Looks harmless enough doesn’t it.
Apparently my ears are too narrow. Not the bit attached to the side of my head. That would be too easy. No, it’s the canal that connects the bit of ear you see to the real business end, deep inside my skull. And this is a problem because the canal can get blocked up.
Lately I’ve been feeling acutely for those with partial or total hearing loss. There’s a feeling of separation from the rest of society. It’s difficult to be in a conversation when you can’t hear what’s being said. Add to that your own voice seems trapped inside your head somehow. It’s easier just to withdraw. For me, I hope, it’s a temporary state of affairs. Which is where the little bottle comes in.
Five drops. Twice a day. Head tipped over to the side so it doesn’t just fall back out. It’s not the simplest thing to accomplish on your own and so I am forced to accept assistance from Mike. Who seems to be enjoying the whole experience far more than me. For one thing I’m convinced he’s putting in more than five drops. I can feel it slithering down the inside of my ear and then there’s total silence as the ear canal completely seals up.
But the silence doesn’t last. Oh no. For it’s shortly after that that the fizzing starts. It’s the aural equivalent of popping candy, if you’ve ever had that in your mouth. The drops are supposed to soften the wax but also, apparently, liberate oxygen which helps to disperse it. And we have to go through this rigmarole for 3-4 days.
The Doctor’s receptionist seems to know better than the instructions on the bottle. “No, you have to soften the wax for 7 days, keep going.” Oh good grief.
On the seventh day, with nothing improving, I have no choice. Ear syringing. Or irrigation as it’s called these days, as a syringe is no longer used. The contraption looks a lot like a coffee grinder that I used to own, except this one is full of warm water and with a pipe and a nozzle that gets rammed down my ear. The water seems to hit a spot somewhere between the top of my nose and retina. But it’s not really so bad. Just a lot of noise and some pressure.
“Oooh, I’ve got a huge bit…” A solid clump of wax is offered up as proof. And when the water finally drains away and I’ve given my head a good shake, suddenly I can hear. I’ve got a week off now, and then the process starts all over again. Doing both ears at one time would have been way too much.
In the meantime I’ll be grateful when the first one properly dries out. And the bubbles go away.
Each time I turn my head I can hear them. Snap. Crackle. Pop.