Am I allowed to use my platform to lament? I mean, no one is here telling me I can't, so I'm just going to go with it. I'm at the point now where my quality of life and mental health are being adversely affected.

Let me start by saying that I know many people are in much worse situations than I am when it comes to health related issues, and in no way am I taking away from other people's chronic problems, but I just need to bitch for a sec.

This all started the last weekend in February when I woke up with the worst sore throat I've ever had in my whole entire life. Since it was a weekend, I couldn't go to my primary doc and ended up at Maine General's Express Care.

Following the swab, I was diagnosed with Strep Throat and started on a 10-day run of Amoxicillin. Finally, after what seemed like forever, the strep symptoms started to clear up. As a matter of fact, the first normal day I had was the day my wife and I left for our Boston trip to see the Celtics.

I had that one weekend of relief and then on Monday I woke up with crazy right-side ear pain and significantly reduced hearing. Back to the Doc's I went. This time it was acute otitis media (middle ear infection) with perforated tympanic membrane (ruptured eardrum).

I then started another course of antibiotics, this time on Augmentin. About a week later, I started getting some symptom relief and the drainage began to slow. I was even starting to (slowly) recoup some of my lost hearing. Great news!

A couple days later and as I was getting ready for bed, my right ear was beginning to pressurize. It was wildly uncomfortable. Then came the green. Bright green snot-colored drainage (sorry, TMI) that flowed like the Kennebec River.

Back to the Doc's I went and was diagnosed with otitis externa (outer ear infection). Once again, I started on a new med, this time Ciprodex in the form of ear drops. Since then, nothing has changed. It's been weeks of almost no hearing in my right ear, a constantly dull right-side neck and headache, and non-stop discharge.  Sorry for saying discharge.

I followed up with my doc and we determined I needed an urgent referral to ENT. It looks like what I have is likely CSOM, or chronic suppurative otitis media. Basically, a middle ear infection that won't go away and require some extra intervention.

I had my urgent referral submitted to a hospital specialist's office, but because there's only one ENT covering multiple locations, I still haven't been contacted to even get on the schedule.

I know it's crazy out there with staffing shortages and massive patient rosters, so I get it, I really do. But man, something has to give. Just the tinnitus alone is enough to drive anyone mad.

I just want to feel better and, hopefully, be able to hear out of my right ear again. I'm climbing on two months of this. Hopefully I'll be seen before all the Tylenol and ibuprofen I've been taking shuts my organs down.

Anyway, thanks for letting me bitch. Sorry for saying bitch.


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