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I've had problems with ear infections my entire life. I ruptured both eardrums as a teen. Five years ago I had surgery to fix a deviated septum to help stop ear infections and sinus infections. About 4 months ago, I had another ear infection in my left ear (which was actually considered to be my "good" ear) that left me with significant hearing loss and problems with dizziness and nausea. After several months of treatment with antiobiotics and steroids that didn't help, I was referred to an ENT who eventually discovered that I had a cyst behind my eardrum (cholesteatoma). He believed that we had caught it early and that no permanent damage had been done. We scheduled surgery to remove the cyst and to insert a permanent tube in the ear to equalize the pressure. After the surgery in July, I've continued to have lots of problems. I've regained some hearing (my ENT says we won't really know for 8-10 weeks if that will come back. My balance is better than it was, but I still struggle with periodic vertigo and just a general sense of being dizzy or drunk (and I often look drunk when I walk). My biggest setback is the increased tinnitus, especially the pulsatile tinnitus which is driving me crazy. I went back to work 5 days after the surgery, worked for a couple of weeks, and then went on a 3 week medical leave to relearn how to walk without hurting myself. I took valium for a while (which helped), but my doctor wants me off it and back to work. I'm at a loss for what to do next. This is wreaking havoc on my life. I return to work Monday to try it once again. I am a retail manager for a large bookstore and I tend to work 50-60 hours a week. I'm looking for advice, expectations, comfort?
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