I woke up the last morning of conference unable to hear out of my right ear. Weird, right? That feeling you get when you've gone swimming, only I hadn't. Gone swimming, I mean. There was a lovely pool at the place where we had conference but I'm not a big water person. I bought a new swimsuit before we moved to Argentina in 2008 and it still has the price tags on it.
But back to the story... I just figured the problem would dissipate as the day wore on but it didn't. And by the time we made it home 17-1/2 hours after leaving Piriapolis, I was not only tired, I was also suffering symptoms of vertigo. Not fun!
So the next morning (Sunday) we went to the equivalent of Urgent Care, where the doctor couldn't find anything visibly wrong with my ear, but he did, however, give me a shot of antihistamine which took me from plain old dizzy to dizzy, loopy and nauseated. REALLY not fun! And he suggested we see a specialist.
Easier said than done. Monday and Tuesday were national holidays and all the doctors (except in Urgent Care) took the time off. Then we had company (our area director and his wife) from Wednesday through Friday with lots going on... the men taking a survey trip to the northern part of the province, followed by a trip to Sta. Rosa.
So no specialist last week.
Initially we didn't think that was a bad thing because I was starting to improve. The hearing loss was still an issue but the vertigo was mild or non-existent most of the time. But Wednesday evening the vertigo hit again with a vengeance. *sigh* Ivan called and set up an appointment with the specialist for this week and the next few days the vertigo came and went, never too bad until Sunday when the vertigo with nausea kicked in just as I was finishing my Project 365 post. Sunday was not a good day.
I saw the ENT specialist yesterday evening. She followed the same procedure as Mr. Urgent Care Doctor and said I needed to have my head examined, since the problem is obviously inner ear and not visible with the only little scope she had on hand. Even though Carlos Paz is the equivalent to Kalamazoo, Michigan, in terms of size, it is not big enough by Argentine standards to have the facility and equipment to handle any kind of testing like I need to have done.
So first thing this morning we'll be setting up an appointment in Cordoba. Thankfully we're just over half an hour away so it's not a big deal. Hoping to get in today, maybe this evening.
[Edited to add: The clinic that the specialist recommended said their machine is broken, and even if it was fixed it would be late next week before they could get me in. The hospital we tried said we had to come in personally to set up an appointment, they don't do them over the phone. Another clinic has an opening on Thursday morning. The next place hung up on Ivan (this after he got a busy signal the first ten times he tried to call; maybe the lady was having fun hanging up on everyone who immediately tried calling back?). Yet another clinic said they could schedule me in on the 28th. Guess we're going with the appointment on Thursday!]
I've done a little internet research to see what kind of problem it might be. I emphasize "little" because I don't want to freak myself out with some weird diagnosis when it's likely something simple like fluid build-up or skin growing over the opening. I was surprised to learn that it's not uncommon to wake up and suddenly be unable to hear out of one ear. Who knew?!
The experience has given us a preview of what it will probably be like in another 20 years when we're old and can't hear well any more. Poor Ivan has heard, "What? I can't hear you!" a gazillion times in the past 10 days. LOL He's had some mild hearing loss over the last few years and I've teased him about it. But the sweet man is not doing the same to me. He's been very patient and just raised his voice so I can hear.
The upside is that with the diminishment of sound, I was actually able to sleep during siesta yesterday! Usually the noises all around keep me from really being able to rest. Makes me wonder if I shouldn't invest in some ear plugs once I have my hearing back. Hmmmmm.
Anyone ever had this happen to them before? I'd love to hear what your experience was like.