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» Tuesday, April 24, 2007A Singul-Ear Experience
I appear to have an ear infectionan "earache" as it's always been known. It started late yesterday afternoon, but didn't bother me until bedtime when I tried to get comfortable sleeping on my right side and it hurt.
For years I've had friends tell me about the ear infections they had as a child. James once had a case so severe his eardrum burst. Other friends talk about multiple attacks. Some of their children now suffer from the same problems. Newspaper articles talk about "earache" symptoms running rampant in daycare and even a fictional source, Lynn Johnston's comic "For Better or For Worse," has a young character, Robin, who suffers from chronic earaches complete with discharge and high fever.
I don't ever remember having an earache of that level. I've had pneumonia (once when I was two years old), bronchitis on numerous occasions, colds so severe both my tonsils and my adenoids were removed, bad colds and the flu with horrible pressure (one was so bad I couldn't hear the television over the ringing in my ears), sinus infections and allergy attacks, plus the Big Three (measles, mumps, and chicken pox), but no earaches. It's a weird experience: my ear feels stuffed with cotton with come-and-go pain as if someone was jamming a pen point into my eardrum. If I clench my teeth the ear hurts and so does touching the ear canal (it's sore around the outside of the ear, as well).
The most unsettling part is not being able to hear; if I plug my left ear, I am quite deaf unless Pidge calls loudly or an airplane flies over. I can't even hear the television when standing next to it.
I called the Kaiser advice line and they said there was no need to come in unless I had a fever or the pain was unbearable; that I should take an analgesic to help the discomfort, Benadryl to clear up any nasal stuffiness (I really don't have any excessive stuffiness; just the usual spring typeif I had a sinus infection, I could understand the earache), and if the pain was bad, a hot facecloth wrung out around the ear should help (but for God's sake not to put anything in the ear, like warm mineral oil or any other similar remedy), but to call back/come in if this wasn't gone in three or four days.
I'm not sure I want to be unconscious for the next four days, which is what Benadryl does to me. <wry grin>