Wednesday the 22nd of February.. 

My Morning, Mayo Clinic Ear Appointment.

Today’s Rhetorical Question : Captain, was the mini-procedure in your left ear this morning the most challenging medical experience of your entire life to date?

Answer : I can’t think of a more challenging medical experience.

Yes Oh Yes .. Falling and breaking both knee caps in March 2004 was challenging. Falling and breaking my left hip in Dubai November 25th 2016 was challenging. Falling and injuring my right shoulder in September 2022 was challenging. All three of these medical challenges lasted for some months.

The left-ear-challenge was this : My Ear / Nose / Throat Doctor went deep into my left ear and, with “various medical instruments”, and with me fully conscious (not sedated) removed a very large, dried and hardened, blood clot from my left ear.  Patti said that she was shocked when she saw the size of it. This first endeavor was 65% of the procedure. The next 35% of the procedure was when the doctor then removed more remnants of dried blood from my left ear drum and then “vacuumed my left ear drum”. That was equally challenging and YES!! very stressful. All in all it took maybe ?? 20 minutes.

Patti said she had difficulty watching both me and the doctor performing the procedure.

Bottom Line : My Doctor could NOT tell me why this happened (sharp left ear pain and a lot of bleeding) during the night of last January 28th/29th. 

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Patti’s noontime Ear / Nose / Throat appointment was excellent.

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My late afternoon 3PM physical exam. An annual physical examination is NOT supposed to be a giddy, fun, and upbeat experience. Mine was giddy, fun and very upbeat.

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We then did a 5:30pm meeting.

I collapsed into bed around 10pm.

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Thursday the 23rd of February.

More Mayo Clinic Appointments.

Today is about me, Your Captain. This is a “free day” for Patti.

10:15 am Neurology Pathology Consultation, Department of Neurology. This appointment was about my swallowing issue and preceded the below Swallow Function Exam.

11:30am Fluoroscopic Swallow Function Exam, Department of Radiology. I am not exactly “looking forward” to this experience because it sounds like I will have to “swallow a mini-camera” or something similar.

12:45pm Patti has an EKG appointment.

1:45pm Sleep Apnea Consultation, Division of Sleep Medicine. This is an easy, simple, no stress, no worries, event.

4:40pm Patti has a “blood draw”.

6pm. I am the lead speaker at a North Scottsdale Fellowship Group (NSFG) meeting. I AM EAGERLY LOOKING FORWARD TO SPEAKING. It’s What I Do.

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4:14 AM .. Time to go back to bed and get some more sleep before another busy day begins.

Over And Out.

Cap and Patti (sound asleep)


  1. Gullible

    Neurology Pathology. Have you been asking about cognitive/memory problems?

    So, can you hear better with all those obstructions removed.

    1. Cap Chastain Post author

      Well yes I have discussed short term memory issues with my primary care doctor. The Neurology appointment turned out to be about some swallowing difficulties I have developed. Cap

  2. Michael

    I’m so happy that you finally got a specialist to ‘dig a little deeper’ into your ear malady. I know how much it pained you during the wait to be seen at the Mayo. The procedure sounds brutal and I remember your visit here in LHC with the general practitioner who didn’t offer much relief, and I asked you during our SuperBowl get-together if the experience was painful, which at that time nothing much was accomplished so you said “No!”. But that was then and this is now and we now know the reason for the pain and the blockage of hearing on this ear! So happy that the quality specialists you see there were able to get down to the real nitty-gritty and clear the ear canal. Question tonight is, has your ability to hear returned. As far as the diagnosis, more will be revealed.
    I am glad to hear that you both are being seen at the Mayo and this trip down sounds like a roto-rooter kind of experience, with additional maintenance to follow.
    The meetings and your pursuits of chinese chicken cashew dinners sound scrumptious!
    You must be exhausted with all you’ve experienced the past few days. Sleep well, mis amigos!
    Love you both,

    1. Cap Chastain Post author

      Thanks so very VERY much Michael for all of your support over the past several decades. YOU too have had your own medical challenges. Again, Michael, thank you always in all ways for your ongoing support. Smiles and hope to see you later next week. Cap and Patti

  3. Kathleen

    I had fallen behind, caught up just now, and so this message covers a couple of your posts.
    (1) I’m glad you splurged on flowers for Patti. I love them so much but am rarely willing to spend the money. They do bring me joy.
    (2) Congratulations Patti on 23. That’s quite an accomplishment and a true gift to yourself.
    (3) I am sorry for the ear torture. I too have had unspeakable horrors performed on my ear drum while conscious. And a bit of digging on other occasions. It’s so hard to deal with. Thankfully, my ears have been unclogged for a while now. I hope you get some relief, Cap.
    (4) Yum yum yum to cashew chicken. I love it. I hope to try Singapore noodles someday. I love to hear about all your eating experiences. I am living vicariously through your postings. So, thank you for that.
    (5) Take care of yourself. When you are tired, please rest. We will still be here even if you take a day or two off.
    Love you both!

    1. Cap Chastain Post author

      Thanks so very VERY much Kathleen for your support. So you too have had (call them) ear challenges. NO fun huh? Patti appreciates all the support you have given her over the years as we walk the road together Kathleen. Happy you enjoy reading about some of our enjoyable meals. Smiles. Cap and Patti

    1. Cap Chastain Post author

      You and I both give thanks Ginny that, at least for now, things are stable with my left ear. Thanks for your prayers Ginny. Cap

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