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11:15 a.m. - July 19, 2006
What? What? I Can't Hear You!
As a music loving fool, right now Iím going through a bit of personal agony.

Why is that, you ask?

Well, one of my ears is clogged.

I hate it when that happens.

(OK, this may get a bit, well, you know. But I mean, it happens, right? So deal with it!)

Every so often one of my ears gets full of gunk and clogs up, meaning that I feel like thereís cotton in my ear all the time and its very disconcerting.

I can really tell when Iím listening to my iPod because one of the channels is noticeably fainter than the other. Sometimes, if my head is turned the wrong way, I have trouble hearing voices, etc. And no, thatís not an excuse that I use when I want to tune Liz out because sheís telling me something I donít want to hear. (Though I do think Katie may use that as an excuse down the road Ė perhaps her hair will cover her ears and she canít hear? HmmmÖ)

Itís really irritating and annoying, but at least I know what to do now. I go and get that ear wax buildup remover, and let it do its thing. But thatís a sight to behold for sure.

Basically, I have to stand for about three to five minutes with my head tilted to make sure the gunk doesnít run out and itís doing the job. And then, of course, you can hear it fizzing and foaming inside your ear as itís dissolving the gunk.

Katie once saw me doing that and asked all kinds of questions. Do you know how hard it is to answer something patiently while your head is tilted sideways and thereís gurgling in your brain?

Then you have to go and shoot water into your ear with one of those bulbs to rinse it out. That means for a while you canít hear because thereís water in your ear, and you get the added bonus of the gunk going into the sink for you to see.

For me, it takes a few days for it to work itself out. The last time this happened was when I was in Baltimore, and I had to fly with my left ear all cloggy. When I finally got my ear unclogged, it was like nirvana, but just looking at the stuff that was in my ear you wonder how the hell it got in there, and what the heck is wrong with me that I keep producing this stuff, and why canít I make it stop?

The first time this happened to me was, of course, when I was flying. (It always happens close to an airplane trip, it seems, well except this time, unless we have to fly to Arizona quickly.) I noticed it after I landed from probably the WORST business trip in the history of the world (and I need to write about that one day).

I was nervous and scared because I couldnít hear much out of my left ear, and it didnít go away. So I went to an ear doctor, with fear and loathing and trepidation.

He took one look at it, and produced a Water Pik and started to sploosh the water into my ear. Soon, all kinds of icky stuff revealed itself.

I had NO idea that your ear could contain that muchÖstuff.

He gave me a prescription for some ear drops. Of course, the first time I used it I spilled the bottle down the sink, and had to call the pharmacy for a new bottle. Fortunately, I knew the person who worked there, and I was kind of sweet on her, so it was an excuse to chat her up a bit even though I was the nimnul who spilled his meds the first time he used them!

He also gave me advice that I could use rubbing alcohol if I needed to, weekly, to keep it at bay.

However, if you have ever had a little scratch in your ear, and you put alcohol on that, HOLY COW OUCH OUCH!

Itís almost as bad as eating salty popcorn with a paper cut.

From time to time, this problem has reoccurred. But I basically take care of it myself now, and use ear drops and the bulb syringe to clean it out.

But that takes time and it is annoying, because it feels like one half of you isnít there because you canít hear that clearly on that side of your head.

I should count my blessings because I CAN hear, though. So Iíll just tough it out and go make my head sideways twice a day until I see the results.

Then Iíd better clean the sink. Liz gets mad when I donít clean it after I shave, and Iím sure this will be much worse.

 

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