I'm groping with this too, but I just wanted to say I really sympathize. I thought my eardrums were going to burst the other day when I drove up into mountains, when I got home I tried using a heating pad and the feeling in each as if they contained had a little balloon full of water (swollen eardrum?)went with the heat. Have you tried using moist heat on your ears? Another thing I read on a site about ear inflammation occurring on a flight is that you can try closing your mouth,pinching your nose closed, and then breathe out throuhg your nose hard, if you hear your ears 'pop' you have cleared the eustachian tube (sp?) somewhat. I've been hopefully trying the latter too, not sure it's helping but any little thing could maybe be doing some good.
What do your docs say about the ear, I'm interested?
Anyway, there HAS to be a way to make it better, if you had it go away to such an extent just recently you can get to that again!