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Please help, severe ear and face pain, I'm desperate.
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ahazlip posted:
I'm a 21 year old female, missing work and school for the last, I think its only been 3 or 4 days now. I got hit with the fastest spreading infection I've ever had. I used to get swimmers ear all the time growing up until I got my tonsils removed, haven't had an infection since. (7-9 years ago) I got a tinge of pain in my right ear about 4 days ago. It wasn't noticeable until I touched it for the first hew hours, and then it seemed to slowly radiate with pain, by the evening I couldn't concentrate I was in so much pain. OTC headache formula pills helped until I tried to go to Urgent Care. (Being new to this state I have no regular doctor yet.) Urgent care referred me to the ER, would't even treat me, so even though it cost me double, I went.

I was diagnosed with a simple outer ear infection and given some drops and 800mg of Ibuprofen. At this point I was in tears from the pain, and my other ear was beginning to hurt. The next day The pain had doubled, I couldn't get out of bed and cried for hours, and then suddenly the right half of my face went numb. The pain temporarily decreased, and I began to find out I couldn't smell or taste anything on that side. I also felt a lump on my neck behind my ear, assuming its lymph node. I called the pharmacy and ER they both said to go back in, so me and my wallet cried as I drove back to the ER.

At the time, my right ear is swollen shut, my left ear is still feeling sore, but the doctor ignores it since it has no signs of infection. The doctor diagnosis me with now a middle ear infection. The pain is radiating around my ear and spreading to my face. The doctor put a wick in my ear and said that the swelling was putting pressure on a nerve that controls that half of my face, that I will return to normal when the swelling goes down. She gave me 20 Amoxicillin 875mg pills and 12 325mg oxycodones and told me to keep taking the drops. I took the wick out two days later like she said, I think it swelled back up tho. The pain meds only take the edge off, the pain never really goes away, just makes me sleepy. I have a hard time opening my jaw because it hurts so much where it connects to my ear, and closing it all the way is just as bad. The right half of my face has feeling, but its decreased in sensitivity, and feels really stuffy, although its not visibly swollen. I'm in so much pain I can't sleep and I'm running out of pain meds. I can't afford to go to the ER again, I'm scared and in agony. I've been taking all the pills and drops as directed but I'm not getting beter, possibly worse. What is happening? How much longer before this pain subsides? I can barely walk. I haven't had an ear infection in a long time, but I don't remember them being this harsh, this fast, this debilitating...
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
My heart truely goes out to you, but you have to appreciate the limitations posed by the Internet. I have absolutely no way of blindly delving into your case. Since I can't examine you, I can't confirm or dispute the diagnoses you have been given.

Emergency room treatments are unbelievably expensive. If you are in this much pain, you would be better served by seeing an ENT specialist if this can be quickly arranged. ENTs have the skill and the diagnostic equipment to get to the bottom of this infection (assuming this is what you have). Amoxicillin does cure all of them, you know, but I have no way of knowing if you need a different...or stronger antibiotic at this point....or a different, or stronger eardrop (I don't know what kind you were given). And...you will need more pain medication. Pain, of course, is the body's way of telling you that something is still wrong. In spite of your treatment....you are not getting better.

I am particularly concerned about your one-sided facial pain and numbness. There can be many causes for this, and middle or even external ear infections do not usually cause this much debilitating pain. You may want to try and call the ER, and see if they can arrange for an ENT visit....there is always an ENT "on-call", even on weekends. They may not be happy about seeing a patient in their office on weekends, but they can.

I wish that I could reach out across cyberspace and examine you, but I cannot, so you will have to be assertive and see what can be done to arrange an ENT visit.
 
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ahazlip replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Thank you for your quick reply. I will try to make an appointment. My main concern is that I have class Monday and will fail if i do not attend. The pain has gotten worse in my jaw to the point where I cant eat or speak. But I wanted to be sure it was something that needed more attention rather than something that would go away on its own if I gave it the time, of which I have so little of. I'll try to post the ultimate diagnosis and cure when I receive it so if anyone else goes through this they'll have an idea of what to expect and how to get better. Thank you.
 
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to ahazlip's response:
I think your ear takes priority over your class. You really can't legally "fail" if you have legitimate reason (and a note). Teachers tend to be reasonable when faced with the facts.


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