State Of The AGB: Ear Update

First day home

My ear was fucked. up. Even more than originally thought. The surgery was successful but way more intensive than expected and I was on the operating table for more than twice as long as I should have been (10+ hours). There was more cholesteatoma than seen in the CT scan, the auditory bones were either gone or disintegrating, and my ear drum was almost entirely non-functioning. The cholesteatoma had advanced enough so that the surgeon thought it had already reached my brain. It didn’t (yay!) but having the surgery was much more pressing than we thought, so I’m glad I had it done when I did. The cholesteatoma & auditory bones were removed entirely. The prosthesis I had from the previous surgery in 2000 was not working at all but was re-adjusted so now it’s doing its job. The surgeon also created an entirely new eardrum out of my jaw muscle. Fuck yeah 21st century.

Bandage off, sutures & inner packing stay another week

Recovery has been slow, but steady. The biggest hurdle has been my jaw, which somehow got misaligned during/after the surgery. I only have one contact point between the top & bottom jaw, so none of my other teeth touch each other. I can’t chew or bite anything, I can’t open my mouth all the way, smiling is weird, all sorts of shitty stuff I never thought about having my jaw off by just a few centimeters. The verdict on it is still out. It might just be swelling causing it, I might need surgery to fix it, no one is sure yet. I should know more in a couple of weeks.

The best part about all of this though (ya know, in addition to the not having a bone eating disease take my life thing) is that the slim chance of having my hearing improve actually happened. For as long as I can remember, a Rinne test has always resulted in hearing better through bone conduction. But when the doctor took out the inner packing yesterday, she gave me the test, and to both of our surprise, hearing via air conduction was definitely louder. Amazing! We don’t know the results of how much my hearing has improved and we won’t know until my ear has fully finished healing (which should also lead to improved hearing) but this was proof that my hearing improved at all. Neither of us were expecting such quick results, so this is definitely awesome news.

Unintended side effect: crooked jaw

As for AGB, I’m still unsure of how to proceed. I’m not supposed to wear headphones because my ear needs air, so I’m only able to listen to music while in my office at work or in the couple of hours I have at home in the evening. My temporary solution for still getting material posted on AGB without reviewing new records is to post my old LPs for you to download. This is about as time consuming as reviewing new stuff but I don’t need to give the content as much attention or analysis, so I don’t feel too bad just throwing some old blues record up and leaving it at that.

Cotton ball & skin graft bandage for, like, ever

So this place is likely to be a home for free old music for a while. As soon as I’m able to start wearing headphones regularly or figure out an alternative, I’ll try to start in on the new tunes again. But until that happens, know I’m putting a lot of effort into healing and trying to keep AGB from turning into a dust bowl.

Also, I feel it worth to note the loss of main AGB inspiration bunny Hodge. We had to put him down last week in the middle of all this surgery shit, so things have been rough. He was the most perfect bunny ever. Here is a rare video of him grooming on his bunny lady and a wonderful memorial written by my wife.

6 Responses to “State Of The AGB: Ear Update”

  1. Jason Donald says:

    Take care of yourself, man!

  2. Michael says:

    Feel better soon, bro!!

  3. Clem says:

    You must’ve saved up a shitload of good karma by running such a good website which has led to so many people finding so much good music that I’m sure everything’ll heal up properly. Otherwise karma’s a prick I guess.

  4. Christine says:

    an eardrum from jaw muscle?! That blew my mind!

    Sending lots of positive, humorous and otherwise good energy your way!

  5. Guest says:

    God bless and good luck! Modern medicine is really incredible.

  6. Egan Budd says:

    Justin, this is crazy, so sorry to hear of problems with your hearing. Really glad that the surgery seems to have worked out ok, but I know how those things can change during the healing process. Best of luck!

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