Whoosh, Part 2

Today really was one of those days where 24 hours just wasn’t enough time to do everything I wanted or needed to do. My laundry will linger in the dryer overnight because I need to be done with all of the day’s busy work. I hate leaving clothes in the dryer. I’ll have to fluff them all over again before I fold them, and sometimes jeans get so accordian-like through their extended stay that I give up and wash them all over again.

Today I had my dreaded appointment with a new ENT specialist (my previous one retired). I needed to get that whooshing sound checked out, which I predicted was due to skipping an ear debridement back in December. Now that my appointment is done, I am pleased to report that my dread was unnecessary. This new ENT is a master at minimizing ear-cleaning pain. Actually, I’d rank her as best among the many ear doctors I’ve seen since 1974, when all of my ear trouble started due to the finding of a congenital cholesteatoma (I also had an acquired one in early adulthood).

A few years ago, I heard from a previous ENT that it was unlikely I could wear a hearing aid in my affected ear because of bone loss due to mastoidectomy surgeries. He told me that I’d probably have to settle for a Bi-Cros system installed on glasses that would just transmit sound from my right side to my left and do nothing to actually amplify my hearing on the right side.

My new ENT differs in that opinion. She’s scheduled me for a hearing test and hearing aid evaluation, and she said that I wouldn’t get a Bi-Cros unless I had no hearing left at all on the right side. This is exciting news for me, to say the least. I can’t remember a time when I had normal hearing; the loss happened when I was a toddler.

She had an explanation for the whooshing sounds I’ve been hearing, and this news was not positive. My blood pressure reading today was the highest it’s ever been. My blood pressure usually runs low; my average reading during my recent inpatient surgery was 90/60. Today it was 134/84!

She told me that the whooshing is the sound of my increased blood pressure. The blood vessels are so small around the ear drum that dramatic changes in blood pressure can be audible. For some people, high blood pressure is not a silent symptom.

I don’t know why my blood pressure has increased lately. I’m not going to assume my pressure was high because of anxiety over the appointment and likely cleaning. If this was the case, it would be a first for me.

There’s a lot of high blood pressure on one side of my family. I’ve had relatives who suddenly developed hypertension by the time they were my age. The doctor today recommended that I check my blood pressure at home several times this week to see if it remains high and report my numbers to my family doctor.

If am developing high blood pressure, I wonder how it would effect my cooking choices. At least my buttercream dreams aren’t loaded with sodium:


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