Two years ago January, I woke up in incredible pain

I lost 80% of the hearing in my left ear (It came back). Since then I've had steroid injections into my ear drum and multiple tests, I've tried various techniques and alternative medicines, I've tried my husband's solutions, grin and bear it, and drink a margarita at night. I've now found a solution that partially works. I'm on nerve pain medicines that are known to drop your verbal IQ, and make you sleepy. Both side effects I've fully noticed. I joke that is a good thing I'm smart, as I can handle a 10pt drop in IQ. But all in all, if I take my meds on time, I'm not in too much pain. If I forget, it feels back like I did in Kindergarten when my teacher would pinch me by the check and drag me to timeout whenever I sucked my thumb. Now, unfortunately, mean old Mrs. Springer won't let go, even after I'm in time out. I'm not posting for sympathy, we've all got something, and I'm honestly okay. However, this month I was challenged to make a self portrait that captured my reality. I'm home, I'm learning, and I'm surrounded by photography, but I've just got this little thing in my ear that is distracting me. #blog  

Reshared post from +Erika Thornes

Added photos to February Self Portrait Challenge: Capture Your Reality.


  1. Tai Mi November 16, 2014

    hmmm….that's really interesting. i have had ear problems all of my life and always interested in hearing what others go through. have the docs determined what it is exactly that you have?

    i'm glad the meds are helping with the pain….sometimes those things are really difficult to bear with as your husband suggests….

  2. Erika Thornes November 16, 2014

    The doctors call it postherpetic trigmenial neuralgia. But, basically, it was after my nerve got stressed from underwater photography. I've had problems with that ear from ear infections and flying. It was the sudden hearing loss and pain that scared us. But, honestly, with my meds, I'm pretty much okay. I just have to keep on top of it. It isn't fun, but there are so many worse things. With meds, it is just annoying. Not, life altering. 

  3. Tai Mi November 16, 2014

    Can you continue with underwater photography? Can you go underwater at all, now?

    thanks for sharing. i'm going to go look that up for more information. :)

  4. Erika Thornes November 16, 2014

    It hurts. I try to stay near the surface. I inevitably go under, and I'm in more pain for about two weeks each time I do it, so I try to avoid going under. I can put my camera under and keep my face above. 

  5. Tai Mi November 16, 2014

    oi!! that sucks….i'm so sorry! (i can't put my head under water because of holes in my eardrums….swimming is no fun…)
    at least you can put the camera under…you underwater work is wonderful.

    and thanks for the link!! :)

  6. Erika Thornes November 16, 2014

    +Tai Mi yes. I am sorry about your ears. Yes. The holes in the ear drums can be limiting. But at least you can go over hills with no pain? I am always trying to think of the bright side. Plus, for me, each morning I wake up pain free. There is such a great gift in that.

  7. Tai Mi November 16, 2014

    Yeah, I don't really have much pain associated with what I have… I was just thinking that it's bad enough that I can't put my head underwater…but I don't have to worry about pain if I do. and I don't create art that desires me to be underwater. Reading the link you sent me, I can understand how limiting something like that can be. I'm always impressed by those that deal with such things and can manage to keep positive and enjoy life as much as they can. 

  8. Erika Thornes November 16, 2014

    It is a small thing. I think we all have obstacles that make things more difficult to do what we want.

  9. Damien Jemison November 16, 2014

    Look at those awesome prints on the wall 😉

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