My Grommets and Me

This new post is (like my last, and I guess, like many on the forum) to help me. Airing how we are feeling helps.....and those who have experienced the same may have tips which aid coping.

So essentially my story....for those who I haven't bored (or cried to!) before. Developed mild bilateral tinnitus after trivial cold. Tinnitus worsened ,plus pressure feelings, pain and squeaks, crackles etc occasionally from Eustachian tubes, plus resistant sinusitis. Tinnitus worsened, post-nasal drip, developing ear pressure and popping. Referred to NHS ENT.....'tinnitus related to mild age-related hearing loss, Eustachian tube function normal' spite of better than average audiogram for age (61)....and a tympanogram that the technician could get no trace form the right ear. "You will wakeup one morning and think....'This isn't so bad, and you'll learn to ignore's a few leaflets on tinnitus...have a good life'.....sorry if this sounds bitter...but I am.Then panic attacks ,depression, frankly suicidal, weight loss, constipation,piles, urine retention etc. in addition to massive ear pressure and tinnitus.

Elected to see a consultant privately and urgently......he treated my resistant sinusitis...listened and gave me his mobile number to contact him if matters didn't improve. They worsened. I e-mailed his secretary a week ago today...he saw me that morning (NHS)....he repeated all tests....."severe Eustachian tube dysfunction...right worse than left....urgent grommets under general anaesthesia as ?anterior wall very prominent' So he found the nearest slot available on a list of one of his colleagues...that was yesterday.

In the meantime I develop two septic toes.....but I said nothing.....

Yesterday, after the usual panic that no bed would be available due to winter pressures, the call came to go.Lovely admission nurse, lovely surgical team....all came and introduced themselves, discussed all benefits and risks and 3:00 p.m to theatre. Woke up with a 'major hangover' , ear pain and massive tinnitus in my left ear (my 'best ear'), plus my ears/head feeling huge. Still able to eat ( referred to dietician as dramatic weight loss and BMI putting me in the 'alert section'), drink and allowed home.

In the meantime,toes looking/feeling very angry and lines coming up foot. Intense heat and pain......found some old antibiotics and started them.

After a poor night's sleep (with 'whooshing' in my left ear in time with my heartbeat in addition to tinnitus) I am up and about. Tinnitus pretty deafening,rather deaf both ears, left ear feeling pretty pressurised....but not of the usual type...I think. BUT...less than 24 hours ...and my foot is improving. I am hoping that a lot of my symptoms are swelling-related and my ears getting used to their 'plugs'

Forgot to add my throat is now sore due to intubation and I have bitten my tongue (prior to the op) badly.....must have mistaken it for food!

I'm not sure if this post is going to help or hinder anyone who is on a similar path to me....I hope it's not the latter. At the moment I am marking time and will tell it how it is (for me at least). If nothing else....if you are unhappy with what you have been told, then to get a second opinion is the right thing to do.

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  • Thank you for your good wishes.

    I think I hit an all-time low yesterday (I didn't think that there was a lower place to go!). I spent all morning crying (to hubby,mother, and daughters), and discussed 'The Ultimate Solution' i.e me ending my life. All the time the terrible feelings of guilt and pain that my telling them these things causes.

    I had spoken to the ENT doc. (Clinical Assistant grade) who,though pleasant, left me feeling hopeless. Essentially he said that he didn't think that the symptoms were likely to be due to the grommets (so what worse after they went in,and why the whooshing tinnitus?) and that there really wasn't a lot of swelling after grommets. He suggested that they should say in a week or two,then be removed, and that I would be back to square one....but probably worse than before.He booked an urgent review for tomorrow.

    My older daughter has e-mailed prominent ENT bodies and has asked about Eustachian tube dilatation, and we cried like babies to each other over the phone (she was coming down to see me this weekend,but developed a heavy cold and thought it best to stay away). My elderly mum and I cried to each other in a similar way.

    I sat holding and crying with hubby most of the afternoon. He let me come out to see the sheep, but wouldn't let me do any work as I have lost another 5lbs. He insisted on cooking dinner (he never does cook) and that I ate it......and held me all last night. We discussed getting rid of the place we live in and the livestock as he doesn't want to try to continue alone here. I told him I love him, something I haven't done for far too long.

    This morning he is still in bed....hopefully he can catch up on his well-earned rest a little.

    I have looked extensively on line. Quite a few folk say that they have had significant swelling after grommets and my symptoms didn't look that different to those some others had posted. Swelling seems to be maximum day 2 to day 3.Pulsatile tinnitus crops up a lot there,too.

    I have had to leave off the anti-inflammatories that upset my stomach,so swelling may take longer to subside.

    So for today i will hope,will pray and will make sure that my loved ones know the extent of my love for them.

    I apologise to anyone who was hoping to see 'a cure for this vile symptom'.....but I can,for today, at least hold on.


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