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The Universe Hates Me

I'm not a religious person. I never have been. I swear though that the universe hates me. About a year or so ago I was told I have this jaw problem called TMJ. Which is apparently where your joints for your jaw deteriorate over time. Well about a month ago I went to see an oral surgeon because the pain in my face was so unbearable it was having an effect on my life. I had my wisdom teeth out (a horrible experience) and then was put on a soft food diet for a few weeks so that they could see if that also helped with the pain. Well a week after I was still in a ton of pain. So I went back to the oral surgeon and they told me the spots where my teeth had been were healed and asked me to describe my pain.

A few minutes later I was told that is isn't my joints, it's my muscles. That I have basically been having charlie horses (muscle spasms) in my face. I still want to know who coined the term charlie horses and why charlie? Anyway. They put me on a muscle relaxer every night before bed, telling me that my jaw muscles never rest and this should help. Well it has helped! Immensely. Now I can go an entire day without any other pain pills needed. It's given me a lot of my life back.

Good news right? So why does the Universe hate me? Because this morning I woke up unable to hear at all out of my left ear. I'm also having slight pain and constant ringing in that ear. I'll preface with I've had bad ears since I was little. Ear infections were normal for me. I had tubes in my ears and at 10 I had surgery to remove one of the tubes, as instead of falling out, it decided to embed itself into the tissue in my ear. From then I've always had ear infections. It's just my life. In December of 2016 I was working at my former job at a railyard. It was around 3AM on Christmas Eve. I was in a truck driving around the railyard when my ear (which had been feeling stuffed for some time) popped. I was hit with the most excruciating pain I'd ever felt in my life. I called in someone to cover me and rushed to my parents house.

I burst in the back door in tears and begged them to take me to the hospital. I couldn't stand the pain. My mom asked what was wrong and I explained. She sat me on the couch letting me know that there was no point in the ER as there was nothing they could do. She promptly gave me a Vicodin and a heating pad. I sat on the couch crying until the Vicodin took the edge off. I was exhausted at that point. In an attempt to cheer me up my family asked if we wanted to open some presents early. So we did and it did help me cheer up a bit.

The next morning we went to quick care, but the poor girl who looked at my ear could tell me nothing. My ears were a mess of scar tissue and something she couldn't identify. So we called my old ENT who I hadn't seen in many years and they had me come in. I was told right away I had a rare condition that usually only children get. I had a Cholesteatoma in my inner ear.

Cholesteatoma: A cholesteatoma is an abnormal, noncancerous skin growth that can develop in the middle section of your ear, behind the eardrum. It may be a birth defect, but it's most commonly caused by repeated middle ear infections. A cholesteatoma often develops as a cyst, or sac, that sheds layers of old skin.

For me, I had let mine go for so long that it had become seriously infected and if I had waited much longer the infection could probably have damaged my brain or killed me. It was scary to be told such a thing. I was also told I needed surgery. Which was scheduled in March. I was put on pain pills and a strong antibiotic for the infection until that time. The surgery went well, if not terrifying, and after I had a few follow ups before I went on my merry way. I never fully got my hearing back, but it wasn't horrible. I have no eardrums as the ones they rebuilt didn't hold.

Now, it's been over a year since that surgery and I've "gotten better". This morning my fear was palpable. This is how it started last time. My ear felt completely stuffed, it hurt a little but not bad, and I had constant ringing in my ear. So now I'm sitting at work and waiting to call my ENT to get an appointment so that I can possibly be told I need surgery again. I cried all the way to work because all of the physical bullshit I've been dealing with is taking a huge toll on my mental state.

With my Bipolar I'm usually manic for one week and then I'm depressed for about 3 weeks. Well I hit the downward slope about a week ago, despite the happiness from the pain relief of my jaw. I've been either emotionless, where I feel nothing and don't care at all. Or I'm so overwhelmingly sad that all I want to do is lay in bed and cry. When I woke this morning and couldn't hear from the ear that has been my problem child I was just overwhelmed with fear, anxiety, and it just broke me.

I have a tool that I use to clean my ears, because Q-Tips are very bad for me. Well one of my lovely cats decided he wanted to get in the sink and as it was sitting on the sink he knocked it into the drain. Gone forever. So I couldn't even try to de-stuff my ear. That pushed me closer to the edge. When I got in the car knowing I couldn't call off for my job I just lost it. I put one of my favorite albums playing and cried as I drove to work.

Now I'll be calling my ENT with hopes of an appointment this week. It just feels like as soon as I have one step forward with anything the Universe shoves me back two steps. Not feeling good all the time just brings you down so much. I'm exhausted in a way that I can't even explain to people. And no one can truly understand what I'm going through because they aren't experiencing it as I am.

I need a mental health day from work and I need to see my ENT. For now I'm signing out, I will update as things unfold.



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October 2, 2018


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