First of all, let me apologize for my “rant” about the care I received at the hospital the other day, and for stating they had lost my business. I was reminded yesterday that ER doctors are NOT specialists. They do what they were trained to do, and that is help people, to the best of their ability in emergency situations. Most of the time they are “fixing things” until the specialist can come and evaluate the situation. Sometimes they do things that were not necessarily in your best interest, but I believe they do their best. I was not treated poorly at all throughout my stay, and I was wrong to say they would not get my future business. In fact, I had the best nurses, very caring techs, and the two doctors I saw were genuinely concerned for my well being. So I apologize, dear Beaumont…you have always given me the best of care, and will continue to…though hopefully not in the near future.
That said, I saw the specialist yesterday. I’m REALLY glad I saw him. He is the one that set me straight regarding the ER doctors. He was baffled by some of their choices, but explained that they are not specialists, and can only evaluate and treat the situation based on their level of expertise.
Dr G. on the other hand, is AMAZING. He had the most beautiful, comfortable, inviting, relaxing office I have ever set foot in, the nicest staff, and GREAT care. He is a teaching physician, so I got to listen to/watch him teach a resident all about my condition. I got to look at the diagrams as well, hear why he didn’t agree with the radiologist’s rendering of the CT scan (again, he is trained to read what he sees, it may not always be absolutely what is there), and be the guinea pig for her to take a peak and get to see it all up front and personal. It was fascinating to me.
Dr. G began by making sure the good ear was clean and not starting an infection itself. Then he VERY GENTLY checked out the bad ear, being as careful as he could not to hurt me. He took a culture, and then explained to me that my infection is very severe and one of the worst he has seen.
I do NOT have mastoiditis. What the radiologist thought was mastoiditis was fluid that has built up because of the infection, and because my ear canal is so swollen, it has had no place to go. The ER doctor that saw me first did one thing that he should have done. He inserted a “wick”, or rather JAMMED it into a very swollen ear. It is a tube full of antibiotic that is inserted in the ear canal. It touches the ear canal on all sides, and distributes antibiotic to places that drops would just pass right by. The bad thing, is that the second doctor that saw me in the ER removed it for some reason. Had he left it in, I might have been much better by the next day. They also switched my drops to one that Dr. G felt was not fighting the infection hard enough. So he switched me back to the one I was prescribed at Urgent Care the night before ER.
Yesterday, Dr. G put another wick in, and told me it would fall out when the swelling has gone down. I just touched my ear a second ago, and I can feel the tip of it right at the entrance to the ear canal, so it is on its way out! :)
Today, I feel like a new woman. I do not have that constant awful throbbing pain in my ear and neck area. It is more like an ache now, and getting much better. I can hear a little in my ear today, and I think once the wick is out I will have my complete hearing back.
The best part…I am heating pack free!
I am not to let any water get in my ear for the next week, and will keep taking my oral antibiotic, and use the drops. I’ll use my Ibuprofen for any pain I experience, and will see Dr. G when I return from my vacation next week. I’m guessing the wick will fall out in the next day or so…
I am almost over this horrible ordeal! Thanks for your prayers!
Now what kind of person would I be if I did not give you a warning based on my experience? This was my first ear infection, and what a way to break myself in! I have had problems in the past with my ear clogging up, and have had to go to the doc to get it taken care of. If you go through this, DO NOT EVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES try to flush it out yourself with a home remedy, or let Urgent Care irrigate it with great flushes of water. You can do terrible damage to your ear that way, and can make an already brewing infection MUCH WORSE. Been there done that. ENTs prefer a gentle suction method they can do in their office, or a small instrument that I hardly felt (they did this in the good ear…the bad ear was not ready for that yet.). Do not take your ears for granted, and see a regular doctor when you are having a problem with them. I will never do that again. I now have an ENT I trust, and he is the one I will see for any further ear problems. They SPECIALIZE in every aspect of your ear, and know what to do for it.
I’m glad I went to the ER, because they steered me in the right direction, and did the best they could to get me out of the worst pain I have ever experienced to date. I never want to go through that again…horrible horrible horrible is an understatement. I will NEVER EVER be annoyed by a crying child with an ear infection. It has never annoyed me, but now that I have experienced it myself, OUCH, and I know what you’re going through…cry away! It stinking HURTS! I was in fact in tears when the ER doctor first came in to see me.
Please take care of your ears and treat them carefully. You cannot replace them… Ok….I’m stepping off of the box now…
***The wick just fell out, and I CAN HEAR!!!!! WOOHOO!!!***