Busy Day…

Well, so far this morning I’ve been to work for a couple of hours, then jumped on my motorcycle and ran up to Anderson Hearing Clinic to get my hearing tested. After I’d parked my bike, and walked around the building towards the front door, I passed by dog that was tethered to one of those stand up ashtrays. Nice dog… After I got well beyond him, a wasp stung him, and he took off, pulling the ashtray over, and then with him… it terrified him! He ran out into the traffic, but was not hit… some guy in one of those monster 4 x 4 pick ups ran over and stopped on the ashtray, which effectively brought the hysterical dog to a halt. I stepped into a local restaurant and called for the owner, who did emerge to rescue his dog. You’d think that if someone could lift one of those ashtrays, they’d figure that their dog could move it too… sometimes I just shake my head.

The hearing test was very similar to the one used to take the baseline way back in November of 2007. The biggest difference was the use of words at varying volumes, and not just tones. What we did discover is that, in a controlled environment, I can hear and discern language nearly perfectly. Once we moved to the frequency test, we discovered that the high end frequencies are a bit of a problem… though not as bad as I first feared. The actual hearing loss is ‘moderate’ at worst. The challenge is that when the loss of acuity of the highs are combined with the tinnitus and background noise, I begin to lose the ability to distinguish certain chunks of language. The nice man suggested that it can be adjusted for with hearing aids… at about $1,400.00 per ear. Well, I guess that isn’t too, too bad, given that it could be as much as $3,000.00 per ear! He is willing to let me have a pair of aids for six months to be sure that they are actually working… I did say that I want to have words with my Doctor before making any sort of decision… Vanity aside, I am not adverse to the aids. Its a little disconcerting to be sitting in a meeting and not being able to pick out specific conversations. I’m not entirely sure that aids will fix that, but I’m willing to give it a try if the good Doctor suggests aids as a viable option.

This afternoon I will be spending an hour with the ladies at COMPRU, now iRSM to see if we can’t figure out what to do about my swallowing problems, and maybe even my speech issues. And, coincidentally, Irene sent along (via email) photos and mpegs of the last couple of times that I was in….


This first mpeg is the baseline done before the November surgery. Its a bit dark (exposure), but if you watch it a couple of times you’ll be able to figure out what it is all about.

This next mpeg is one month AFTER the surgery. Its a much better framing of the shot, and an exposure level that works much better…


And next we have the six month view. This is the one that shows what the issue is… if you watch it carefully, you can see the material that I am swallowing get hung up on the flap that covers the windpipe. I end up coughing a little bit, for a little while, if I can’t clear it quickly. Constantly drinking water while eating helps, but, well, constantly drinking water dilutes the taste of the food! And, of course, when I ask for water at a restaurant, it comes ICED, which further diminishes the taste experience.


But its all kinda cool to watch, isn’t it?

Its kinda odd to note that the first mpg shows the need for a secondary swallow, the second mpg is nearly perfect in how the barium mass goes down slickly, and then the third one is taking way too much work to swallow. I’m not entirely sure why the second and third are so different. Yes, the tissue swelling has gone done. Healing is good. I thought that maybe they had mislabelled the mpegs and pre-op vs. one month post-op had been reversed, but I am able to see the indicator wire that was placed in my jaw to warn off the radiation team from the relocated saliva glands in mpegs two and three and not in mpeg one, so I know that we’re looking at them in the correct sequence. Maybe we’ve got scar tissue that is inhibiting the process? I really don’t know at this point…

Irene sent some photos, as well. I’ll upload them in a separate posting…

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