Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The ear situation

I've had ear issues all my life. I don't remember a whole lot of my childhood (but maybe more than others), just memories like snapshots, but I do remember the hell of constant ear infections. They have reoccurred throughout my adult life as well, and I've punctured my ear drums more than once - most recently in about 2003 when we hit major turbulence over Utah flying home from Cancun. We dropped a few thousand feet and I blew out both of them. That was fun. I was pretty much deaf for a month after that.

When I moved to Cancun in 2004 I spent more time in the water than normal and got a few more infections than I would have any given year. Luckily I know when I have one, and I know what it takes to get rid of them, and you can buy amoxicillin over the counter there, and you've heard all that before. Since I've been back, they are more frequent, and sometimes I do something about it and sometimes I don't. This last one, the one I have now, has been going on for actually quite a while now. You remember how I went to the doctor about two weeks ago, well, I did the amoxicillin thing like a good little patient and I guess it just didn't take.

So the drugs ran out Sunday and just today I got around to calling the doctor to see what I should do next. Because, you know, it's still runny in the night. Nice, huh? So the advice nurse called me back, and I told her all about it, and then she checked with the doctor that checked me out before, and called me back again, and said I needed to come back in. I asked, like, when, and she said, well, as soon as humanly possible.

Of course it's month end on a desk with no assistant, but I had things under control (as much as I could anyway) and so I left Hillsboro for Beaverton (real Beaverton, not Aloha Beaverton, or Tanasbourne Beaverton. I don't consider those Beaverton. For the record.) at around 1:30. This time my wait was a little bit longer.

The fun thing was that the nurse that I saw today was the same one that told me I had all kinds of crazy stuff in my right ear. She remembered me and so I asked her to explain what she said. Like, when you say "all kinds of crazy stuff", what does that mean? She explained that the normal ear is all smooth and almost shiny and mine is all lumpy and scarred up with crazy shapes and terrain and like sculptures and stuff. Interesting. She took a look just to remind herself. Then she looked in my left ear, the one with the infection.

And recoiled in horror.

Seriously. Recoiled. Like backed away quickly. I asked her what was up, and she said it was red like the sweater I had on and there was some kind of pus pocket kind of growing in the middle of it. I laughed, even though I know it can't be good, but she cracked me up because she was so real about it. She asked if I minded if she showed the other nurses... of course I didn't. None of them had ever seen anything like it. I'm glad I have this ability to do parlour tricks without actually doing or saying anything.

My actual doctor (the one they assigned to me, I guess, I had never met him) was in so she walked me upstairs to see him. He took a look. Did not recoil. Prescribed more antibiotics and some drops. Told me to finish them and then call them back. I've been down this road before.

Okay so meanwhile it's 3:20 and I have a 4:30 signing back in Hillsboro. My doctor's medical assistant had taken my vitals prior to seeing the doctor, but my blood pressure registered high so she wanted to take it again (it's never high) (which is actually kind of surprising considering my temper) after he was done. She comes back in and I'm starting to stress, wraps the thing around my arm, and the fire alarm goes off. Okay. She says, calmly, So I guess we're having a fire drill... and I said, seriously, I have to get back to work, can we do this another time? She went and checked it out and it was a false alarm, but really, doesn't it make perfect sense that Kaiseer Beaverton would burst in to flames the minute I have an appointment there? (The bp was normal when she rechecked it, by the way. Thanks for asking)

So down to the pharmacy I go, where I learned a valuable lesson about my health plan, which means I don't yet have the drugs, but will, and now all I can think about is the pus pocket in my left ear and a mini Stonehenge in my right. I made it back just in time for the signing too.

This saga, as boring as it is, will continue. I just want my ears back to normal in time for me to fly south and blow them out again. Anyway, not being able to hear is better when you're tan.


At 12:40 PM, October 29, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The ear infrection I got in Mexico was horrible. My doctor said she couldn't believe I had been walking around like that. They had to implant a wick in my ear since it was completely swollen shut. I have never before let out sound like that in the doctor's office as I did when he put that wick in there. It was a memory I wish I could self-protect against and simply lock away in a dark room in my mind somewhere (like most of MY childhood memories, which is why I don't remember much of it either, Joycie). Anyway, the point is...I feel for you. Ear trouble is the worst. Hearing your own voice in our head when you talk is irritating to say the least. God speed, my friend...God speed. :) BH

At 12:42 PM, October 29, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh...and don't you love how they just HAVE to weigh you every time you go there? Even for a splinter or paper cut? Good Lord. BH

At 3:28 PM, October 29, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG, when they call in the rest of the staff to have a look, it's BAAAAD!!!!

Hope it clears up soon,


At 7:07 AM, October 31, 2009, Blogger JJ said...

Becky you are hilarious.


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