The Story of the Surgery (part 2)

January 4, 2009

The day before my follow-up appointment, I received a phone message that Dr. Kashani's practice had moved out of Manhattan into a remote part of Queens, accessible by neither subway nor bus. I called Dr. Heche for help and she assured me that I was wrong. She knows Dr. Kashani very well and there was no possibility he had moved his practice off the island. She would give him a call to discuss why his staff was so confused. Several days and a few follow-up phone calls later, Dr. Heche still had no idea what had happened to Kashani. She gave me the number of a new ear, nose, and throat doctor, Dr. Isaac Nambar, so I could begin the process again.

After administering a hearing test Dr. Nambar recommended I go have an MRI. For a procedure designed to detect such life threatening illnesses such as tumors, the MRI wasn't bad, consisting of me laying motionless for about five minutes. I think I actually fell asleep. When the results of the MRI came back, Dr. Nambar said that I had a condition called otosclerosis, which is normally almost undetectable in MRIs, but showed up in mine. Otosclerosis is a hardening of a bone in the ear called the stapes, one of the smallest bones in the human body. Apparently, this happens most commonly to white pregnant women... and me. Commonly believed to be hereditary, this calcification of the stapes restricts its ability to vibrate as effectively as it should, thus resulting in diminished hearing and ringing in the ears. It didn't exactly explain the dizziness, but Nambar decided to refer me to Dr. Anthony Jahn to discuss surgical options.