"I went to the doctor yesterday."
This is the line you never want to hear from anyone. It usually means one of two things. Either you're going to get a bucketful of bad news, or you're going to get a glimpse into Too Much Information.
So, I went to the doctor yesterday. When I'd gone for my physical a couple of weeks ago, the doctor gave me the green light of health except for my ears which were packed with wax. (See, I warned ya.)
Anyway, this is always bad news. I've had this recur about four times now in what appears to be a disturbing trend. I think it's part of some sort of old guy disease. This stuff never happened when I was 25, so what gives?
It gets better though.
The reason I needed to get my ears flushed is because I'm looking into getting hearing aids.
I know you're thinking: "Say what? He's so young!" You're thinking that, right? I knew it.
Yes, while I am pretty sure I don't need hearing aids, my family begs to differ. Why, just the other day, I asked Donna what we were having for dinner and she said "Fried web burgers." At least that's what I'd heard. When I repeated it back to her, she and Ben had a good laugh with it.
"I said prime rib burgers."
Ah, that's what I thought. (No I didn't)
This is the comedy of errors that goes on regularly in our house between me and my bride who is fighting back her own hearing loss.
So off to the doctor I go. I get an appointment with a nurse practitioner who weighs me in at 5 pounds heavier than I am at home. I think I have doctor induced weight gain or something. Then she takes my blood pressure and tells me that the hundred number is borderline high. She doesn't tell me how to fix it of course, just letting me know in case I stroke out while I'm getting flushed.
She takes a peak into my ears and says, "Yep, all backed up. I'll get the assistant to flush them." It seems there's a hierarchy to old guy ear flushing and she was having none of it.
A few minutes later the nursing assistant came in and set to work. It starts with her filling up the Windex bottle with slightly too-cool water and hydrogen peroxide. Then she hooks on the torture nozzle and hands me a cup to hold up to catch the water that flows out of my ear.
She then pokes the torture nozzle to just shy of drum-rupture and starts squeezing the trigger of dizziness and death. (First you get dizzy, then wish you were dead.)
It is not unlike taking a fire hose to your cranium.
The water blasting goes on for a good 3-4 minutes before she takes a break to see if there's been any progress. "Nope, it's not moving," she says. The tortuous blasting resumes until I forget my birth date, sprout gills out of my neck and a blowhole out the top of my head. Eventually she concludes that she'll need drops to help break things up.
I'm thinking, maybe next time we start with drops. I'm thinking that in between bouts of consciousness, mind you.
Finally she has luck with the right ear and then starts on the left. Just when you think the hard part is over, it gets harder. For some reason the left ear was even more sensitive. Or maybe she was poking the torture nozzle closer to my brain. I don't know.
I now know what it's like to be the victim of water boarding, however.
After five more minutes of literal brainwashing, the left ear clears. The difference was both noticeable and instantaneous. I would even say, miraculous.
And for all the joking, I don't want to minimize either the duties or the crap that nurses have to deal with every day. I joke about them torturing me, but I have the utmost admiration for all that they do. I can be a big baby when it comes to this kind of thing, so when both ears were cleared I wanted to hug this nurse. We'd both been through an ordeal, and she was the miracle worker in my mind. They really do care and do their jobs well.
So, no more Fried web burgers for me for a while.