Wednesday, 14 April 2010
Eh? What's that, sonny?
I'm feeling a bit sorry for myself. I can barely hear a bloody thing. It's weird, like being underwater and no matter how much you yawn or gurn or grimace or blow your nose or suck a boiled sweet, they just won't clear.
When I was in the midst of my battle with infertility in the late 1990s, I was an active member on a message board called ONNA. The board was mainly for women who were having difficulty getting pregnant and the name was an acronym for Oh No Not Again, which is what you said when your period (or as we called it on the board 'Aunt Flo' - a name I still use) arrived.
I suffer from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (which is worth a post in its own right at some point) and, according to fellow sufferers on the board, one of the lesser-known symptoms is that of increased ear wax production. Great. As if the weight gain and excessive hair isn't enough. It's something to do with having too much testosterone, although how that triggers too much ear wax is beyond my ken. But it seems I am now turning into a lumpen man-woman with a beard, hairy feet and repulsive waxy ears. Mmmm, sexy!
My right ear suddenly went dead about 3 weeks ago. I put it down to the minor cold I had at the time, and have been waiting for it to clear ever since, but it hasn't. 'Could be ear wax', I thought. I've had my ears syringed once in the past, about 12 years ago, and while the procedure was actually quite painful - the force of the water needed to flush out a solid lump of stuff as it hits your eardrum will make you wince - the relief is immediate. So a couple of days ago I went to the chemist to get some drops. In the bath last night I decided to use them.
It says on the label 'tip head onto one side and drop 3-6 drops of the liquid into the ear'. Quite how you can measure 3-6 drops when you can't see what you're doing is anyone's guess, so I just squeezed the bottle three times. The ear canal filled and it was like I was underwater. You have to hold your head like that for a few minutes while it does its thang. I could hear some slight fizzing and felt a little bubbling. 'Ooh, this might be working!', I told myself. Tipped head over to other side, did the same with my left ear. Same result.
The label says 'wash out with warm water'. I was in the bath already so just lay back and put my head under the water and slooshed it about a bit. Sat up. Riddled outside of ears a bit to get the liquid out. Water came out. Hearing worse than when I got in. So I checked the instructions again and it said something like 'as the hardened ear wax starts to soften it will expand, causing a feeling of fullness in the ears' etc. In other words, 'you're going to be deafer than you were for a few days'.
I'm going out tonight for the first time in months to see Jimmy Carr perform and I WON'T BE ABLE TO HEAR A BLOODY THING!! Some may say that's not a bad thing, but I quite like him and a whole bunch of us are going out to celebrate a friend's birthday and I WON'T BE ABLE TO HEAR A BLOODY THING!! Yes, I know I'm shouting but it's the only way I'm ABLE TO HEAR A BLOODY THING!!
I'm such an idiot - I should have left the ear drops until after this but I didn't think that it would make it worse before it made it better. And it's really weird not being able to hear much outside of your own head - the noise of eating is astonishing, and it's bizarre to hear your own voice as if you're speaking through a pillow. But the novelty has worn off and I'm fed up with it now.
Perhaps I should ask TLH to fashion me some ear trumpets like the picture above.