I have swimmer's ear, and it sucks (but I repeat myself). I'd been swabbing it with alcohol and vinegar last week, and it was getting better, but I have a bad habit of stopping treatment once it becomes apparent that it's working. Friday night was spent in a smoky bar (which, apparently, is the price you pay for Oingo Boingo and They Might Be Giants karaoke), and Saturday was spent at a smoky wedding reception (which, apparently, is the price you pay for having coworkers who commute from Milton). The doctor says the swabbing would probably have been sufficient, if A) I'd kept it up for a couple more days, and B) I hadn't spent so much time around cigarette smoke.
Of course, he told me that after my ear canal had swollen to the point that swabbing was impossible.
I didn't sleep well on Sunday night, and I left work early on Monday with a fever and dizziness. I lay awake all night on Monday, so I called in on Tuesday, and went to the doctor, and had the tampon inserted. Aural medication tends to drip out and trickle down the side of your head, especially when the ear canal is blocked or swollen, but the tampon absorbs the medication and (presumably) delivers more of it to where it needs to go. Whatever was going on in my ear had taken good advantage of my sleep deprivation, so when the icy medication started making its way into my ear, I became nauseous. I sat down, asked for a glass of water, and could feel myself beginning to hyperventilate.
I was also getting a tetanus shot, and the doctor thought I was reacting to the needle, but I'm okay with needles. No, this was some inner-ear thing brought on by the ear drops and the tampon. Anyway, I got the shot and I got the tampon and I drove myself home, which was safer than I'm making it sound.
I should probably mention at this point that it's not really called a tampon. I don't know what it's called. The doctor didn't tell me. But he did ask me who I trust. I told him I didn't understand why he was asking.
"Well, do you have a roommate or a wife? Girlfriend? Boyfriend? See your parents on a regular basis?"
"I have a girlfriend," I said.
"Good. You need her to root around in your ear with a tweezers."
The tampon comes out on Sunday, and crabmoon's probably stuck with that exciting job. There shouldn't be a lot of rooting around, since I can touch it with my finger without inserting it into the ear canal.
Meanwhile, I can't hear a damn thing. That's not true. My other ear still works, but the affected one is plugged, which is occasionally disorienting. Every step I take sounds to me like I'm stomping, and I can't tell what volume I'm speaking at because I sound loud to myself all the time. On the plus side, I feel pretty good now, other than my ear. Two days of tiredness and fatigue were not fun, but I slept well last night, and I'm doing fine at work today. Well, my ear itches.
The point of this story is that I told a bunch of people I'd hang out this week, but between two lost days and the fact that I have to pack to move in slightly less than two weeks, I'm thinking I should concentrate my free time on other things.