Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A whole different ball of wax

Yesterday, a faithful reader sent me this comment:

"You need to put up a new blog. I'm tired of checking twice a day only to see Inez Sainz's perfect ass."

Now I've dealt with some bizarre comments in my time, but that one couldn't be higher on the charts if it was soaked with teabag spit and anarchy creme. Looks like the bar has officially been raised! I need an airplane at this point.

Alas, there has indeed been something of a content drought of late here at Not Right. So in the interest of rectifying that travesty and restoring some honor and dignity to this blog by taking the oh-so-offensive ass off the top of the heap, here's a disgusting story about my morning.

So for the past three days (or the past week if we're going by how long it felt like), I've had serious congestion in my left ear. That particular appendage of mine has been giving me grief as far back as the summer of 1989, when I got dirty well water in my ear from swimming in our snapset pool out in Butte La Rose, Louisiana. Then, it made a spring noise when I chewed, and that traumatized me to hilarious extremes until it went away either an hour or a month later (again, time blurs in times like these). Two years later, I noticed it thumped audibly in band class when the flutists got their Jethro Tull on. In summer 2000, a girl sprayed shaving cream right into that ear during some camp revelry, and some of it exited out of my nose. Gnarly. Also, if I fly within a few days of swimming, sometimes I'll feel like I'm having a stroke.

Point is, my left ear is jacked up. And it's only gotten worse since I moved to a higher altitude to a city that actually has distinct seasons.

Sometime around Sunday morning, the ear clogged up and, unlike every other time this happens, it didn't pop. This made my subsequent forays into flag football and Thriller dancing (different blog entirely) a surreal, vaguely discomforting experience. On the bright side, I could drive with my windows down and it still seemed quiet. Mostly, though, it was annoying to the point of extreme fatigue and frustration. I could barely stay awake, let alone work out, and various stressors and a too-close Saints game made my three-day weekend hardly seem worth it. Work? Didn't help my performance there, either.

So I finally headed to the walk-in clinic this morning, where they were gleeful that I finally suffered from something other than sinusitis or elephantiasis of awesomeness. They prodded a bit and told me that I had quite a bit of wax buildup in my ear (which was no shock to me, considering I could touch my ear just about anywhere on the flap and hear squishing). And with that, the nurse drained my ear with a jug of pink liquid and what she frighteningly referred to as a catheter (but which, even more frighteningly, looked more like a hybrid of a Reach toothbrush and a fishing pole). She jammed way more fluid in my ear than ever belongs in such an orifice... about eight times. In each ear. I generally have a pretty high threshold for such things, but add a camera and my facial expressions would have been the next viral hit.

By the time the nurse finished the left ear, which never gave a satisfying POP but did suddenly have surround sound, she had a pan full of drainage. Being me, I eagerly eyed the tub in her hand. I noticed what appeared to be a half-inch-in-diameter gob of dark-red wax before she went to rinse out the bowl. "You probably don't want to see that," she said. Hell, I would have scanned it.

Turns out that I had 100 percent clogging in my left ear and 60 percent in my right, which probably explains why I had my TV's volume at 41 beforehand. In the words of the attending physician, "that must have been collecting for a really long time." She further said I was a wax producer, so I guess that means there are people who aren't. I learn something new every day.

Another thing I learned is that I don't, as I've assumed all these years, have a perforated eardrum. Just narrow ear canals. She prescribed a hair dryer. I'm not making that up. But I can live with it.

Also, I have to apply 32 steroid drops every day for the next week. Sadly, this renders me ineligible to play in the NFL, at least for a few weeks.

My grandfather once told me that, when he joined the Navy at the dawn of World War II, one of the first things they did was clean his ears. And even though he thought he took care of them to begin with, "It was like getting a whole new set of ears." I never quite understood what he meant. I do now.

Speaking of medical advice, I think this blog entry works well as an appetite suppressant. But it's best to consult your physician on that.

I also had my carpet cleaned today. But that's less interesting.

There. Dry spell broken! Until next time, America...


venessalewis said...

SWEET! That was certainly my biggest accomplishment this week then.

Good Lord though Ian, I literally got queasy reading this blog. Coulda done without those visuals. However, I can oddly relate to the satisfaction of purging grossness from your body and having the urge to view it. I used to have alot of ear trouble as well as a child and havee had this very procedure performed on me. I don't know why humans are so curious to view such things, but we totally are.

Yuck. Am glad you are feeling better though. Your pissy moods make me pissy too. Muah! ;)

rhonda said...

at least this is about an ear draining and not a pap smear. run along and eat breakfast.

Jenni said...

This is why you need a picture phone - because a picture is worth a thousand words unless it gets Venessa to puke first. Of course, she's got a kid, so lord knows what gross crap she's had to deal with.