Mark Atwood (fallenpegasus) wrote,
Mark Atwood

  • Music:

Being yet another update in my medical saga

I almost missed my appointment with Dr Yue. My PDA kept beeping at me from my front vest pocket. When I finally pulled it out, it told me I had 10 minutes to drive from Kirkland to Ballard. So a quick call was made to her office, and off I went. I got there about 10:50am, only 20 minutes late. The receptionist had swapped appointments for me, so I went in at 11.

First stop was the audiologist for a hearing check. The very best thing about that experience was the experience of sitting in the little testing room. After the door shut and I relaxed, it was unspeakably nice to not have to hear anything. No street noise, no murmer of distant conversations, no 60 Hz power hum, no monitor whine, no PC power fan noise, no HVAC rumble. We have covers for our eyes, how come we dont have lids or bypasses for our ears? After a minute or so the silence was broken by the regular thud of my own heartbeat, and the barely perceptible whispering white noise of the "sound of silence" as my ears started hunting for something to hear.

The mechanical response test was interesting. The audiologist had a very hard time finding a probe that would seal shut around the entrance to my ear canal. Apparently, in most people, the canal entrance is mostly round, and the canal is mostly a straight tube. It turns out that my ear canal is weird, the entrance is an odd shape, and the canal has a tight bend in it. I had always wondered how those little yellow tubular insertable hearing protectors were supposed to work, since they never would fit me, and I had also would occasionally wonder about all the dire warnings about "dont put things in your ear, you might break your eardrum", when whenever anything went into my ear, it would just hit solid skin and flesh. Well, now I know.

Anyway, my hearing tested as normal, both with headphones and with the oscillator. Mostly symmetrical response, no points above the baseline average perfect, but no points down in the "hearing loss" zone either. In fact, I hear better at high frequencies than at lower ones. Oh, and a perfect score in speech intelligibility.

Then I was sent to Dr Yue's exam room. We reviewed my case a little bit, and then she sprayed the inside of my nose and the back of my throat with a lidocaine variant. A few minutes later, the inside of my head had that familiar tingling numbness that everyone knows on their gums. Then she carefully fed an endoscope up one of my nostrils and looked around inside my nasal cavity and then went down my throat. That was a very weird feeling, like I needed to sneeze but not.

She saw nothing seriously wrong, especially nothing that would be causing headaches. However, she was concerned that I still seemed congested for no reason, there is some weird lymphatic mass on one my tonsils, and my throat behind my vocal chords is red. The mass was not tender, and neither was my throat. Geeze, we keep discovering all these weird little things sort of wrong with my body, that all now need to be watched every year for the rest of my life, but nothing that would cause headaches.

So, in short, I'm still not dead yet, and the headache is still with me. It comes and it goes, but I always know right where it's "supposed" to be, even when it's not hurting.

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