On Friday I got some bad news.
I was at the hospital for a check-up on my ears when they told me that I've got a new tumour in my left ear. Again. This is the 3rd time now and only 18 months after the last one.
To say I'm gutted is an understatement. It's benign, but is attached to my inner ear so is quite dodgy, which means they need to operate quite soon. So... 3 days after we get back from Helsinki, I'll be in hospital having me head drilled apart... hahaha... soon there'll be fuck all left in there!
I'm so worried that this time I'm gonna lose my facial nerve... I mean how many times can they get in there without doing damage to it... not even to say if the cholesteatoma has damaged the nerve anyway. Because it's in a nasty place the risk of me losing 100% of my hearing in my left ear is about 90% apparantly, but to be honest that doesn't bother me as much as the possible paralasis to my face.
Luckily I saw the consultant who had a proper look inside, which is good as it might have been missed by a more junior doctor who would have said come back in 6 months!
I sound a bit doom and gloom and that's not what I want to sound like... I just want people to know that cholesteatoma is evil and it's not just an ear infection. There's little widespread knowledge of it and if me talking about it helps anyone then that's good.
All I have to say is that the risks are nasty and I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy... I don't know 100%, but I always wonder if I was misdiagnosed with my ear problems as a kid and if I had been correctly treated would I find myself in this situation now.
If you know any kids who have been diagnosed with glue ear, it's worth getting a second opinion from an ENT consultant or specialist. If they detect it as cholesteatoma in its early stages, then it can be removed and the child will likely have a good chance of it never recurring and of regaining 99% of their hearing. Leave cholesteatoma and the tumour will grow as the child grows:- it could then cause total hearing loss, facial paralasis, body paralasis, loss of taste, meningitis, abcesses in the brain and ultimately death.
So... my op is on 16 May and we'll see what happens from there.