“Dear Weird Twist:
I have involuntarily respirated through my left ear for the past several years. Following the advice of my primary care physician, I consulted an ear, nose, throat specialist. She diagnosed my condition as Patulous Eustachian tube, which is a rare physical disorder where the tube in my ear stays open. If I don’t have immediate surgery, my condition will rapidly deteriorate to the point where my left ear could become my primary air passage.

I notified my insurance company and they refused to pay for this surgery. Can you believe it? My disorder is supposedly still in its early stages so my carrier considers this an elective procedure. They won’t cover it until it becomes “critical”. The absurdity of it all! They actually recommended exercises to help direct my breathing through my nose, instead of my ear, so as not to exacerbate the situation.

I can’t afford this out of pocket expense but am desperate to get this fixed. How do I get them to pay for this? Help!”

Dear Ellen,

Not to worry. We’ve received the same question from many of our readers over the years. Here’s our 2 step guide:

How to get Coverage on Involuntary Ear Breathing (updated 11/2/09)

Step 1: Email your insurance company a video of you inflating balloons with the afflicted ear. Include this message: In an effort to pay for my elective ear surgery, I’ve taken a second job entertaining at birthday parties. I sure hope blowing up all these balloons with my ear doesn’t worsen my condition. Tips are good and I am booked through the next few months.

Here’s an example submitted by another reader:

Step 2: Wait five business days and you will receive a registered letter in the mail stating your claim has been approved.

Hope this helps Ellen. Let us know how it works out.
Weird Twist Staff