Saturday, May 14, 2011

There's a What?! in My Ear?

Back in January I had an ear infection. It seemed silly to have this childhood illness at 51. But I've had chronic problems with my left ear since the age of two (I call it my "Achilles Ear"), so I shrugged my shoulders, saw an ENT, took the prescribed antibiotics and ear drops and assumed all was fine.

Two months later the infection was back. This time I called my primary care doctor, who phoned in an antibiotic and ear drops. Again, it cleared up.

Yet two weeks ago, the ear infection appeared for the third time. Obviously, this is a problem that needs more attention. Back to the ENT, who did a culture. Yesterday the nurse called and said the doctor wants me to use the ear drops only. Oh, and she also said that I have a staph infection.

Whoa there! Staph? That's not good. I realize staph is found on our bodies and one study I found showed that 15 percent of ear infections are caused by staph. But I'm immunosuppressed, which makes me a tad bit worried. I can't find anything online that explains what happens to people like me who have staph infections.

Tomorrow I'll talk to the ENT's nurse again, to learn what type of staph was found. Then I'll call my transplant center and, hopefully, find out what this means and what must be done to resolve the problem so it doesn't recur.

Photo by Robert S. Donovan,

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