonquin College in Ottawa. Since I am not taking Zyprexa, I can focus. I am doing very well so far. My lowest mark was 73%. I got two marks in the upper 80's and three marks in the upper 90's. On one test I got 100%. Despite being able to do well in school, I can't enjoy life. The fact that the thumping can start at ANY second drives me mad. The only thing I do is study and maybe some SW radio listening in the evening.The medication has an alcohol or marijuana-like effect that is pleasant, but affects my concentration. I only take it when the thumping happens AGAIN and AGAIN. If I take too much I will get used to it and it will lose effect. It can be very addictive. Despite being an alcoholic, I am not getting addicted to it. My parents threw the book at me when they caught me drunk last November when I was neither working or going to school. One more fall off the wagon and they will disown me. That was the last time I got drunk so far. Keep in touch. I would like to give you my e-mail, but that is not permitted by board guidelines.
MY DOCTORS VISITS:
The morning after punching out my left ear, I returned to the walk in clinic. I saw the same doctor. I made up a story that I had tripped and fallen and hit my ear against a wall. He looked VERY surprised. I told him that it felt like my ear drum was perforated. He looked in my ear and saw nothing but swelling. He prescribed me ear drops. They made the ear even more uncomfortable, but I kept on taking them. They also made the popping worse. A week later, he saw that there was a hole in my ear drum. He referred me to an ENT. The ENT would fix me up, stop the popping and the nightmare would be over. The morning of my appointment, I had a horrible popping attack in my ear. Boy was I glad that I would be getting help. He would see the damage, perform an operation and REPAIR it. The doctor was twenty minutes late. He looked old, fat and senile. My heart sank. I told him my fake story and he looked at me in a funny way. He looked in my right ear for ten seconds. He looked in my left ear for ten seconds. He told me that "You have a perforated ear drum" and "it will heal in six weeks". Utter despair set in as I left his office. I then saw my GP and told him how horrible the popping was, how it was driving me crazy and how I could not work. He gave me a month off and prescribed Zoloft. I returned home to my parents. The Zoloft made me sick and the popping got worse. I stopped taking it. When the month was over, to my horror, my ear was still not back to normal. I tried going back to work but could not function. I told the ENT how I couldn't work because of this condition. He gave me an indefinate absence from work. I then returned home. So far, I had two useless hearing tests that showed there was nothing wrong. Two weeks later, the insurance company covering my disability called and informed me that they wanted me to return to Toronto (My parents were in Montreal) and see THEIR doctor. I told them I was incapable of driving to Toronto because the symptoms were so unbearable. I saw an ENT in Montreal. He looked like in his 70's. He told me that "There is nothing wrong with your ear and that it is up to YOU to heal.". I could not believe this. Obviously there was something horribly wrong. Why was my ear very uncomfortable? Why was it popping? THIS WAS NOT NORMAL. I then received a phone call from work telling me that they would fire me if I didn't return. I voluntarly quit. I then decided that when THIS was over, I would take the same path as my father, mother and sister and go to university. In late May, I had a horrible popping attack. I had a massive nervous break down. I went to the ER. The psyciatrist gave me Paxil another poisonous psyciatric drug. It made me sick. This was when the thumping started. My father's GP told me that I was overeacting to it and gave me serzone which again made me sick. Finally, he agrreed to give me 30 mg codeine/acetaminophen for the pain and 0.5 mg clonazepam for anxiety. When the thumping would start, I would take the pills and enter a pleasant haze. The thumping would go away for a few hours. I then saw a third ENT. First he recommended that I "Learn to live with it.". Then I had a second nervous breakdown after a horrible thumping attack. I went to the ER and told the psyciatrist I was going to quit if this condition could not be cured. I was put on Zyprexa. This time it did not make me sick, but seemed to have very little effect. Now I got involved with the Rehabilitation DAY Center. The difference between me and the others was that my problem was physical and theirs mental. It was a waste of time. My councilor kept preaching to me about "Habituation" and "Getting used to it". Another asked me what if I was told that my ear would NEVER get better. To me that was worse than a DEATH SENTENCE. Next, I had botox injections to the roof of my mouth. The thumping went away, but then I got patulous eustachian tube dysfunction. This was totally disabling. I would sleep in as long as possible untill my parents forced me to get up. Lying down was the only way to STOP it. Next, I had the muscle in my middle ear cut. Despite this, when the botox wore off, the thumping returned and the petd remained. In June 2002, I had a eustachian tube injection to prevent it from opening too much. This also got rid of the thumping. Then, in December, 2002, the thumping returned. On march 8 2003, I had a horrible thumping attack and went mad. I went to the ER and was prescribed 2 mg clonazepam three times a day as needed to STOP the thumping and 1-2 30 mg codeine/acetaminophen pills every four hours as needed. If I get an isolated thump in either ear, I don't take the medication. If it keeps happening AGAIN and AGAIN, I take one of each pill. If it doesn't stop in one hour, I take ANOTHER codeine/acetaminophen pill. I am now trying to see a specialist in Toronto who injects botox directly to the eustachian tube and not the roof of the mouth. The thumping is definatly cooming from the eustachian tube. I don't feel it in the mouth and the muscle in my ear is cut. I will keep struggling to get my life back.I REFUSE TO ACCEPT THIS CONDITION. I LIVE LIFE MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY!
[This message has been edited by moderator1 (edited 05-03-2003).]
Yes. It was Dennis S.Poe MD of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. He is the man to see when all other physicians and specialists give you the answer, "There is nothing wrong with your ear.", "There is nothing I can do." or "Just learn to live with it.". If you can't tolerate a condition, it has to be corrected or at least alleviated which is my present progress in my fight to return to a normal, pain-free, discomfort-free, teror-free, frustration-free and anger-free life. If you have to pay out of your own pocket find any means to get the money. Health is the most important in one's life. Better to be poor and healthy than to have money and not be able to enjoy it or life. Good luck.
Glad to hear u seem to be doin betta... my comment is... there have been meny ppl instutionalized because they were said to be " crazy" and it turned out to be ear or hearing related..take it one day at a time.. my 3 yr old son and i have a lot of ear issues..also my hubby does HVAC..he enjoys it.. good luck
They saw a child "in a world of his own". I see the most the most brilliant star. They saw a child "who may never speak". I see a gift that didn't need words. They saw a child with "limited possibility". I see a child, my child, who can soar past the sky.
Anyways.... I dont know what that last posting was suppost to mean.
To THE EAR- Just wanted to know if Dr. Dennis Poe was able to give you any solutions or treatments for the muscle spasms you have that cause the thumping sounds in your ear. I am going to see him based on your recomendations as well as from others. I have simular symptoms as you and I am the exact same age. It is maddening but I am trying to remain positive and find a solution. Seems you have been going through this for a little longer than I have been. I have some questions that maybe you can answer.
[This message has been edited by moderator2 (edited 05-24-2003).]