I wanted to tell you about Texas, but I think I will get the bad part of the trip out of the way first.
Tuesday night I started to get a pain in my ear, but didn't think too much of it. It was tolerable, and it wasn't causing too much trouble. On Wednesday morning, it was AWFUL! I couldn't touch the side of my face, and my ear felt like it was on fire. I started taking 800 mg. of ibuprofen and that seemed to keep it under control. However, by Thursday morning, my jaw had shifted to the left, I had a huge lump on the side of my neck, and pains shooting into my face and down my neck. Finally, I had DH take me to an Urgent Care center where the Dr. diagnosed me with "the worst ear infection [he] had seen in 10 years." He asked if there was any way that I could reschedule my flight, and suggested that I stay a little longer in order to let the antibiotics relieve the pressure on my eardrum. My lymph nodes in my neck were so swollen, that they had pushed my jaw out of alignment. Because there was no chance of changing flights, he gave me an injection of Rocephin, and prescribed a 10 day course of a very strong antibiotic as well as vicodin for the pain. He commented that my ear canal was the cleanest he had ever seen, and told me that my self diagnosis of "Swimmers Ear" (Otitis Externa) was wrong. His official diagnosis: Otitis Media (middle ear infection)
Friday morning, after approximately 3 hours of sleep, I woke up in just as much pain as I had been in. After I took the vicodin and the ibuprofen, I was able to get ready to fly back home. Friday was pretty uneventful, but I started using Dr. Google to try to find how quickly all these antibiotics should work. I couldn't imagine why it wasn't getting better. The Dr. had said that the Rocephin would knock out the infection pretty quickly. Friday night was the worst yet, and I ended up with 1 1/2 hours of sleep broken up between many bouts of crying and whimpering before getting up to catch my 6 AM flight.
When we landed back at home, I had DH take me back to an urgent care. On the flight I realized that not only was my jaw still out of place, but I now had a lump on the side of my face, similar to the one in my neck. It had been 3 days since I was able to eat something solid (I couldn't chew), and the vicodin wasn't touching the pain anymore. I had HAD it! We went to the Dr. and he took one look in my ear and told me that the other Dr. was treating me for the wrong thing. He said that my canal was very swollen, and that from what he could see, my eardrum looked fine. The antibiotics I was on would not cure this infection. It wasn't a middle ear infection, it was an infection in my ear canal. Otitis Externa, Swimmer's Ear. He gave me some antibiotic/steroid ear drops, and sent me on my way.
Well guess what?!? It is working! I still have some pain, but it isn't shooting down my neck, or into my face anymore. It still sounds like I am underwater, since the canal is still pretty swollen, but the lymph nodes are going down and I can actually sleep! Hallelujah!
Oh, and Dr. Dick? I'm not sure I can tell you his actual name, but it looked very much like "P.Enis" I left out his first initial, and a repeating letter in his last name. It was actually displayed on the door by his first two initials followed by his last name. Nice.
Next time I'll tell you about lovely Texas. I even have some pics to show! :D