Born in Farmington New Mexico 22 years ago I was not even a year old when my parents decided to move back to the Monterey peninsula. On this stretch of coast I have spent the majority of my life, and I consider myself very fortunate. When I was young my biological father passed away due to vices he could not overcome, and left my sister, my mother, and myself in this world with little to no opportunity. Prior to his passing these vices separated my parents. I learned many of life's hard lessons at a young age, but luckily I had the matchless strength of my mother to draw on. She later married my step father, and they founded a construction business. To say they have worked for everything they own is an understatement. They are self-employed which means their job offers no retirement plan, making every dollar count.
I have suffered from chronic ear infections for as long I can remember, and my right ear has never been able to drain properly. We sought medical attention from day one. Being assigned a specialist, and following his every word, we thought we were doing all that we could to combat my degenerate ear. I was roughly 14 or 15 years old when my ear started to bleed profusely, and ooze puss with a musky foul odor, though only for short periods of time. My specialist Dr. Falor offered vague reasoning as to why this was happening, yet we managed to get my symptoms under control with a steroid antibiotic medicine. Fast forward a few years down the road I began to go deaf in my right ear and experience short, but extreme, episodes of vertigo. To make matters worse my anti-biotic drops were no longer working. No one, including my specialist, had any inclination that I was showing symptoms of a rare disease.
I then acquired a love hate relationship with surfing. I did not know that water was a big "no, no" for someone with my condition (which I still did not fully understand). As time progressed, and I was surfing more and more, my symptoms grew worse and worse until finally I knew in my heart that something was terribly wrong. I then sought out a new medical specialist and thankfully he took a different approach to my condition. He ordered a culture on my ear, revealing that I had MERSA. Immediately I went on a 2 and a half month long prescription of a very strong anti-biotic. I was certain that if I had a MERSA infection in my head, I was going to die. I did not die, but I had the feeling that this condition was not the sole source of my problems.
A few months passed, and my ear cleared up; no more white puss, no more blood, no more oozing. My new specialist took another look inside my ear, and he found an indention in my ear drum; a small whole growing back into my head. I remember him slumping back into his chair with a very perplexed look on his face. With his palms together he tapped each finger, one after the other; I could tell he was really searching his thoughts. A few minutes transpire, and then we make eye contact. I did not know what to make of the situation. It was then he told me that he suspected I had a Cholesteatoma. He grabbed his notepad from his chest pocket, and wrote the word out. He instructed me not to look into it, and really did not go into detail about it at all. To be sure of his suspicion he ordered a CAT scan.
It took about two weeks for me to get the CAT scan, and another two weeks for him to read the results, but sure enough he was spot on. I had a Cholesteatoma. He told me I would need to have it removed immediately, but he does not perform this type of operation. He wrote down a list of who I should visit, and as you will find out in the video, it has been one curve ball after another.
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