A Few Words...

What is written here is my opinion and personal experience only. I am not qualified to give advice - medical, legal, or otherwise. Please be responsible and do your own research regarding treatments, diets, doctors, and alternative therapies.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Doctor's Appointment: Post-Gentamicin, Round II

Yesterday was my 4-week follow-up appointment since my last gent injection.  As I last posted, my ear was acting up the day before and it continued to buzz, feel full, and, as my hearing test showed, be pretty much deaf throughout the day yesterday.  But still no vertigo.

We all agreed, Dr. Harris, his protege, Phil, and I, that it was a good idea to give the last gent shot a little more time to decide if it is working -or not.  At the very least, the frequency of my vertigo over the last month has been cut in half from 2-3 attacks per week to one per week.  As of today it has been 9 days since the last spin.  Also, my balance is a little more tweaked than usual, another good sign.

But as I was complaining to Dr. Harris that the pressure I was feeling in my ear was driving me nuts, he said, "Let's put a tube in your ear."  He explained that even though the fluid build-up that occurs in Meniere's is in the inner ear behind the round window membrane, that, for some people, venting the middle ear by placing a grommet in the ear drum provides relief from both the pressure and the vertigo.  About the only cons to the procedure are an increased risk for ear infection and the fact that you cannot get water in your ear.  The tubes tend to fall out after several months, but they may stay in for a long as a year to 18-months.  When they do fall out, they can simply be replaced.  These are the same tubes kids with chronic ear infections have placed in their ears.

Dr. Harris is funny.  I really like the guy and I think he knows a ton about this disease, but just about every time we go in he pulls another rabbit out of his hat that throws us for a loop or, sometimes, even seems to contradict something he said at a previous appointment.  I don't think it's because he's losing his mind, I just think that since there really seems to be no set algorithm for treating refractory MM, such as I have, that everything is a crap shoot.

But, for now, I'd rather follow through on one treatment at a time because if I am doing two or more things at once and things get better I will never know which treatment worked.  And I still have high hopes that gentamicin will be my golden ticket off the ghost ship Vertigo.  But I will consider the little round grommet as a potential floation device if this ship begins to sink.

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