Thursday, May 7, 2009

Aches and Pains

I am currently dealing with an ongoing problem of sores inside of my ear. These sores generally appear in a cyclic fashion...first an irritating bruise-like feeling, then an open wound that sometimes bleeds, next the scab that can either revert to the bleeding stage, and finally the callous which is irritating but at least not painful.

These sores are caused by irritation from the hearing aid mold. The only real way to prevent them is to not wear the hearing aid for an extended period of time. This is (a) frustrating (b) exhausting and (c) impractical. I have molds that are very tightly fit, because I have a huge problem with feedback, and always have. My ENT suggested looser molds...which means more feedback...which means irritating everyone around me or lowering the volume to uncomfortable levels. None of these options appeals to me.

So I simply deal with the sores. I use a steriod cream to heal them, and sometimes Aquaphor helps as well. It generally takes a few weeks to clear up...just in time for another!! Repeatedly taking my aids out and putting them in (for a doctor appointment, or going swimming--which I rarely do--or if I want to lay down during the day) seems to spur these sores. Once in a great while the sores can lead to a bacterial infection (read...very, very insanely painful ear infection!!!) When I was in the hospital having my son I was repeatedly asked to remove my aids for the ear thermometer...despite asking if I could be temped orally. When my son was 6 days old I had a massive infection which swelled my ear shut. Not only was this excruciating (and remember, I'd just blown out my vagina delivering a child, and my register for pain was pretty high) but it meant struggling for the next 2 weeks with just one hearing aid, in the ear that I have less clarity in. All during the first 2 weeks home with a newborn (read: getting up every 2 hours, attempting to function with visitors and doctors appointments, and running on about 3 hours of sleep a day!!) Then add trying to function auditorally on an already exhausted brain...but I digress.

Anyhow, these sores may seem like...not a big deal. My ENT certainly doesn't think they are, and his no-nonsense attitude is basically, "leave the hearing out." I do my best, but its just one of many, many little idiosyncratic details that effect everything in my life.

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