February 17, 2005

Off-kilter

I stood nervously at the reception as the nurse scanned the computer screen. “No – these are all normal,” the nurse told me.

“Really? Only because these last few days I’ve been feeling really strange – off balance – like my brain takes a bit to catch up with my head…”

“Your results are fine,” she said decisively.

“But … I’ve been feeling so weird … do they say anything about low blood pressure??”

“… no – blood pressure is tested on your arm.” She wasn’t being patronising. Not at all.

With rising panic I scheduled an appointment for that afternoon with my doctor, who I could see in her office. Ignoring me.

The day crawled by. As has become his habit, my boss remained absent until mid-afternoon. Following his example, I slacked off ALL DAY worked very hard on some research tasks.

3:30 arrived. I explained my symptoms to the doctor and waited with bated breath. She asked a few questions, then announced, “Your ears are blocked. We’ll get them syringed.”

Hooray! No life-threatening debilitating wasting disease for me! Just the strange sensation of hot water being pumped into my eardrum, feeling it trickle down my neck, and waiting for the nurse’s “Ah!” as some particularly disgusting lump of obstruction is freed.

I walked back to my office with a grin bigger than usual. My discman was only turned up to 25! Oh, the traffic noise! My shoes squeak in a most obnoxious manner! Back at work, my keyboard makes loud clicking sounds! I can hear my HAIR!

17 Comments:

Anonymous H said...

I went through this a few years ago and it was driving me mad, only with one ear, and it prompted all kinds of theories as well. What a surprising difference afterwards, eh?

7:40 PM  
Anonymous Jimmy said...

How long do you think you've been somewhat deaf for? Did you keep the disgusting lump for show & tell?

7:41 PM  
Blogger llew said...

I was going to blog about my visit to the doctor at 3.30 yesterday... was that you in the school uniform sitting next to me?

But my wife really hates me talking about my medical mysteries in public... so I haven't.

Although my doctor was in full comic mode yesterday (since I hadn't been for my regular checkup for about 3 years..)

Her: "Leave your mobile number at reception on your way out"
Me: "In case something nasty turns up on the blood test?"
Her: "No, in case I get the urge to lecture someone about how they treat their liver."

8:25 PM  
Blogger Jessie said...

SCHOOL UNIFORM?!

8:26 PM  
Blogger llew said...

Well it seemed such a coincidence, and you clearly weren't the bald guy sneezing a lot.

I've had my ears done heaps of times - first time was about 30 years ago & I was so dizzy afterwards I had to wait half an hour before I could drive home.

8:43 PM  
Blogger noizy said...

Yeah, my ears clog up pretty regularly as well. Coincidentally enough, I had mine syringed a couple of weeks ago. I knew they'd been going for a while, 'cos when I woke up each morning the wax had completely closed over the passage in my left ear, but a decent pinky-in-earhole-wiggle would sort it out for the day. Then the day came that it wouldn't, so off to see my doctor's nurse I went. She cleaned out the offending ear, then told me she'd do the other one while she was at it.

"Oh no," I said, "that one's fine!"
"We'll just check, shall we?"

And she proceeded to remove about three tablespoons worth of wax from the bugger.

Argh! The background noise! I had forgotten how loud the city is!

9:02 PM  
Anonymous MLE said...

Argh! I read this post and comments, and about 5 minutes later my eardrums started to feel all itchy and funny. Have now had to dig around in them with cotton buds. Even though last time I had "the syringe" the doctor told me never to do that, as it just pushes the wax further in...

I'm sure the level of wax has something to do with wearing headphones a lot.

9:32 PM  
Blogger llew said...

Would it be icky to tell you I do them myself these days? About once a year, usually shortly after suffering a cold. Double connector hose thing (to hot & cold taps) and a nozzle. Works well. leave the plug in the bath & you can have a few seconds of fun marvelling that all that stuff was in your ears...

10:26 PM  
Blogger noizy said...

yes, that would be icky. thanks for sharing llew.

best thing to do (so I'm told, and which I promise to myself I will now do) is a twice-weekly dose of warm olive oil into the old earhole.

Softens and loosens the wax, apparently, and makes it easier for it to slide out the natural way.

although, now you've got me thinking about the DIY in the bath method...

12:42 AM  
Blogger Jessie said...

Yeah, my doctor mentioned the olive oil trick. I'm just wondering how to go about getting it in there...

Anyway suffice to say I've learned my lesson regarding posting about bodily functions ;)

12:45 AM  
Blogger llew said...

You're all welcome. ANy other medical enquiries, feel free to consult Dr Llew....

1:49 AM  
Blogger The Saturnyne said...

AND you could use the oil for cooking with afterwards... or sprinkle yer ear onto a nice salad.

Mmm, yumm!

Isn't it amazing how clear everything sounds when ye've got yer earing back? 'tis most lovely.

S.x

2:07 AM  
Blogger noizy said...

I'm just wondering how to go about getting it in there... The chemist has these ear drops which come with one of those eye-dropper-style affairs: plastic tube, squeeze the end, air goes out, drop tube into liquid, suck it back in...

you know the drill. anyway, once you've used the 'special' ear drops, you just carry on with the olive oil.

you may already have an eyedrops dropper lying around if, like me, you're occasionally susceptible to, err, a bit of 'allergic-reaction' red-eye.

2:12 AM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

I never knew until now that people had excessive waxy build up that causes deafness!!!!! What else is being kept from me!?

6:05 AM  
Blogger nincomjoel said...

Fuck, i hope never get old, shit you buggers make it seem quite the party...

10:57 PM  
Blogger limegreen said...

If you can't be bothered getting an eyedropper, you could just use a straw with a finger over the end, pipette-styles...

11:13 PM  
Blogger Morphess said...

Hear your hair. That's really funny. The nurse found an old ear plug in mine recently....

Llew: that's truly revolting.

1:54 AM  

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