If at any time this week I seem a bit out of it, it’s because I’m in withdrawal.
I woke up Monday morning with a feeling like my right ear was full of water. But it wasn’t. I felt pressure, and sound was distorted — loud and distorted. Through it all was a loud ringing/rushing sound. I had trouble making out what people were saying to me.
So Tuesday, I managed to get in to see an ear, nose and throat doc when he had a cancellation. I figured he’d put a tube in my ear, and that would relieve the pressure. I figured it was an infection. But my ear drum looked normal.
After a hearing test, it turns out I’ve lost some ability to detect high pitches in one ear, and low pitches in the other. The doctor ordered some tests to figure out why I would have such asymmetrical hearing loss, along with the other symptoms. This is what I may have.
I haven’t arranged for the tests yet. I need to get on that. But I’m having some trouble getting it together the last couple of days, because I’m following the doctor’s orders:
- No salt.
- No alcohol.
- No caffeine.
It has something to do with all of those things causing fluid retention. There may actually be a problem with fluid, but deep in the inner ear, where a tube would do nothing to drain it.
The first two, I can do standing on my head. The last one is tough. Really tough. One day, the usual three or four BIG cups. The next day, nothing. Makes a guy feel pretty weird. Although today has been a little easier than yesterday.
But I’m very spacey. The symptoms are not going away. In fact, when I slipped up and finished a bag of chips I’d left open on my desk from earlier in the week, the ringing got louder. So maybe there’s something to the salt connection, although perhaps it was just the chewing action.
I talked to someone this morning who also recently gave up caffeine. As confused as I was, I forgot to ask the burning question: How long does it take before you feel normal again?