Hello, at the age of two I drowned and was very quickly revived. I was told that your ears go first then the lungs, what ever that means? Well I developed an pneumonia and apparently my left ear developed an inner ear infection that went unchecked for years. Only after concerns from my teacher and bad grades were hearing test performed. I was deaf in my left ear. Thanks, now I get too sit in front of the class, so I could hear better. Around 1969 at the age of eight I had my first surgery to replace or repair the ossicles and to perform tympanoplasty. The 1st surgery was performed in Oakland Ca. by a Dr. Mrs. Cox or similar name I cant remember. Then a later operation to reconstruct the retracted ear drum and to rebuild up a bridge or back wall. Well this left me with 2 problems, still no stereo, and then at the age of twenty-three that I have a hole in my head that needs to be seen by a professional every 6 months. I have had the same ear Doctor for 31 years now. I don't always keep it dry and have battled many infections since. Sometimes I would go years without having the squamous debris and recurrent cholesteatoma removed.
While undergoing a recent annual DOT physical to determine my fitness to drive a commercial vehicle and to keep up with the new laws, I was ordered to have sleep depravity test performed because I am overweight. Only after an over night stay at a sleep study lab have I have been diagnosed with a sleep disorder. This is where it gets critical. In order to keep my $62,000 a year job, I now have to be fitted with, and use a CPAP Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine with a monitoring chip. So far not a problem. While attending a class to be fitted for a CPAP machine I was surprised to see the small room packed with people. While trying the machine, I asked the instructor if it was normal for my (good) ear to pop like driving at high elevations. He said, "shhh!" Then I felt like air was coming out of my bad ear, and felt like air was rushing through my head. Again I asked him if this was normal, he said save your questions for the end of class, so I began asking those around me if they too had felt the pressure in their head. I was alone.
I brought the machine home and found out It was impossible for me to use. I described the pain as having a pencil wedged between my ears, with the sharp end pushing outward against my bad ear and the eraser part pushing against my good ear. I called Kaiser and explained the pain I was experiencing and they told me to stop using it. Then my own ear doctor said my ear drum is intact and basically keep using it, get used to it. The results from using that machine for me, were negative. I developed an ear ache in my bad ear that drained heavily for over 2 months. The pressure to my good ear lasted as long. and 9 months later I still have recurring sharp pointy pains that sometimes take me to my knees. More recent I have developed slight drainage, that requires another visit to my doctor. Unable to meet the DOT physical requirements my 40 years as a professional truck driver are washed up. I wonder if anyone else out there has had this problem using the CPAP? Thanks, Tim