Pop Goes the Eardrum

It all started last Friday.  I had a headache that just would not get better.  As the days passed, I also started to get body aches.  It felt kind of like having the flu, minus the congestion.

Yesterday, there was a tremendous pressure inside my head.  It felt like there was a monster inside my head that was trying to squeeze me to death.

Then all of sudden, I felt a popping sensation and fluid started to pour out of my left ear.  The pressure had ruptured my eardrum and I felt immediate relief.  The fluid continually poured out of my ear for several hours.

I have antibiotic drops to treat the underlying infection and should be back to normal in just a few days.

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BAHA Update

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I’ve worn the BAHA (Bone Anchored Hearing Aid) implant for a couple of months now, so I thought I would write an updated review.

On the plus side, I am hearing a lot better with the implant.  The other day, I was listening to crickets.  I thought it was so funny that they sound like birds.  I also find it easier to communicate with people.  A few times, I even understood what someone behind me said.  That was cool.

On the negative side, the outer processor is very delicate.  I can’t wear it when I am engaging in any physical activity.  I also can’t wear a hat with the outer processor.  That has been frustrating for me, since it limits my ability to use the BAHA implant.

I would still recommend the BAHA implant to anyone that needs it.  It is a great device and I enjoy having it.

Bicycling and Going Crazy

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I started bicycling a couple of months ago and I love it.  I enjoy the challenge of rough terrain and flying down steep hills.  However, there are a few drawbacks.

For women, frequent bike riding massively increases your risk of urinary tract infection (UTI).  I discovered this fact the hard way.  After doing a some internet research, I learned how to lower that risk.  Thank goodness for that, because UTIs are annoying and uncomfortable.

Another thing I learned the hard way, saddle sores are actually blisters that develop in the crotch area.  Saddle sore sounds rather innocuous and does not adequately portray the amount of pain and discomfort this ailment can cause.

Yesterday, I went to Harvest Nature Preserve for some off-road bike riding.  The trail starts out as gravel and then turns into dirt as you enter the woods.  Since there is a lake and a few creeks in the area, there are also several wooden bridges.

I was in the woods and going down a hill with a sharp curve at the bottom.  Unfortunately, I was going to fast when I tried to turn.  My bike started to slide a bit and I slammed into a tree, which caused me to fall off the bike and land partially on a thorn bush and partially in a mud puddle.

I ended up with numerous small cuts on my hands, arms, and legs.  I also have several small bruises on my legs and one massive bruise that is 4 inches in diameter.

To top it off, when I got home I discovered a tick on my calf muscle.  Mom helped me get the tick off and then we flushed it down the toilet.

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All in all, I had a blast yesterday and plan to do it again.  I still enjoy bicycling, in spite of my injuries, sores, and infections.  Maybe I am crazy, but I think biking is a ton of fun.

 

Kids Can Benefit From Having a Dog

Dogs are amazing animals and wonderful pets.  Children that grow up with dogs, benefit from their companionship.

  • Having a pet teaches responsibility.  Children can help with taking care of the dog and learn new skills as they grow older.
  • Children also learn compassion and the importance of putting the needs of a loved one above their wants.  There will be times when the dog needs to go to the bathroom; however, the child is busy having fun.  This is an excellent way to teach the child about needs vs wants, putting others first, and compassion.
  • Dog training classes actually teach the owner how to teach the dog.  The child will learn concepts like behavior modification; positive reinforcement; as well as how to meet the physical, emotional, and intellectual needs of the dog.
  • Having a dog can make science fun.  Here is one example:  The dog has about 200 million more olfactory receptors in the nose than a human.  However, that is only part of the reason why they have such a phenomenal sense of smell.  The design of their outer nose, allows more smells to enter the nasal cavity.  That small slit on the side of the dog’s nose, actually does serve a purpose.  The olfactory system in the brain of a dog is 40 times larger than that of a human.  This allows the dog to process and remember all those wonderful smells.
  • Children that grow up with dogs have a stronger immune system, because they are exposed to a wider variety of bacteria.  They also have a lower risk of developing allergies.
  • When a child has a dog, it opens up a whole new world for them.  They will interact with veterinarians, trainers, and groomers.  They will be able to visit dog parks.  They will learn how to play games that involve their furry friend.  Also, they will always have a best friend that loves them and wants to be their constant companion.

I Love America 5k and Liberty 1 Mile Fun Run

Today, I completed the I Love America 5K.  Also, Gwen completed the Liberty 1 Mile Fun Run, which was her first charity race.  Both races were sponsored by Whitesburg Christian Academy, in Huntsville, Alabama.

I was so proud of Gwen.  Completing your first charity race can be a bit nerve racking.  There a lot of things happening at the same time and it’s all brand new to you.  However, Gwen didn’t seem nervous at all, actually she took off like a pro.

She also finished like a pro.  Way to go Gwen!

BAHA Implant Update

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I finally got the outer processor for my BAHA (Bone Anchored Hearing Aid) implant this week.  I am not really sure how I feel about it yet.

I am hearing better, which is great.  However, it sounds a lot different from a typical hearing aid.  I struggle to understand what people are saying, but I guess that will get better as I get used to the device.

The outer processor has a magnet, which attaches to the magnet under my skin, and sends the sound vibrations to the titanium screw in my skull, which then vibrates to send the sound directly to my inner ear.  The two parts are working great together and putting on the outer piece is really simple.  I just hold it up to my head, so the magnets can pull toward each other, and it pops into place.

The downside of the magnet system is the outer processor can be knocked off my head.  It’s a delicate and expensive device, so dropping it is not recommended.

The audiologist did give me a clip with a plastic wire that can attach to the outer processor and then it can be clipped to my shirt.  I am not a fan of this device.  I feel like a preschooler, whose parents clipped stuff to their shirt to prevent them from losing it.

In about a week or so, I am going to write another blog post about the implant.  By then I will be used to it, so some of these problems should be solved.

Staggering to the Finish Line

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Saturday night, I participated in the “Light Up The Night 5k” charity race. Even though it was only 3 weeks after my surgery, I thought I would be fine.  I felt good that day and did well during the first mile.

However, I started getting dizzy near the 1 mile mark.  I slowed down my pace, but the dizziness just kept getting worse.

I refused to quit, so I just kept on walking.  At times, I staggered and stumbled on the road.  Moving my head or even my eyes made it worse.  Lights were also difficult and I felt like my head was spinning.

An hour had passed and I still wasn’t at the finished line.  My family was concerned, so Gwen took off in an attempt to find me.  She located me as I was turning to make the final stretch to the finish line.

I told Gwen what was going on and she offered to help.  She grabbed my hand and walked with me for the rest of the race.  I kept my head down and tried to avoid doing anything that would make me feel worse.  At times I would close my eyes and relied on Gwen to keep me from getting hurt.

We crossed the finish line and a doctor approached us.  He started to check my pulse and asked about my breathing.  I told him about my surgery and said I was just dizzy.  The doctor made sure I had a chair and hung around for a while to ensure nothing serious was going on with me.

I felt miserable that night, but I am glad I completed the race with Gwen’s help.