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.