Another Ear Surgery & A Baby Update

I know, just what you wanted. Another ear post. Got to bring you up to date as to why there has been no surfing despite epic swells. It’s been one complication after another and my ears are still f’ed.

I was diagnosed with Exostosis back in March (quick recap here). In April I had double ear surgery (remember surgery #1 here, and surgery #2 here). The ears healed, but due to the fact that they cut through my jaw muscle during surgery, I developed an acute form of TMJ. While getting a checkup on the jaw problem in Huanchaco, the doctor contaminated my ears with dirty instruments and I contracted ear fungus (remember that epic adventure here). My ears were never able to fully heal and since then it’s been infections and other issues. I have been going to a new doctor here in Lima once a week for the last 7 weeks. This week the doctor decided to do a minor surgery to remove a granulation in my inner ear that was causing problems.

Granulation tissue forms at the site of an injury. As the body heals, this tissue fills in the injury, and eventually scars over. In some cases (like mine), the body produces too much granulation tissue, in a condition known as proud flesh. (Really? I always thought that was something different. Learning new things every day).

Here is a picture of the granulation in my inner ear. Can you identify it? Yeah, me neither.

Doctors often treat this problem with topical applications which cauterize the granulation tissue so that it will stop growing, encouraging the body to move on to the next stage in healing. Sometimes more aggressive tactics may be necessary, such as surgery to remove the excess tissue. 

You know me, I’m never one to miss an opportunity for surgery.

Now that this is done, perhaps I’ll finally heal and be able to move past this. I am dying to surf here. There are epic spots just south of Lima.

In other news, we said goodbye to my brother. Sad, but we’ll see him in December when we fly home for a couple weeks to show off the new baby.

We’ve entered our last few weeks before we dar a luz, so we’ve really started to ramp up the pregnancy training. I’ve been hammering the pages of my new favorite book,  Husband Coached Childbirth. I can’t recommend this book enough to expecting couples who want to have a natural birth.

Stevie has been doing her part, eating well and staying fit. I’m so proud of her. She’s done so well through the entire pregnancy.

We’re now going to the doctor every week. This might be the most dangerous thing we do on a weekly basis. Yes, the cab is moving.

Seriously dude? My wife is pregnant. Read the paper, or drive the cab, but please don’t do both at the same time!

In the last doctors appointment we were informed that our daughter may be a bit bigger than average. Right now she is two weeks ahead.

Stevie’s biological father was 6’4″, and as you can see from the photo of my brother above, the Trujillos aren’t exactly small either! It should be interesting on delivery day.

Lets’s see, what else… I had another amazing trip up to Huaraz. It was probably my last overnight trip until after the baby is born, and might have been the best 4 days of 2012, so far. Stay tuned for the next blog post for a recap.

Until then, enjoy a good laugh while viewing the front page of the Huaraz newspaper. This pretty much sums up why I think this is the coolest town in Peru.



  1. Having an injury or illness that goes on for months and months is incredibly draining, physically AND emotionally. Hang in there Tree. I hope you are healed soon so you can surf your heart out . . .

  2. Tree- Man that is terrible. My left ear where I roll up feeling clogged- and that has been for the last ten years or so. I have been religious with the plugs, but when my none plugs get ripped off, I feel like I get my ears rammed with water. Should I be concerned???

    • yes. You should get them tested. If they are more than 90% closes, get the surgery. Delaying can cause other problems, including long term damage to the ear drum. Ask my friend Clay Wright. He waited too long and had to endure hell.

  3. Hi Tree,
    My friend Jetska put me in touch with your blog today, as she rightly feels that we (my wife Lou & I) seem to have a lot in common with you guys! Nice to read about your adventures, and scary to read about your ear surgery and complications…
    Things we have in common:
    1) I have a sprinter camper van, and am planning a year off travelling with a view to a serious change in lifestyle (‘fuck the carrot’ as you so succinctly put it!).
    2) I have really bad surfers ear – 95% in both ears, and have been denying the need for surgery (riding the last 5%!) the past year. (I’m completely deaf in my left ear again at the moment). I have finally reached the top of the National Health service list, so surgery will have to happen soon or I’ll lose my spot. I’m scared though!
    3) I have chronic pain in my back from a serious cliff diving injury (although that thankfully didn’t put me in a wheel chair like your climbing accident did).

    My wife and I are are upgrading our sprinter from camper to ‘even better sprinter camper!’. I’ve recently added a leisure battery and relay and have been given a solar panel (with broken glass but still working) which is getting resin’d up to go on the roof to help power our new fridge. We plan to head down through Europe surfing, climbing and sea kayaking from March next year. Also planning to visit the Great Bear Rainforest for a month or so (without the van!) next August / September. I’m looking forward to reading more on your blog, and perhaps we’ll meet one day! I added a link to my blog, which isn’t up to your blog’s standards!, and quite out of date at the mo! Hope you heal really well, and quickly – sounds like you deserve some serious time in the water with no more ear interruptions… Best of luck getting well. Cheers, Tom & Lou

    • Hey Tom,
      Don’t wait too long on the ear surgery. Read my reply to Tim above.

      I checked out your blog. The deep water soloing looks amazing. I can’t wait to get back to Europe to do some more climbing. Great stuff over there!

      I also hope our paths cross one day. We do indeed have a lot in common. Stay in touch! We’ll be to Europe at some point and it would be great to hang out.


      ps – let me know how the Sprinter is working out

      • Be cool to see you in Europe sometime. I’ve updated my blog a little today ‘Sprinter Life Europe begins!’, and will keep you up to date with the Sprinter and our plans. Climbing in Peru sounds really fun. Best of luck with the baby. Tom

  4. Hope you are doing better Tree. By the way… Cousin Chloe will be 11 in December and at her check up this month was 5’2″! We grow tall, beautiful children in this family. Love you – Auntie Candy

  5. Tim Thornton says:

    WTF…… Tree, Again???

  6. Walter Burkhardt says:

    Dean Dean do you hear me?… DAmn bro cut it out!

  7. Ouch Tree – sorry to hear about your continuing complications. And yeah, paddlers/surfers, wear your ear protection, because after multiple years it’s a matter of WHEN not IF you’ll have to go through what Tree just did………..

  8. Tree, Its ok to be the runt of your family. I’m so proud of all your accomplishments. You have such a big heart. Anyway Lisa and I are excited for you guys and are wishing the both of you an amazing birth. Lord knows how dame hard you guys are working. Take it easy and paddle with the current. Man. runts always try so much harder. It’s an inspiration.

    Michael Lorenzo

  9. Michael Tuohy says:

    If you want, I can send a box of gloves over for the next time they try to fix you without infecting you. Just let me know.

    What about some Dr Dre Headphones? They’re all the rage with the kids these days.

  10. David Leher says:

    I don’t like this! Did the wedge last weekend and mine are all messed up now. I hate ear plugs but you are right..Because now my ears are plugged with out bueno!

  11. Cathy Fanandakis Alexander says:

    Sorry Tree this is getting a bit much, it must be awful to go through this:-( I hope this surgery helps and you’d better use ear plugs or some kind of protectection! Take Care Get well soon wishes!

  12. Jun Ko Dowds says:

    How cute Stevie!!! I can’t wait to you with a baby soon:) I miss you !

  13. Your new name: OREJAS!

  14. Ruth Fonseca says:

    omg, you are a skinny girl with abig baby on bord !!!!!!!!!!

  15. Yuck!! Sorry to hear about your ear problems and that’s soo gross your own doctor contaminated your ears. Hope this is the last surgery you’ll need before you can surf again.

    Stevie is looking amazing; good on her for keeping up her pre-natal yoga! Can’t wait to meet the new sprinter life baby.

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