Tuesday, June 03, 2008

My Ear Cleaning.

This is a slightly gross medical entry. So, read at your own peril.

I've been having a little problem with my right ear. It was clogging up at night or anytime I laid down on that side. And it popped all the time. My mom sent me a note saying that she was having an ear problem but it didn't quite sound like my problem.

My doctor had told me a couple of months ago that I have a lot of waxy build-up in my ears, so I've been using ear wax drops, and then flushing my ear gently with a big blue bulb filled with water called an ear syringe. But I couldn't tell if it was helping or not. And now, with this new blockage, I needed to do something.

So, I made a quick appointment, fearing the worst about my ears. I was treated by the nurse practitioner who told me the build-up was really bad and that they could do a cleaning. He put drops in my ear, covered them with cotton and then told me, "Now, we'll just let them cook for a moment."

After about 10 minutes, he led me down the hallway to a room where a tubed device was hooked up to the faucet. At the end of the tube, was a what looked like a clear water pistol.

He leaned me near the sink, pulled the cotton ball out of my ear and said, "This might make you a little dizzy. It's a pulsating jet of water."

Now, I had always been told that you should never shoot water into your ear or put anything into your ear canal. But he took the water pistol, pressed it right into my ear canal and blasted. It was startling, but it didn't hurt. It just felt really, really weird.

"This both pulses water into your ear canal, but it also sucks it back out," he explained.

After a minute or so, he stopped the water and then took a little white stick with a loop on the end, and he started pulling stuff out. But it wasn't much. So, he applied new eardrops and left me alone again.

When he came back, he started to get stuff. I looked over on the sink and there were about six huge clumps of wax. I mean HUGE clumps of wax, ivory colored. Then he did the same spraying stuff in my other ear, and pulled out a huge single ball of wax. But it was black and red.

How disgusting am I? Ewwww.

Then, to continue, he had to recap the water pistol because I had clogged it up with even more ear carp.

"We still didn't get it all. So, at home use the drops and keeping doing the lavage."

Lavage? (Pronounced "Leh-vaaajjh")

I asked him about the instructions on the ear syringe to never shoot it directly into the canal.

He responded, "It won't hurt it as long as your ear drum isn't lacerated. And also, don't push the tip in and squeeze or you'll create pressure. Squirt it in from a slight distance and it'll just drain right out. Also, if you mix the water with hydrogen peroxide, it helps melt the wax, also.

And now you know I'm the nastiest grossest person on the planet. Or used to be.
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