The answering machine indicated the presence of a new voice message. “This is Doctor ‘I will perform surgery’ ENT. It’s time to schedule your ear surgery.” The very sound of the receptionist instantly transported me back to late October 2022.

“You don’t have Ménière’s,” the ENT stated. “Whatever you have, it’s more neurological.” However, he believed otosclerosis (a term derived from ‘oto,’ meaning “of the ear,” and ‘sclerosis’, meaning “abnormal hardening of body tissue”) and that surgery could fix that. “I can perform the surgery in April 2023. First, we’ll perform a CAT scan of the ear to ensure there’s nothing else happening; then, we’ll schedule the surgery.” The scan showed no Ménière’s-like damage, and I canceled the surgery. (I’ll give the ENT doctor an ‘A’ for effort.)

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