Tuesday, May 31, 2011

medical irony

I have been deaf in one ear for about three weeks.

I figured it was a cold, or allergies.

It made my voice echo in my head in uncomfortable ways, turned my thoughts cloudy. Cloudier. Made me more inclined to silence, as speaking made it worse. Yesterday, I realized I couldn't smell things very well, so I finally called my doctor.

She looked. She tried to clear my ear. Didn't work. The nurse tried flushing it with hot water. Didn't work. They had me lay on my side so they could pour some solvent in my ear. I soaked in solvent for awhile. Lying there, I wondered about the body-wisdom of left-side deafness - whether my ear says I am not listening well enough, or that I am listening to the outside world too much. I think it just means I am temporarily deaf.

The solvent irrigation didn't work; I remain deaf. Though it did do enough to let my dear sweet doctor decide....

I have swimmer's ear.

She apologized. She knows that I have not, and cannot go swimming, due to intense flashbacks.

The fact that I have swimmer's ear  is either cruelty, or poetic irony.



  1. O. M. G.
    Talk about PTSD.
    She couldn't have phrased it some other way? Otitis externa is not that hard to google.

  2. I agree with Carolyn. Surely she could have re-phrased that diagnosis.

    Is there NO respite from this crap from the universe???

  3. Personally, I don't know if the rephrasing would have helped (but then I'm the kind to call a spade a spade anyway).... because it's the irony of the whole thing which would do my head in.
    hugs XA

  4. it never ceases to amaze me how life can keep spitting on those who have already lost so much. i am so sorry. i wish you peace.

  5. directness is one of the reasons I love my doc. She said, "it's swimmer's ear." I snorted. She said, "I know. This does not go over well." Later, when reminding me I should have my annual physical, and the new testing that comes with entering one's 40s, I shrugged. She said, "Yeah yeah, not that interested in living. I've heard that one. But I enjoy you, and I will selfishly try to keep you around."

  6. please permit me to say: even as one who is not a huge fan or believer in the miracle of the mammogram, the tests to which she presumably refers can save a boatload of pain, suffering, fatigue, expense, need for caregiving....I could go on. As a cancer widow, I demur on the idea that dying of cancer simplifies things.

    I like what your dr. said. Smart people enjoy other smart people. They are more interesting to talk to.


  7. Irony seems go hand and hand with grief doesn't it? So crazy! I do love your doc tho'.
    hang in there - take care of that ear.