Ben is having more (minor) surgery. His new artificial ear drum is not working properly and if left alone could cause another corrosive mass to form. This wasn't the news I was hoping to learn at today's ENT appointment. I had been under the assumption that Ben's cholesteatoma formed due to all the ear infections he's had over the years. Today, the doctor cleared up my misconception and said the phenomenon is most likely caused directly by his neuromuscular disease. Tiny muscles in the ear are responsible for movement in the ear drum that Ben lacks. That lack of movement causes the ear drum to suck into itself and fill with goop that gets infected. In less than two months it has happened again with the prosthetic ear drum. The ENT theorizes that a triune tube might help relieve the pressure and salvage the drum, or at least buy some time until Ben has healed up enough for more reconstruction.
This procedure is not a big deal, but I have a sense of foreboding that this is the new baseline. Frequent surgeries, frequent CTs checking for mass regrowth, continued infections, and constantly fluctuating hearing ability added to the checklist.
We stopped by the audiology center on our way out of the hospital to pick up new waterproof ear molds. While we waited, an elderly couple came in but were in the wrong office. The gentleman smiled knowingly at me on his way out the door and said, "You are blessed."
Thanks for the reminder, Angel.