I’m not sure how many other people with chronic illnesses or who have gone through health horror stories do this, but I am TERRIBLE about actually taking care of what I consider to be “minor ailments” sometimes. I bring up my joint pain so that my doctors know it exist, but I don’t actually treat it unless you count through exercise for the most part. I had what I thought was ovary pain because it feels like my cysts usually do and decided to just blow it off because nothing would be accomplished anyway. Then I got the ultrasound done nearly a week after we think I ruptured anyway, and everything looks normal so they want me to consider being evaluated for endometriosis. Seriously? Could I have MORE issues with my reproductive organs? I’m not doing it. Not yet anyway. I want to see if I keep getting the pain even though it’s nowhere near “that time” and if I do that means chances are it’s not endometriosis and something else is going on. (Yay! Another diagnosis headed my way!) I’ve also had this really weird cold thing. My glands were blowing up and then going down again and I just went, “Okay, it’s been at least a week of this. It’s time to see someone.” My blood work came back and my CRP was elevated but my CBC was “normal,” so I just blew it off when things continued to blow up. I figured that I could just wait it out until the 18th when I see my PCP and explain what was going on. But my “normal” ear pains were outrageous a couple days ago and were NOT going away. I’m actually just a bit miserable. I told my best friend I’m secretly dying earlier (pressure pain in your ear and head are so worth exaggerating over). So I decided to be responsible and not wait another ten days to be seen and called my PCP – but no one was able to see me there. I went, “Okay. I’ll just go to urgicare then. Thanks.” After cardiac rehab that’s exactly what I did, headed straight to the walk-in clinic run by a competitive hospital across the road from my family practice.
When I got there both the nurse and the doctor knew what POTS was! I was so excited and told them so. The doctor gave me a bit of a hard time at first going, “Yellow mucus doesn’t mean something is wrong,” so apparently I’ve been under the wrong impression for years. I was always told when it’s yellow that’s when you go ahead and ask for help. And he was like, “You realize eustachian tube dysfunction is chronic, right?” I had told him that I have eustachian tube dysfunction but I knew whatever was going on with my left ear WASN’T just that because my right ear is popping like crazy and my left won’t. So he looked at my right ear and went, “Oh. It’s normal!” Then he went to the left and said, “Definitely not normal. Your tympanic membrane is BULGING and red. I can definitely tell you that this ear is infected.” So infected, in fact, that he felt the need to make sure I was aware my ear drum may rupture this weekend. He threw me on the z-pack and gave me prednisone (even though I HATE IT and it’s on my lost of medicine intolerances because I get dizzy enough without it making me worse) because we’re hoping it helps to clear up the chest congestion and relieve some of the ear stuff. I have my fingers and toes crossed that this doesn’t make me feel even worse, and that my ear drum does NOT rupture. Although if it were to rupture I would probably breathe a sigh of relief because at least then I’m not worrying about if it’s going to or not. Supposedly it’ll hurt less once it ruptures, except it’ll hurt because your inner ear doesn’t really get much air in it. I’m seriously considering making sure my old ENT’s number is in my phone for me to call him this weekend and get whoever the emergency contact is about things if/when my tympanic membrane ruptures because apparently that’s my treatment plan. I’m to wait for my ear drum to rupture and then call my ENT saying, “So hey, there’s a hole in my membrane. It’s bleeding. When do you want me to come in? Do I need to go to the ER or can it wait for Monday? And how often do I need to follow up about it healing vs patching?”
In the mean time, I’m collecting wives’ tales about home remedies for ear infections because I hate this. I know, it’s ridiculous, right? I get chest pain and low blood pressure and dizzy spells and while a little pissed off about it for the most part I’ve just given up and decided that’s life for the time being and to just do my best with treatment because I want to be better. You give me an ear infection or a headache and I’m a bucket full of pouts. How pathetic is that? At least it’s laughable.
So, dear body, I’m sorry that I abuse you. Even if there’s a part of me that thinks you deserve it for waging war against me. If you’re going to be full of problems you should honestly expect that I neglect some of them from time to time. I can’t go running to a doctor for every little sniffle – that doesn’t mean you should start exploding on me, though.
And dear readers, if you could provide me with your home remedies I would be highly appreciative. So far I’ve done steamy showers and baths (I know, terrible for my POTS – but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do when it comes to breaking up mucus), peroxide in my ear (it felt so weird, I thought for sure it would pop as a way of regulating because it felt like it but the pop never came), and holding a mason jar with a hot wash cloth in it to my ear (my mom told me to try it the other day? Supposedly my doctor recommended it in the past). Sometimes it pops which gives me faith it might not rupture, but dear GOD is that painful. I need to keep advil on hand until further notice and just feed myself constantly to prevent stomach problems. That shouldn’t be a problem, though, because my antibiotic is making me hungry. I can’t imagine starting the prednisone tomorrow since it regularly makes me so hungry I feel sick because I don’t understand my stomach feelings sometimes. =/