I’m having a (second) latté in the Kaiser cafeteria … somehow food just doesn’t look at all appealing right now, not even at the outdoor farmer’s market.

So here’s what the doctor told me:

This is probably not labyrinthitis, but that’s what the internal medicine doctors tend to diagnose. I think it came and went too quickly for her to think it was, and she said labyrinthitis nearly always starts with an ear infection. It could be one of several other viruses though. She gave me names but they went in one ear and out the other. Or maybe I just didn’t really listen. (Ouch! Bad jokes, eh?) It could also be a benign tumor, although she is very doubtful that that is what this is. Still, she has me coming in for an MRI in a week, just to verify. She said if it is a tumor that close to 100% of the time they are easy to deal with. She really assured me (and I believe her) that the tumor was the least likely thing. But … the hearing loss will not return. She is also almost certain of that. She did say I will learn to adjust, and my brain will start to cancel out the ringing. (She said the less I pay attention to the ringing the better, and it sounds like I’m doing the right thing by putting some sort of softer sound on to keep me distracted from it.) I asked if I should continue playing, including this weekend’s concerts, and she said absolutely. (Rats! No escape from the difficult Prokofiev part.)

Meanwhile maybe I’ll get really really buff and you’ll all ooh and ahhh. More likely I’ll just gain weight. Because I’m going on steroids for about a month. This is supposed to help the ear. Doubt it’ll help with my weight. Oh well!

I really liked this doctor. How could I not? She loves the oboe!

Now I wait around for about an hour so I can go have a “smashing good time” in yet another department of Kaiser. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about don’t even ask! 😉


  1. Karen Birch Blundell

    Wow- I’ve been following this and sending you happy-good-hearing vibes. I had to have an MRI last year and wanted to let you know, it wasn’t nearly as scary as it sounds. It was really helpful in the diagnosis process and they let me look at my brain, which was cool. Good luck; I hope they figure it out soon.
    (PS- anyone who says that Prokofiev part is easy is lying. I know exactly which section you’re talking about.)

  2. Thanks, Karen!

    I’m not terribly worried about the MRI: I actually like small spaces, so I don’t have to worry about the claustrophobia at least. I’m not sure how the sound will go for me, but I’ll have earplugs, to be sure! What a fun way to spend my Friday night off though, eh? 😉

    SO glad to hear that you say the part is difficult too. What WAS he thinking?!

  3. I do know what you’re talking about, Patty, but I think you had better reconsider on that doctor; I really don’t see how that’s going to help your ears at all! What was she thinking??? 😉

  4. Heh. Yeah, dk … well … you know … she probably was just grasping at … um … “straws” … 😉

  5. patti with an i

    did you do the prep steps for appointment #2? you know, open the refrigerator door, insert relevant body part, smash door closed? and then lie down on the garage floor and have dan back one of the cars over same?

  6. I knew I’d neglected something, Patti. I’m so forgetful these days!

  7. Let me guess, acoustic neuroma? I hope everything turns out well.

  8. She told me a few ideas, but I don’t remember that one, Jolene. But I’m sort of looking forward to the MRI. Is that sick of me? My only concern is that I find it difficult to stay still! Uh-oh!

  9. It’s so hard to stay still when they tell you not to move. 🙂 I’ve never been in one, but it sounds like an adventure. Remember not to wear any metal, and get better soon!

  10. My doctor said that it’s okay that my two front teeth are capped and the back is gold …? Makes me nervous! I guess I have to take off my wedding ring? (Gonna have to grease the finger up to get the thing off!

  11. patti with an i

    i’ve had mri’s, trying to remember. i think wedding ring was an issue; metal in teeth is definitely not an issue; if you had a removable bridge you’d have to take that off, but it’s big stuff like watches and internal stuff like pacemakers and stents that are problematic. for my shoulder i had to stay still (you do get to breathe!) for up to 20 minutes at a time, i think. you might ask your doc about taking a small dose of beta blocker or of something like ativan or valium; less adrenaline = easier to keep still. it’s not that bad.

  12. patti with an i

    i meant wedding ring was NOT an issue!! bad place for a typo…

  13. …and with the steroids, be sure to follow the dosage instructions (I’ve never had any, but I’ve known those who have been on Prednisone and had to make sure they tapered off rather than just stopping – apparently it can cause real problems).

  14. Yeah, I do 3 for 4 days, 2 for 4 days, 1 for 4 days and 1/2 for the final 4. I guess she thinks I’m okay with my counting skills. 😉