Hi there, my name is Todd and I have O.M.E.,(Otitis Media with Effusion). My wife, Jenny, asked me to explain what O.M.E. is to me so you folks can understand how it effects an individual in many different aspects of ones life. Now I’ll get right down to it and tell you that I’m not going to try to explain what it is in medical terms you just need to read the blog on this site “How Ear Problems Begin to Develop” or do some research on your own; there is plenty of information out there. Instead, I’m going to talk about what it means to me, Todd. That is what my dear wife asked me to do so I’m going to give it my best.
O.M.E. To me and my life is fluid that builds up behind your eardrum that will eventually lead to you needing ear tubes installed into your eardrums to allow this fluid to drain and help balance pressure in your head. If you have gotten to the point of having this done yourself then you most likely have O.M.E or you already know a lot about this subject. So the answers that we are looking for are” What is the cause of this?” and “ How can I fix it?”, but gee, I myself have not had these answered as of yet. But, I am starting to have a better understanding of it or at least how it effects me. Are you ready friends, to know what it fully means to me and how I’m approaching to fix it?
What it is to me on a daily basis is feeling pain, suffering, a fullness or underwater feeling of being muffled, pressure in the ears and head, ringing in the ears 24/7, changes in the tone of sounds, throbbing,pounding, and cracking, it just doesn’t stop it’s always there. I’m constantly vacuuming the thick, glue-like liquid out of my ears.
On an emotional level I experience confusion, being distracted from life, the feeling of being inadequate to others and unappreciated, not enjoying the pleasures of a normal, everyday life . I feel cut off from love, joy, peace, harmony,and contentment. I’m not sure that I have ever experienced these good things in life. I look back at my life and it’s depressing because it feels like nothing has come thru for me no matter how hard I’ve tried. I’m constantly concerned about what I’m eating so it won”t effect my ears. These are the depth of feelings that I go thru although I try very hard to be positive on a daily basis.
It’s hard to know what started this problem for me; I truly believe that it started when I was very young . I say this because looking back I’ve had most of all the classic symptoms : learning, speech, attention disorders (although never diagnosed ADD) , reading problems ( hiding that I couldn’t read from others until I finally learned at age 15), trouble spelling words, stuttering when I was young, difficulty in making friends and with relationships, just an overall feeling of being “different” from others.
By about the age of 7 or 8, around 1968, my mother was taking me to a place called Child Guidance. At this place I would be given different tests such as reading tests,ink blot tests,and questions about an array of different things. I now realize that what they were really doing was analyzing me as a “retarded” child because I had issues (political correctness wasn’t promoted much then so I did feel “retarded” not “special”- no offense to anyone intended). So they sent me to a special needs school on a little yellow bus from home and back. My guess is that I was put into this category because I had inner ear problems which kept me from hearing properly and so I developed these learning difficulties. I feel that my whole life I have had to fight so much harder than the next person even with basic everyday things that most people take for granted.
It seems that my problems with O.M.E. started way back in life from a sequence of events starting almost at birth. These problems, I feel, are an imbalance of proteins within the bacteria in the intestines. Some may call it Candida these days. Think of it as an imbalanced ecosystem in a dirty, stinky, algae covered pond of water. Not much good grows in that pond does it? No. On the other hand a well balanced pond of water looks good, refreshing and welcoming to plants and wildlife offering a healthy living environment.
The human body is just that simple; keep it balanced with good nutrition. So I ask myself, “ What causes this imbalance to happen in the first place”? Is it what our parents fed us as a young baby and child and then all the candy and junk food that we feed ourselves thru childhood and into our adult life?
Time goes on and we find ourselves struggling with life on so many different levels unknowingly complicating it as much as we can.
Most people with O.M.E. will have multiple, seemingly unrelated problems as well, such as autoimmune disorders, and emotional problems such as depression, anxiety and for some even suicidal tendencies. As I learn more about this condition I start to realize that it’s been with me my whole life.
So, the best thing for me to do is to maintain life to the best of my ability and recognizing that it is my life helps me to a degree to cope. So what do I do to fix it?
These are the things that have helped me:
I have changed the way that I eat. Diet has played a big role in helping me manage my ear problems. I have eliminated processed foods and sugars from my diet. I also limit caffeine which produces mucus. It is not as hard to do as it may seem because the body will eventually stop craving the unhealthy foods when it gets used to the healthy ones. Look at what you are eating. See the big picture, don’t you think it would be worth it to give up donuts and experience a much less painful life?
Exercise, stretching, breathing, deep tissue massage, slow motion movements and relaxation are a big help to me and a part of my daily routine. I jog or walk in the morning and do stretching, deep breathing and slow motion movements in the evening to music or quiet, depending on my mood and what I’m trying to achieve at the moment. I also massage all my muscle groups and joints and also my meridians to keep my fluids clear of debris and flowing freely.
I also do the best I can to reduce stress anxiety and depression in my life. This is important. These things put more stress on your mind, body, and soul causing even more inflammation which causes more fluid to build up in the ears and it just becomes a viscous cycle.
So, in a nutshell, we need to listen to our body. It will tell you what it needs. You need to take the time to get to know it. We need to be calm in order to do so which at times may seem impossible with all the problems going on in your ears and head but we do the best we can. By calming down in life we may start to heal ourselves of O.M.E. It takes a lot of observation of our life and how we live it. Taking responsibility of our own health is a good start. Pondering over our life, meditating and being spiritual is also very beneficial.
As I sit here writing this for my wife’s blog at 54 years of age, I hope that one day I can say, “When I was much younger in life I dealt with O.M.E. and the aftereffects of it, but it is no more.”
How about you? Do you struggle with O.M.E. also ? What has helped you? Let us know so we can all help each other. Stay posted!