Tinnitus/tin·ni·tus /ˈtinitəs/ : Ringing/buzzing in the ears; may cause depression and insomnia
The night I got it will never be erased from my mind. The thud, the pain, the sound in my ears as if someone opened a window as a plane was flying. Like all the air around me are sucked into my ears. Maybe that is why I find it hard to breath. Then the vertigo came, the world went spinning. I fell to the ground. But I felt as if I never landed. I was free falling. I was lying flat on the ground but the world kept spinning and I kept falling. At that time, I wish all of this is a dream. I waited for the moment to wake up. Please wake up, please wake, please wake me up. But I didn’t. Instead, I have to pull myself up and walked to the nearest checkpoint. Everybody else was still too busy playing the stupid war game. The ‘enemy’ must be happy that they shot me a plastic bag full of flour water right to my head during their ambush. What they didn’t know is that it changed the trajectory of my life for good.
To think of it, it is amazing how this small organ, the ear with all its parts, outer, middle and inner, can perform such a vital function that when it is damaged, a person could not hear, walk or feel the ground. The person who threw the bag of flour water must have done it with a very full force. Not only my ear drums are busted, the high speed energy must have driven the bones in the middle ear right into the inner ear through the oval window, so hard that the brain fluids began leaking out through the cochlear. I called my parents. I might be very lucky that my dad happens to be an ENT surgeon. At that time I didn’t know the extent of my injury. All I knew is that it is freaking painful. The eardrums being the most sensitive organ in the human body to pain, I might scale the pain 11/10. I could not sit still in the clinic until they gave me that jab of painkiller. My dad told me that eardrum perforation is common and it will heal in time. It got me relieved, and I went back to the hostel. Meanwhile, fluids are still coming out of my ear, dismissing it as flour water from the plastic bag.
I went to bed. I couldn’t sleep well with the eerie sound in my ears. It woke me up every hour. It was then that I noticed it. On my pillow, the fluid that soaks my pillow made the wet area look peculiar. Then I remember it: the ‘halo sign’ of CSF. I still remember my Professor’s words: In a head injury, always ask if you feel a dripping sensation on the back of the throat, and if the fluid drips out of the nose, test it in a white cloth for ‘halo sign’, which indicates the fluid is from the brain. “This is exactly how it looks!” I thought. I freaked out and called my dad again. I told him that I can feel the fluid pulsating out of my ears. Being a surgeon, he said this calmly but with a sense of urgency: “get back to
as soon as possible”. UKM Hospital