I really, really like this surgeon. Friendly, knowledgable, and someone I can partner with through this whole process. This makes me feel much better about everything that is happening.
Doc refused to even look at my audiology report or hear the past doctor's diagnoses, preferring to make his own conclusion and work from there. Nice show, that. He looked at my ears, did the whole tuning fork test, and came right out with the otoscelrosis tag without looking at the audiology chart. I was impressed.
He doesn't want to do the surgery yet, but that is most probably my future course. Either that or hearing aids that will have to get stronger and stronger as I age. If I was in my fifties or sixties, he would recommend the hearing aids. But since I am 28, the surgery is probably the way to go.
He wants me to take Florical (sodium fluoride & calcium). That will accomplish a few things:
a) stop, and possibly even reverse some of the potential nerve damage that may have occured due to the hardening of the stapes bone, thus preventing or stopping any additional sensorineural hearing loss (aka - permanent)
b) will cool down the area, making it easier to operate
and my personal favorite - c) quite possible lessen and/or eliminate the ringing.
I will be taking sodium fluoride for the rest of my life, regardless of anything we do. Twice a day, every day, for the remainder of my life. Blargh.
In 6 weeks, after taking the pills, I see him again. There I will undergo another hearing exam, and then discuss next steps.
The surgery I will probably be having is called a stapedotomy - the details of which are slightly gruesome, and I won't detail here. Do a google if you are really interested. This new doc gives it a 87% success rate (he likes to stay conservative.) However, unlike most doctors who only do 1-5 of these a year, this doctor does 1-5 a week. I like them odds more.
We would do the right ear first, which is the farthest along the hearing loss path, and then wait 6 months to a year to see if there is any improvement, and if it is permanent. Then we'll do the left.
The surgery itself will have me home for a week, as I am likely to be VERY dizzy. I will experience hearing loss for about 3 weeks, after which I should see improvement up to perfection. Here's hoping.
Should be an interesting couple of years. Thank you everyone for sticking with me so far.