Saturday, March 27, 2010

Tinnitus, fro yo, and a 4 mile run

First, non-running related complaining about tinnitus...

Thursday I went back to the campus doctor, absolutely convinced that must have an ear infection.  Not only have I had that annoying ringing (which I swear is worse!), but my ear has been sore.  Unfortunately, my ear did not look infected.  I use the word "unfortunately", because I desperately want an explanation.  Instead I was sent to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist.  They did hearing tests and looked in my ear.  In the end, I spent a fortune to be told, "Welcome to the world of 50 million other people with tinnitus (ringing in the ear)...We don't know what causes it... (I am a scientist.  Give me a cause dammit!!!!)...We don't know how to cure it...(Lovely!)...Take some steroids for 6 days...You have a 50 percent chance of it going away... (insert me trying desperately not to cry out of frustration)...But think of the glass as half full... Oh and hopefully the loss of hearing in your right ear at a particular pitch will come back if the ringing goes away."  Needless to say, I cried before I even got to my car.  Oh, he did also tell me that it was not caused by my ipod and the ipod would not make it worse.  That's good to know.  I never thought the ipod was too loud, but that was the only explanation I could come up with.

You all probably think that I am being overly dramatic, and perhaps I am.  But I want you to imagine going the past two weeks of your life and sometimes non-stop for a minute or two, otherwise periodically every few minutes the annoying little neighborhood bully keeps running over and ringing the very high-pitched doorbell that happens to reside in your right ear.  It even occurs at night and wakes you up!   And the worst part... only You can hear it!  I complained about it on Facebook, which resulting in an old friend sending me a message saying, "You have tinnitus?  How did you get it?  I had it for 6 months!"  I don't know if I could take this for 6 months.  I seriously am going to quit Google-ing it, because people complain about having it for years!

Since I started the steroid treatment yesterday (6 day dose... 6 pills the first day, 5 the second... all the way to 1) the ringing has actually gotten worse.  Only something has changed.  Rather than being quick doorbell rings, the sound is sometimes being held for many seconds at a time.  I'm hoping that means something is changing and it just has to be worse before it can get better.

Lucky for me, Chris's dad is a doctor.  He assures me that I will be fine (and to stop reading Google).  It is probably just an inner ear virus, and hopefully the steroids will help with the inflammation and help it go away.  The hairs in my ear that help pick up high frequencies are probably out of place, and it could take a little while before they go back to where they are supposed to be (he uses much more medical terms...).  His being positive that it will go away is the only thing that is keeping me sane.  That and prayer.  I am very grateful to Chris's parents, Chris, my mom, and my friends who have made me feel better.

After leaving the ENT specialist, I went to tutoring where the family I tutor for made me feel better.  They prayed for my ear and fixed me some warm soup which was seriously the best tomato soup I have ever had!  I loved it so much that I took a picture of the can.  If you like tomato soup, this tomato bisque is heavenly!  And the warm soup made my ear feel better.

Yesterday, Caitlin and I met at 6 am to do another 4 mile run.  I did not sleep well at all the night before, so I was pretty tired.  In fact, it was a pretty crappy run for both of us, but we were both really proud that we did it.  It really lifted our moods when we finished.  The times were a little slow, because we both battled fatigue and cramps.  Overall I am happy, because we rock!

Mile 1:  11:26
Mile 2:  11:13
Mile 3:  11:55
Mile 4:  12:10

At lunch time, we went our for frozen yogurt at Yogurtopia.  I had a little of three different flavors:  death by chocolate, wild strawberry, and lady finger.  The last two were my favorites!  Then I added way too many delicious toppings including fresh fruit, graham crackers, granola and very delicious toasted coconut!  HEAVEN IN MY MOUTH! 

Later we went to watch two friends present their seminars at school, and they both passed!  Yay! After that, I had to stop by the restroom, and found tons of post-it notes all over the bathroom!  I took a picture of two of them.  I have a feeling these are OperationBeautiful-inspired.  They made my day!

Last night, Chris and I celebrated two and a half years together (awwww!) with dinner at Outback.  Mmm!  He is amazing, and I love him so much!!!  Sadly I did not take a picture, because I was super tired and looked dreadful.  I'll take one soon though!

I'm not sure what all I will be doing today.  I plan to go for another run with the meet up group in the morning (they are doing either 4 or 6 miles), so I will probably not run today.  I'll get back to you with whatever happens.  I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend!


  1. Thanks so much for the super sweet comment on my blog!

    How far into your program are you? Chemistry and I aren't great friends...I'm impressed!

  2. Good luck with your ear infection. Hopefully it heals up for you. I'd recommend gettting off the drugs and trying some home remedies instead.

  3. Katie... I am in my second year in the PhD program and luckily have all of my classes completed. Next I have to do a candidacy and lots more research. I'm really enjoying it so far!

    Michelle... Thanks for the well wishes. I have tried looking up home remedies, but I have found nothing yet that seems promising. Hopefully it will go away on its own!


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