Hi, all! I posted on here a bit three years ago when I was having severe pain in my right ear and a feeling of “swimminess” in my head. By the time I met with Dr. Bove at Northwestern, who agreed to removal surgery, the pain had subsided to the point where I decided to hold off on surgery. My styloids were 4.5 and 3.1 cm at the time.
While the ear pain has never come back, the swimmy head has stuck with me all along, some days better or worse than others. In the past three months, I’ve also developed some throat symptoms that are new to me.
In March, I noticed that my chest felt kind of tight all the time. I could get a full lungs worth of air with a deep breath, but it felt like there was resistance against it. Also, my throat started hurting with a sharp pain in the suprasternal notch (above sternum/between collar bones) when I would breathe in deeply.
In April, I decided to take Flonase (in case it was allergies) and Protonix (in case it was acid reflux). Three weeks later, those meds were havign no effect (which lead to a lot of anxiety) and the throat pain was only getting worse – pain in the suprasternal notch most of the time and my entire throat felt almost bruised. It started hurting to swallow, but the worst pain in the suprasternal notch was when I coughed or breathed in sharply. Basically any kind of disturbance would hurt that spot, including jarring exercises like running or jumping jacks, but also exercises where I need to tighten my abdomen, like planks or push-ups.
I’ve had several tests done with “unremarkable” results: cardiac, chest x-rays, covid, upper endoscopy, barium swallows, etc. It helped that a ton of bad things were ruled out so I have my anxiety mostly under control now.
My throat hasn’t been in as much pain this month (probably due to my anxiety going down), but the issue is still there. It still feels tight/bruised like it’s swollen inside. The pain in my suprasternal notch is still sharp but only when I take a deep breath or if clench my stomach tightly. My chest still feels tight all the time.
And my swimmy head has been especially bad these last few weeks. It’s hard to focus on anything. It’s to the point where I’m thinking about removal surgery again. Since I’m not in sharp or burning physical pain now, I don’t want to invite the pain of post-surgery nerve damage, but on the other hand, my throat and chest tightness and especially swimmy head are making it hard to keep going with any kind of normality.
As always, any kind of explanations, theories, or recommendations are welcome!