I must have been 16 when I heard about it for the first time from my doctor. ‘You have a pin sized hole in your ear drum’. My dad who had accompanied me to the doctor then did not make a big deal of it when we got home. My brother made a joke out of it “You are the chosen one. You have inherited grand pa’s hearing accuracies” he said. I looked at him in disdain every time he talked about it. The gravity of the situation had registered in me. The doctor had assured that a small hole like the ones he found in my ear drum closed on its own, given the time to heal. What he did not warn me about was that sometimes they did not heal. They only grew bigger.
To make things worse, I also had problems with my tonsil. It took one sour grape to get my tonsil enlarged and it always compounded my ear infections. My mom recalls nights of pain that I endured with my tonsil and ear aches. She endured sleepless nights as well. The doctors those days treated such aches and pains with doses of penicillin shots and pain killers. My mom tells me that those days tonsils and ear aches had a way of ‘going away’ of its own accord. She tells me that the date for her tonsillectomy was decided but she did not have it done because it got better and did not need treatment at all! Miracles did happen in our family. Never with me though.
So as it happened, I grew up with my tonsil intact. It was not until the year 2007, when my ENT gave me no further options or reasons that I should delay it, that I finally gave in and agreed to have my tonsils removed. All through the years he treated me for repeated tonsil enlargement; he also examined my ear drum and found out what I had suspected would happen. The hole in the ear drum had, in fact, become larger. He suggested that I have my ear surgery soon.
The downside of having a problem like a tear in the ear drum is that when you speak, you speak a few decibels louder than required, you cannot enjoy a swim without fear of water being logged into the ear and thus causing infection and your ear behaves funny when you land or take off in an airplane. I am not even beginning to tell you how painful it is when you have repeated ear infections.
The doctor’s suggestion would have gone well with me had my tonsillectomy been a fond affair. I went through harrowing pain in the weeks to follow my tonsillectomy and that sealed any hopes of even the thought of another surgery.
When the pain and memories of the pain associated with the tonsillectomy subsided, and the ear infections returned with full force, I had no option but to go back to another ENT specialist and this time around there was no way out but say yes to the procedure.
Today is day 2 after my Myringoplasty of my left ear drum. The pain after this surgery is minimal compared to the after tonsillectomy pain. Hopefully, my ear infections are a thing of the past. I am sure the memory of this surgery will fade… This too, shall pass.