I saw the specialist today for my hearing thing--the ENT doctor. I had met her before in the ICU but had never really talked to her. She's kind of delightful-quirky. My blood pressure was a little high, and she assured me that hers was higher, and laughed. She did an exam and looked at my test results so far. She is pretty sure it has something to do with the nerve rather than an ear problem. "So..." she said, paused for a moment, and laid out some options. One option was steroid injections in my head, which I politely declined. So I will try a high dose steroid taper, and get an MRI scan to see what's in there.
The steroid taper starts with a high dose of prednisone and tapers off over a week or so. She mentioned that it might make me "a little mean or cranky", and suggested I warn my wife. I mentioned this to someone I work with. He told me he had to take the same medication, and put a sign on his computer monitor that said, "ACT NORMAL".
Anyway, I won't have the MRI until after I get back from Europe. Speaking of Europe, I got the keys in the mail to the apartment we are renting in Paris, along with 12 pages worth of helpful hints for having a good time there. First rule, says the woman who owns the apartment, is "whenever you walk into a shop, bomb them with 'Bonjour' before they get a chance to 'bonjour' you first." We'll see. Anyway, the keys are awesome looking. No wonder there's a $250 deposit on their safe return.
So I'll start the prednisone taper in the morning and see how it goes. I'll have the MRI when I get back and see what it shows. As I was sitting in the exam room waiting for the doctor this morning, I felt like a patient for the first time in my life. How did that feel? Like I had no control over how things were going to play out--I was just along for the ride. Enjoy the scenery.