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An ear troll by any other name…

Yesterday I headed down to St. Paul’s Hospital, the hospital where I was born, for an appointment with a specialist.  I’ve been having issues with what I’ve dubbed “the ear troll” for months now, since the beginning of July.  Well, some rather surprising news was revealed; it turns out it’s not an ear issue at all.  I have Temporomandibular Jaw/Joint Disorder (aka TMJ or TMJD).

TMJ can mimic things like Eustachian Tube Disorder, which I was told by a family physician was the problem, because the jaw joint is actually located right next to the ear canal.  In fact, if you put your finger in your ear and open your mouth you’ll feel the joint moving.  That joint is what’s been causing all the ear aches, head aches, popping noises, dizziness, disorientation, and other associated problems.  It’s nice to have an answer, but I’ll admit…  I was hoping for a quick fix, and there is no quick fix for TMJ.

Dr. Shoman has put me on a liquid diet for a week, to allow my jaw some time to heal.  And wow!  It’s been almost a day and a half and I’m finding it rather difficult to adapt to.  With most things only containing 100 – 200 calories, meals have to be every couple of hours or you get real weak, real fast.  You can only drink so much thick liquid at a time, so you really are limited to small amounts.  I find if I get busy or involved in something I’ll end up shaky and faint.  So I’m having to be very conscious of my intake and my timing.  I’m very much a chew-and-enjoy-your-food kinda gal, so this drink it down thing is definitely not me.  I have a feeling that before the week is out I’ll have gotten to the point where I’m willing to lick dip off a ham stick just for the taste of real food – to be honest I seriously considered it last night.  LOL  And the idea of all those yummy crisp veggies just sitting in the fridge waiting for me?  They are darn difficult to resist.  This diet has been kicking my ass so far, but I’m determined to have it licked (pun intended) by the end of this.

After my jaw has been rested, we’ll decide the next step from there.  Chances are my treatment will involve consultation with two or three specialists including Dr. Shoman (who’s an ear, nose, and throat guy), and oral surgeon, a dentist, and possibly my family doctor as well.  We may also end up enlisting the help of a physical therapist at some point, but we’ll get there.  Spring is my deadline.  I’ll be fit and well adjusted again by Spring.  Just in time to get back on the show circuit.  Momma is missing her dog shows in a REAL big way.  LOL

Missing out, and pouting about it.

So tonight’s blog post brings you a bit of a pity party.  I’m not a happy camper, and I don’t really feel like posting something that’s all nicey nice.  I’m not putting on a happy face, and I’m not going to pretend I feel great about things.  The fact of the matter is, I’m upset and I’m sad, and it’s my damn pity party and I’ll cry if I want to.

With this darn Eustachian Tube Disorder, I’ve been S.O.L. when it comes to driving.  Generally speaking, it tends to be at it’s worst when I’m in a car.  I’m guessing it has to do with the pressure inside the vehicle.  My ears snap crackle and pop a ton, and I find it disorientating and distracting.  I’m also far more likely to hear myself breathing and my heart beating all from within my head.  Driving is just not happening these days – which means I haven’t been hitting the shows.

For those who don’t know me well, I spend my Springs, Summers, and Autumns hitting the shows.  My youngest sister and I pack up my vehicle and we do road trip after road trip, all over the place going to dog shows.  I LOVE handling.  I feel at home in the ring, like I belong there.  I’ve shared here before about how much I love showing, love everything about showing…  and it’s something I sooo look forward to.  It’s chaotic and hectic and filled with WAY too much politics, but I love it.

With this ear issue, I haven’t been to a show since this Spring.  I’m going a little stir crazy.  The one thing that was making it all okay was the Saskatoon show coming up the first weekend of September.  It’s a HOME show.  Which means I don’t have to go road tripping, I don’t have to drive.  It’s a show I can do… and I’ve been clinging to that like a mad-woman.

Today I logged on with the intention of registering Alice, and possibly Marnie too, for the show.  Only, I get to the site to discover entries are closed.  Yep.  They are closed…  and I’m close to tears (the only thing keeping me held together is knowing if I break down and cry the girl is going to ask why, and when I tell her that we can’t go to the dog show she’s going to cry too… because it’s one of only two shows SHE gets to show at every year – and like me, she loves being in the ring).

Why am I so shocked considering the show is fast approaching?  Well, I get a constant influx of emails letting me know when different closing dates are approaching.  That way I don’t miss entering a show that I want to be at.  I never got one for Saskatoon.  If I had?  I’d have damn well got my entries in.

So that’s where we are.  I can’t drive to shows right now.  I can’t even drive around town, no way I can drive for hours to hit the shows.  So the one show I’ve been holding onto attending, the one show left this year that I can still do…  and I missed the entry deadline – by almost a week.  And yes, now that the girl is asleep, I’m in tears.

I wrote to the show secretary, to see if there was ANY way we could still get in.  I explained that I never received the email about the deadline, and how the ETD has made it so I can’t drive to any other shows…  but it’s too late.  Pat was sorry, but there just isn’t anything she can do.  It’s what I expected, but I had to try.

So yeah.  Kind of a lousy day.

I miss my dog shows.

Hunting down the ear troll. :)

Today I started a third antibiotic…  one that is actually used to prevent malaria of all things.   For a couple hours after taking a dose I’m on the floor in the fetal position, sick as all get out, but that’s better than being sick all the time as I was on the previous prescription.  LOL  And as of this evening, my one ear is popping and snapping more frequently than rice krispies in milk.  It’s really strong, really painful, and my ear is leaking as it goes…  but in between all of the “static” I’m actually getting small snippits of clearer sound.  So I’m very hopeful.  It feels good to actually hear things again, even if it is just in 1/4 second bursts.  😉

I’m envisioning a strong female warrior, clad in viking armor, hunting down and and slicing off bit after bit of that nasty ear troll.  So it’s getting pretty raucous in there, which accounts for all the pain and clamour, as well as the fluids…  But she’s hunting it down, and soon enough?  This will all be over.  LMAO

I am sooo looking forward to getting back to my work, I really do have the best clients in the world.  Everyone has been so patient as I’ve been dealing with this infection.  I’m hopeful that this is a small bit of light at the end of this very long nasty tunnel.  I’ll keep you all posted!  🙂

A one-two punch for the ear troll!

With thanks to a lovely woman I met through Saskamoon and her gift of breast milk, thanks to the doctor at the mediclinic for his prescription of novamoxin, and thanks to Dr. Shaun and his amazing organic ear wash I should hopefully be all better very soon.  My head still feels like there is a nasty little troll living in my inner ear, but it’s better than it was last night.  So – knock on wood – I should be all good in time for my photo shoots later this week.  Thankfully the beginning of the week was blessedly unscheduled and will be uneventful as I recover from this ear infection.

So… two things you ALL should know about.

One:  The power of breast milk!

Seriously!  Any time anything goes wrong, find a friend who is still actively engaged in a nursing relationship.  Breast milk is amazing for curing almost anything.  In this instance?  An ear infection.  Just a few drops in the ear a few times a day.  Let it woosh around in there a bit, and voila!

Two:  The awesome organic ear wash from Dr. Shawn!

Dr. Shawn's Herbal Ear Wash - for pets AND people

Dr. Shawn’s Herbal Ear Wash: made for pets, used by people!

This stuff was part of a parcel I received from Dr. Shawn for a review I did elsewhere two or three years ago now.  And I have ensured I’ve never been without it since.  Yes, it’s formulated for dogs, but so what!  It’s totally amazing stuff full of wonderful organic oils (like peppermint, tea tree, jojoba, eucalyptus, and a bunch more).  A few drops in the ear, squish it around, let it sit (it feels so nice when it’s in a sore, infected ear canal), then wipe it out.  Use as needed – I’m doing it a few times a day presently.  Click on the image above to visit Dr. Shawn’s website!

So…  I’m pretty sure that any ONE of these things would take out this ear bug, but I have no intention of having it take a week or more to get on it’s way out.  LOL  So I figure by doing all three?  I should be delivering a one two punch that knocks it on it’s proverbial ass, then kicks it once for good measure after it’s down.  Wish me luck!

 

Nasty Little Ear Troll!

Just stopping by briefly, in too much pain to do more.  Splitting ear ache.  Feels like there’s a little troll in my ear canal with a pick axe and big freakin’ hammer going to town, screaming at the top of his lungs the whole time.  Can’t really concentrate on anything else, and have tried all the natural remedies I have available to me here.  If I can make it through to morning it looks like I’ll be hitting the minor emergency clinic.  😦

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