Wednesday, 25 November 2009

The History of Ears

When I was a little girl I often used to get ear infections. Every cold bought one. I have been told I missed a lot of school. I was also told that i was lucky to live in an age of antibiotics because otherwise i would very lucky have ended with impaired hearing.

One day I was told I was going to have my adenoids out and i would have to go into hospital. I was not a normal little girl and I was very, very excited to be going into hospital. So excited that when i felt some strange bumps in my hair on that all important morning, I didn't tell my Mum.

Once I was at the hospital and settled in, the bumps started to become noticeable and spread all over me. My Mum being a nurse, knew what they were as soon as she saw them. Chickenpox. The daft thing was they wouldn't let me go home before I had seen a doctor, so my infectious body remained in the ward full of pre-op children for some hours. My Mum felt very, very awkward about this....

The next time, I was not nearly so enthusiastic as my op was scheduled for the time in which my school was going to the East of England Show. I had never been and I was going to miss it. I was a bit cross. That is about all I remember of it to be honest. Not half as memorable as my first attempt....

The ear aches and colds and sessions with the nurses syringe became less frequent but didn't vanish. I remember some nasty ear aches. Falling asleep with my ear on Oswald, the crocodile hot water bottle. I remember being a young student in a flat in the city, doped up to my eyeballs on painkillers being woken by drunk flatmates who had brought some young chaps home. That was when i discovered that any painkillers with the word co in their description tend to zonk me out.

The next big thing was when i first moved to Cornwall. I decided to satisfy a life long ambition and learn to scuba dive. We had completed weeks of training in a swimming pool and it was the day of our first open water dive. We had not been down very long and we were not particularly deep when it happened.

My head went boom and then I felt the inrush of water. Everything went very, very strange. I couldn't tell up from down. I focused really, really hard on something, a rock I think, trying to ignore everything else around. Without closing my eyes or looking away, the rock would suddenly be somewhere else. Everything must have settled pretty quick because i was still with the others and no one had noticed a thing.

I signalled to one of the leaders that I wanted to go up. Once there, i couldn't tell them what was wrong so reluctantly I went back down. We rejoined the group and completed the dive. Once up, i explained what had happened and then my mate and I went to buy a woolie hat to keep my ears warm.

I was lucky that I was not sick. I was lucky I did not loose my respirator. I was in shock.

I went to watch a rugby match that afternoon and then when i was back in my room I found my ear was starting to bleed. I found a sober student who had a car and off we went. I guess the diagnosis shouldn't have been a shock but it was. A burst ear drum.

The next week was very fuzzy. Noise hurt. I slept. My ear produced some interesting things. I later learnt that the hall cleaners had been keeping a close eye on me. Not sure any of the other students were mature enough to really understand what was going on. I had four lots of antibiotics in total, each with a longer and nastier list of possible side affects than the one before.

It took nearly a year for the ear drum to repair and for the hole to be gone. A year of no swimming and care with water. I did go to places with loud music so I probably did damage my hearing a little....

So here I am again and this time, it is not so bad, six weeks to mend apparently. so only a little hole. Noise doesn't hurt and there was no catastrophic event affecting my balance. In fact I have no idea when it happened exactly. Not too bad really....

I have a long time to get used to the fact that i will probably have some hearing difficulties later in life.... I have them right now though too.... One ear has an ear plug and the other has a large dose of ear wax. All just temporary....


  1. I had one earache when I was a little girl and I remember the excruciating pain to this day. I really feel for you and hope your ear soon heals and you feel better in general. You have had a really rough time of it and to have work be the way it is is just miserable. I hope things get better for you soon.
    Louise Hay says that earache is anger, not wanting to hear and too much turmoil. Is this true for you? Sometimes her stuff helps, sometimes not. Take care.

  2. OUCH!! that's too bad!

    I have hearing loss- noise induced. Discovered it while doing my masters and we had to test each other as part of our audiology minor... guess everyone doesn't have ringing in their ears all the time- who knew?

    eventually I'll need hearing aids- all because I was vulnerable, went to loud concerts, was a bartender and played in a band. sigh.

    ear plugs are a must- even for movies (which are usually so loud that they actually cause hearing loss... don't even get me started on lax governmental regulations...)

  3. oh you have my sympathy~i have always had ear and sinus infections. one new year i spent the whole time laying on the sofa with my ear on a hot water bottle...we called a doctore who never came! hope you are feeling better very soon

  4. *laugh* I didn't mean this post for sympathy. My ears just are... In fact if anything I meant it to be slightly humourous.... *grin*

    Interesting about the link to anger though... I have a history with anger. Maybe I should write about that one day...

  5. That's certainly something I've never had trouble with....neither have my kids, so far...*touch wood*....most kids seem to have recurring ear infections but mine haven't had a single one. Then again, I chalk that up to them having seen a chiropractor regularly since they were 6 weeks old....

    Interesting the symbolism though...*listening*, *hearing* and all that...perhaps a great Cosmic prodding in the lugs, trying to get your attention...*grin*