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5 month infection - staph aureus, yeast and pseudomonas
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placidic posted:
I am 42 yo F. I started with pressure in my ears in August 2012. I went to urgent care. They saw infection in right ear. Put on augmentin.
Back to primary dr. a few days later who put me on oral cipro. Sent to ENT a few days later who add cipro drops and cultured left ear. Culture showed staph aureus (not MRSA), yeast and pseudomonas. ENT added diflucan.
I have been to ENT more times than I can count. Infection cleared but pressure in ears didn't go away. Was put on steroids. Made it worse.

Had tubes inserted 10/23/2012. Woke up from surgery with SEVERE pain. ENT said there was no reason for pain. ("People who get tubes have no pain afterward. You have no infection.") Was told I had eustachian tube dysfunction and tubes should resolve. 2 days later called ENT still in severe pain. Said to take tylenol and advil.

Called back next day with horribly smelly drainage and worsening pain. Went to ENT. BAD infection. Was put on cipro drops and cipro oral antibiotics, given hydrocodone and sent home. Several days later went to urgent care and was given IV antibiotics. Infection went from middle ear to ear canal.
2 days later called ENT. I suspected yeast. Nobody would return my call. They waited a few days then cultured it, had to grow it a couple more days, so I suffered. Dr. said yeast. Took more diflucan and stopped antibiotics. Also started using Tinactin in ear every other day.
By this time I thought I was dying and on 2 hydrocodone every 4 hours, unable to get out of bed pretty much this whole time. Dr. also used gentian violet. Was told yeast is most painful infection in ear.

Back 3 weeks later, infection still there. Gentian violet once again and more tinaction for 10 more days.
Back 2 weeks later. (12-6-12) ENT says ears are dry. I'm still in pain. Something isn't right. Dr. INSISTS it is TMJ or neuropathy. I go home exhausted. Dr. ordered xray on sinuses. Was clear.
Started severe headache over entire head.

12-11-12 left ear starts leaking smelly fluid again. 12-12-12 I am back in to ENT. ALL THREE bacteria are present in my ear and it stinks, has green pus. Isn't that old infection? Gentian violet swabbed in ear again. Was given augmentin. Now I am worse. Am ready to start more diflucan again and take levoquin. I am very sick. Have had 99-99.8 temp since October. I'm miserable. My left ear is full. My hearing is diminished. Now my right ear hurts. My teeth hurt. My jaw hurts.

I have 5 children. My husband has no time left to take from work and I have needed help with myself, my children and cannot drive, so someone has had to take me to all my appointments. I don't know who else I am supposed to go to. I need to know who can help me. Please. Why am I unable to clear this infection? I am careful not to get ears wet. Who do I turn to next? What is going on with me? I need answers. Please advise.
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
You may be needing some more xpert help, perhaps a bit more aggressive treatment than your ENT is currently providing. You appear to have a quite an ear infection going on, so that pus and debris needs to be suctioned out and your antibacterial treatment may need to be stepped up. The fact that it has an odor, may indicate that Pseudomonas is back and thriving again (this bug is known to be a real stinker).

Since I have no way of confirming or disputing what your ENT is doing for you now, is there any chance you can arrange a second ENT consultation. Two ENT heads may be better than one in this more-challenging cases.

I am glad your x-rays were fine, but you may need a CT scan of this area.
 
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placidic replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
I definitely have pseudomonas (and staph, and yeast). My family agrees I need a second opinion and I have no clue as to why a CT scan has not been done. I'm getting more ill every day and now have severe vertigo. I was to wait to start the levoquin, so I am starting that today. I've been on the diflucan for a few days now, and it is making no difference, which tells me it is either the staph or pseudomonas that is causing me issues. All my teeth hurt. It's a nightmare. Thank you so very much for your response. I will be contacting another ENT asap.
 
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to placidic's response:
You are very welcome.....the fact that you have vertigo and are getting worse every day is very concerning. See that ENT as soon as you can.
 
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placidic replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
I had severe chills today and decided to go to ER. I had a CT scan. It showed Mastoiditis. Fortunately there is no bone destruction. My ear was swabbed to see if the Pseudomonas is antibiotic resistant. Of course, I won't know the results until Wednesday but the doctor added Clindamycin to my treatment. It has been a very scary ride and I plan on at least going to another ENT for a second opinion, if not changing doctors. Thanks again.
 
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to placidic's response:
Now, you have an answer and are on some definitive treatment. Hopefully, this will do the trick. I am so pleased that the infection appears to be limited to the mastoid only, and has not caused bone destruction.

Please keep me posted....
 
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placidic replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
I called to get my results this morning. ENT says no need to take Clindamycin any longer, just keep taking Levoquin. He is also adding cipro drops. He says it is normal for ear infection to be in mastoid and is not a cause for concern. If that is normal, then why have I been ill for so long and have seemed to get worse? I asked him this and he doesn't know. Even though I may be on the right treatment now, I don't have confidence in this doctor, as you can imagine, so I am still going to seek a second opinion.

Thank you for taking so much time with me.
 
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to placidic's response:
Stay on the antibiotic....I agree with that approach. The mastoid is just a sinus, just like the paranasal sinuses. In most cases, mastoiditis is very treatable and curable, but it can get out of hand, so don't ignore an persistent or wosening symptoms.

I would be curious about your second opinion, so let me know.
 
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placidic replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
I haven't sought my second opinion yet. I just went for a follow-up with the ENT today. He diagnosed me with inflammation of the carotid artery. He says with my symptoms, location of continued pain, etc., he feels this is accurate. My ears were dry today, even though I still have pain and symptoms that I just am unsure about. I just don't trust his diagnosis.

I have an appointment Monday with my primary so he can hopefully get me an appointment with another ENT asap.

I know nothing about inflammation of the carotid artery. I was told by the ENT to take 800 motrin in AM, 600 in afternoon and 800 in PM for 14 days with a follow-up visit to him (ENT) at that time.

He also told me it is completely normal for the mastoid to have infection with any ear infection. When I had been to the ER for this, the ER doctor did not seem to agree and was ready to admit me until he consulted with the ENT.

I still have vertigo, pain, teeth pain, pain in neck, pain when swallowing, severe headache low in back of the head. He said the pulse points in my neck were super sensitive, the area inflamed, and that all my other symptoms indicate inflamed carotid artery.

I'm just bummed. I want to feel well. Thanks again for your guidance.
 
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to placidic's response:
You are very welcome....

Until you see the second ENT, it would be wise to follow the medical recommendations of the first ENT...if you you are unsure about the accuracy of his diagnosis or treatment.
 
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sara38 responded:
I had a similar infection, while travelling in europe it became much worse. A European doctor saw me and suctioned and swabbed ear with a gentian violet mixture, gave enough relief to go home. Condition returned, more antibitics, antifungals, ENT not helpful so i went on a no sugar diet (only raw honey) and started a supplement protocol from Robert Harrison at gethealthyagain.com (he takes phone calls and recommends supplements). The program worked very well. Infection was now manageable, only bad when under severe stress. Overall health much better. Later found a wonderful topical spray for flare ups from Dr. Merry Li in California, merryliclinic.com. On a recent trip back to Europe ear flared up again, ran out of spray, diet not great. Went back to same European doctor, suctioned and swabbed ear again with gv mixture and prescribed same for 10days swab 2-3 times daily. It worked. I think you need to get your digestive system back on track before any topicals can really knock out the problem. You may want to consider GHA suppelements and Dr Weston Price diet. I've seen impressive results but you have to be patient and persistent, not easy with 5 kids but it can be done. I have 4 kids and it takes a lot of effort, but it's worth it.


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