Balloons and Cameras

I learned more about what will happen when I go in next Friday for my procedure(s). First, they will knock me out, put me under anesthesia. This will be the first time in my 62 years that I’ve ever gone under anestheisa for anything. I’ve been knocked out before, but by blows to the head or ingesting too much of what would knock me out. This will be a little more controlled. I guess there is a first time for everything.

While I’m out, they will journey up my nose with a camera and a balloon. I don’t think any clowns will be involved, but it does sound like they plan to have quite a party in there, with pictures, movies and balloons! The party will commence in my eustachian tube, where they will inflate the balloon — I don’t think they’ll be tieing it into animal shapes, but you never know — after a minute or two, they’ll pull it back out. Party over.

This part of the procedure does a couple of things. It allows them to get a closer look at the ear drum, by sneaking up behind it, snapping pictures and home movies. Based on what he sees when he does this, the doctor will decide whether to do the second procedure or not.

The second procedure is called tympanoplasty, and involves taking a piece of cartilage from my ear and installing it behind my ear drum, to help reconstruct that area, which may be in need of reconstruction. This procedure is designed to help my ear drum work better. Lately, it’s just been collapsing, which is not a good thing. It needs help staying where it needs to stay, in order to be effective. If he elects to do this, he’ll go in through the ear canal, with a construction crew, where they’ll cut and paste cartilage.

I believe the good Doc was “managing expectations” when I asked him if I can expect these procedures to result in improved hearing. “No, but it will help keep things from getting worse in there. It will also stablize your inner ear, so you won’t be in a constant state of instability.” I heard, “I have no idea — don’t get your hopes up, but hey — you never know.” I think it’s going to be a smashing success.

From reading up on both procedures, I think the first procedure might actually result in significant improvements. It’s a new procedure, something they’ve only been doing recently, but that they’ve found to be very safe, and about 36% of patients have reported improvement following the procedure.

That’s where I plan to hang out, with those folks. I see myself there, partying with all of them, hearing everything that’s going on, dancing and never wobbling once with vertigo, and no vestibular migraines to ruin the good time.

I’m ready — I wish it was tomorrow. But, I just have to wait one more week. I’m ready to have my head improved. I’m ready to party. Let’s go!

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