30 Nov

As I have previously mentioned, what brought Britton into the ENT was problems with his hearing. He couldn’t hear anything out of his right ear. It started about a year and a half ago while he was on a treadmill probably in some lovely place like southern California, he noticed he couldn’t hear out of his right headphone.  For a few weeks he thought it was the headphones, maybe he sweat too much and they shorted out.  However, that wasn’t the case.  But he lived with it.  Sometime this summer it got worse for me.  He couldn’t hear anything I was saying to him in the car or if I tried to whisper sweet nothings into his right ear at the movie theater.  I started to harp on him about getting it checked out.  Then after the wedding and honeymoon I pushed so much that he made that appointment.  Like I have said before, he doesn’t have a lot of actual hearing loss, just trouble discerning speech.  It could be worse.  Then we discovered hearing was only the first symptom.

In 2007-08 Britton had eye surgery after a nasty blow to the face.  After the surgery he had minor issues.  Had double vision for a short time and his eyes would flutter around.  He was sure it was all due to the surgery and thought he just needed time to adjust.  4 years later we know it wasn’t just that he needed to adjust.  The way the tumor is pushing on his brain stem it is causing ocular flutter.  This is when his eyes will move rapidly at random and then stop.  He has been trying to adjust to this ocular flutter but it causes him to feel tired all the time because it’s like he can’t focus.  His eyes are working harder than normal to focus on things.  He also has a minor case of lazy eye.  That started in childhood and did get better until the last few years.  This also contributes to his eye issues and is a symptom of his epidermoid.

When we were at the various clinics the Neurosurgeons did some interesting tests where they would touch his face at the same place on both sides and ask him if it felt the same.  There were some places that the doctors would touch that wouldn’t feel the same.  When they touched his forehead he would feel it in his head or vice versa.  This was only true on the right side.  Also a symptom of his epidermoid.  This one was not one we would have caught on our own but it is definitely bizarre.

Some epidermoid patients experience other symptoms as well.  Some get bells palsy in the face which results in the inability to control the nerves in the face.  I think we are lucky.  These tumors can cause more damage than his has.  I am very thankful for his hearing.

Thank you for your support.


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