Because there are so many people commenting on the subject in ways that surpass my own ability, I thought that I'd revert to the humdrum for today's post. A little slice of ordinary life once more.
Here in our tiny corner of beautiful British Columbia, we have had our second snowfall within a week. It won't last; the weather is not yet cold enough, and rain will soon sweep the lovely, bright white stuff off our rooves and our gardens.
However, this is not what is bothering me - although at the age of forty seven I still get excited when the snow falls (right up to the moment when I start shovelling it from our driveway). The kids are too cool (i.e. teenage) to make snowmen any more, and frankly having their dad hanging around if they go sledging tends to cramp their style so I let them do their own thing these days. This, rather pathetically, often involves merely texting about the snow to their friends, without actually going OUT in it.
Tut - see what happened? I digressed for an entire paragraph. Back to what's bothering me - and the clue is in the picture folks...
I'm now transitioning smoothly (can you tell I have worked as a manager?) into my sixth week of having an ear which has decided to wreak a terrible revenge upon me. I'm not sure what I ever did to it but boy, I must've been a total bastard.
It began with a sharp pain while I was scratching an itch in my lug 'ole one day (and no, I wasn't using my car keys!). The weird thing was, the pain was WAY deeper into my aural receiving orifice (that makes it sound a little bit rude doesn't it?) than I could reach with my finger. As my kids would delight in telling you, I have fingers shaped like a cartoon character's - while I have the requisite number, they are a little short, stubby, and have corners at the ends. There's no way on earth I could get them into the ear that far (not that I'd want to). The pain felt like - and this may not make sense - like it was around the corner, if you know what I mean. Deep.
Like a typical male of the species (and I hate being typical but it happens sometimes) I decided that the pain was insignificant, and ignored it. I continued to ignore it when the dull ache began a few hours later. The next morning I acknowledged its presence when I awoke with a bloody painful ear. Flying in the face of my abhorrence of reaching for the painkillers, I did just that the next day when the pain became too much to ignore. Over the following three days I told myself that my (historically true) awesome immune system would do its job and kick the nasty little microbes up the arse and out of my life. I had a quiet confidence.
On the sixth day of pain (really nasty pain) and the third day of total deafness on the left side, I sat in the doctor's office and explained. I like this doctor, chiefly because he has never once suggested sticking his hand up my bum to grab my prostate. He nodded sympathetically, stuck his scope in my orifice (!) and peered around, making a few more sympathetic noises. Ear drops were the answer! All I had to do was use them four times each day and all would be well. Yeah, right.
Well...a week later, my ear was full of drops, and it still hurt like hell. Really - hurting like the abscesses (yes, three of 'em) I had on my jaw once...Painkillers were no longer doing the job; I was losing sleep and I needed help. Admitting it was against my nature but...
The same doctor this time prescribed oral antibiotics..."keep going with the ear drops" and some strong pain medication.
The next week...same doctor again, no improvement...more antibiotics...
Seven days later...still deaf, still hurting, different doctor, who, by way of a very strange 'conversation' wherein he both asks the questions and then answers them himself, tells me that it's caused by eczema of the skin inside the ear...and prescribes some monster antibiotics the size of suppositories and...ear drops.
Ten days later (the receptionist by now just asking: "Same ear?" and not even asking my name) and a third doctor at the same practice. I hear the familiar "Oh that looks quite nasty!" as he lunges into my ear canal. We discuss the history of the complaint and finally he suggests a visit to a specialist...or to the uninitiated; the type of doctor who is so far up his/her own bum-hole, they cannot be called 'doctor' any longer...
Now, five days after that meeting and waiting for an appointment with the great man or woman, I am on yet another type of antibiotic - the last ones were orange and black (and I swear that each one had a conning tower), these ones are much less entertaining and merely yellow. I still have the pain medication - in fact I have a neat little row of medication phials lines up on the kitchen window ledge. I am now in the unenviable position of rivalling my dear old mum (who rattles when she moves) for medication needs - and that bothers me greatly.
I'm slowly getting to the point of properly worrying about my ear. I've never had anything take so long to heal, and I have lost some faith in my slightly over-sized body's ability to look after me (after all I only occupy a small proportion of it up here at the top). What the hell is going on? Have I got some kind of resistant bug in there? Is it something worse? I'm not panicking - I don't feel ill, and thankfully, after a weekend of intermittent pain (somewhat like having large needles pushed into my head at random intervals), I finally had a good night`s sleep and so far today am pain-free. I'm still rather deaf on that side though - and that makes me grumpy.
All in all, this little episode has prompted a reminder that I'm no longer invincible or indestructible (like Captain Scarlet was/is) in the way I felt I was in my twenties. I'm undeniably showing signs of wear and tear. Twenty five years of rugby has also begun to manifest itself...but that's another story.
I have my fingers crossed for a positive outcome (go, little antibiotics, go!) from the medication...I haven't had great experiences with specialists before, and I'm not enjoying the prospect of meeting another one...
All I can do is sit back and wait, turn up the TV, my computer speakers and enjoy the world in mono. It reminds me of listening to my first record player...sigh.