My hearing has been compromised for as long as I can remember.
We all know how questionable it is at times because if anyone is going to mishear something it’s going to be me. Matters took a turn for the worse a few weeks ago when the hearing in my right ear went a little bit six-wide.
As I was driving down to Leeds for Christmas I experienced what can only be described as “bad ear” when I could feel something wrong and part of my hearing just disappeared. I could still hear everything although it felt as though some kind of substance was blocking my ear canal. It was a big muffled as though I was doing that thing crappy singers do when they close their eyes and hold their ear to hear their pitch and reach the high notes only Mariah Carey and dogs can reach.
Over Christmas I gently started scooping out the contents and as disgusting as this is to write it’s another thing entirely when experiencing it first hand. Normally I’m quite adept as keeping on top of personal hygiene; during the month of December this must have taken a flight abroad and forgot to leave a note. Waves of wax came out in all shapes and colours. I cleaned my ear with a delicate hand and with no proper medical help until January when doctors returned from their Christmas-shaped holes (I was resolute that I was not going to A & E or calling III because of earwax) I put up with my folly.
There was a ringing too, a constant ringing that wouldn’t go away. Looking back now I think it may have been before all of this, meaning it may be two problems or one problem in two halves.
I did a grown up thing and called the doctors. “I’m sorry sir, we don’t syringe ears on the NHS anymore,” said the receptionist, “it’s not considered to be safe. You’ll have to try elsewhere.” Hmmmm, said a sarcastic voice in my head, you won’t help me but encourage me to look into it myself? Go private? Okay, sure, I’ve got this, leave it to me.
I went to Boots for a free hearing test where they told me both my ears needed to be sorted out. I made an appointment for less than a week later to use a futuristic sucking device to clear out the mess and afterwards it was like that fresh minty feeling you get after you have your teeth cleaned at the doctors… only in my ears.
“Do you want the bad news first?” said the Boots employee, shortly after vacuuming my inner sanctum. Apparently my ears are now free of wax because she can see my eardrums when looking in my ear. The bad news is that some of the wax went so balls deep into my ear that some of it is lying on my eardrum and it’s too dangerous to try and suck it out. The solution? Olive oil ear drops. I’ve been squirting this stuff now for about a week in the hope that it’ll shake loose the wax, stop the ringing and give me my hearing back. If this doesn’t work, I may have tinnitus.
All in all January could have been a lot worse but then again it could have been a lot better.