After the 8 September biopsy/tube surgery, my follow-up appointment was at 8:15 a.m. today, 16 September. After I had waited a few minutes, Dr. ENT called me in by saying, “Diane, are you okay?” (This is a slight improvement over, “Diane, don’t look so sad!” a couple of weeks ago.) Then he said, “You ARE okay,” which of course was his way of saying the results were negative (good).
He looked in my left ear and said suddenly, “Of course, this is the wrong ear,” which seemed odd because he usually does look in both, starting with that one. Nothing was out of the ordinary in either.
He told me I have an “overgrown adenoid,” adding that this is very unusual in adults (which he’d originally said a couple of weeks ago). I said, “Maybe I’ve never grown up,” adding that I’d also had strep for the first time in the past few years. He showed me four photos he’d taken during the surgery; if I remember right, one showed the ear and one showed the adenoid. He pointed to the top two — I’m not sure what they were of — and said something to the effect of he’d taken them because he liked them. Why do I feel like my ear and adenoid are going to end up in a presentation or textbook, hmmm?
I asked if the adenoid (code name: JoJo) needs to be removed. He said, “That would require surgery” with a look that said, “You don’t want that.” (I couldn’t argue with either the look or the concept.) I gather the idea is that the fluid may not return, even after the tube falls out, and even that the adenoid may shrink on its own. I’m to go back in three months. He’s probably right; after all, last summer I couldn’t breathe because of crooked bones in my nose, which straightened themselves out on their own with time.
He asked me if I could hear better now that equilibrium has been restored and brought up the topic of hearing aids again. I told him I don’t feel I need them yet. He kept staring at my audiogram and giving me that, “Oh, another person in denial” look. What made it worse was that I have a bad habit of saying, “Huh?” even when I hear something perfectly well, especially when I don’t agree with it, and just then I gave him one of those, “Huhs?” which he took to mean I hadn’t heard him — proof he’s right and I need hearing aids! I’m not articulate enough so early in the morning and under such circumstances to say anything more than, “I really don’t need them.” What is going on in my mind is, “I can hear at work, I can hear in meetings, it seems for now like I can hear everything I need to, so I seem to be functioning well enough without for the time being.” Of course, all that came out was a repetition of, “No, I really don’t think I need them,” at which he looked at me askance again and said, “I knew you’d say that.”
(Truly, when I really think it’s impacting my ability to function, I’ll get them.)
As I was making my next appointment, he called the next person in and cheerfully told him, “You’re okay, too.”
I told our vice president of resident care, an RN/MSN, the story, and she said, “Adults usually don’t have swollen adenoids. Adults usually don’t have adenoids.” She asked me if I was taking antihistamines (“because something caused it to swell”) and told me (correctly) that I should have asked him why it did swell. She’s a great believer in finding the underlying cause, as am I, but I’m not so good at actually formulating the question . . . Anyway, she agrees with me that I don’t need hearing aids yet. Since she specialises in geriatrics, has dealt with a lot of hearing-impaired older adults, and would be honest with me if she really thought I was showing signs of hearing loss, I’ll take her word for it.
We also talked about how hearing aids are relatively inexpensive as far as parts/hardware; the thousands of dollars they cost are for the audiologist’s fittings, adjustments, programming, etc.
I told her about the photos and jokingly said they could end up in a book. She told me he’d need written permission (true), I said, “Who would EVER know whose ear or adenoid that was?” and we laughed about the idea of someone someday jumping up and saying, “That’s Diane’s adenoid!”
And so it goes . . . now if JoJo would stop being an irritant.