Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Aftermath

The Tapes and Tapes show was so good, I figured that being sick was mostly a result of having walked around a very chilly Chicago during the late fall.

On the train after the show my head hurt a bit, but I chalked it up to general tiredness and went off home and slept. By the next day I had lost all hearing in my right ear and my ear was very tender. I wasn’t exactly sure what was wrong, but being that I was in the US I knew that I couldn’t afford to do much about it.

The earache turned into a right proper head cold and for the next week I went through the thrashes of a full-on sinus infection. My worry was mounting as I was about to board a plan for Korea and wasn't sure if I would still have a stuffed-up head for the flight. While I still felt punk during my trip, for the most part I was okay.

However, once in Korea the hearing did not improve. Nor did the low-level earache that seemed to have decided to become a constant thing. I wanted the earache gone, which meant it was time to go see my friendly ENT.

The last time I had been to the ENT was for the final checkup after having had my tonsillectomy back in 2009. They took great care of me for the months of catastrophic tonsillitis that eventually lead to the loss of tonsils, and I knew they would do right by me in regards to the earache, so I went there.

Being between health insurance cards did not bother me in the least, I knew the price would be more than a little affordable, so I went. It was a late-evening visit because the office would not be so busy. Today I had the older doctor, who spoke great English and looked like he was 90. He took at a look at my ear and said, “There is a some kind of bad waxy buildup.”

He filled my head with ear drops and asked me to come back the next day to get the earwax out. After the diagnosis I was more than a little embarrassed. I tried to keep my ears clean, so I was surprised to learn that I had very alarming waxy buildup that had caused deafness. However, to keep my spirits up, I reminded myself that I had had a rather nasty sinus cold and whatever it was could be left over from that.

I went back the next day to see the ENT and was greeted by the younger doctor, who was happy to see me alive and well after the tonsil debacle and asked how I was doing generally. He looked in my ear and said, “Yes, I can see the obstruction. We need to work on that,” and put me up on the table.

They laid me out on a table and stuck long sharp instruments that I don’t want to imagine in my ear and pulled things out of my ear.

“Have you been putting things in your ear?”

“No?” I said confused.

“No, you put something in your ear.”

“No, I didn’t.”

“All finished.” I sat up and he showed me the  pieces of ear plug that I had used during the Tapes and Tapes concert. The doctor also thoroughly scolded me for putting things in my ear, even after I tried to explain it was a really, really cheap ear plug. In the end, I was just happy to be able to mostly hear again. It took a few days for the ear to totally start doing its job again, and I still have a little trouble, but over all my general health has returned.

The show was still worth it.

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