Ear Wax Express

When I took that motorcycle trip to Canada last June, I came back with a pretty bad ringing in my ears. My motorcycle is pretty quiet and I wear a good helmet and earplugs. But I was using a Suzuki fairing on the BMW, and it set up this weird relationship where there was tons of turbulence in the face mask. It was really loud.

I came back and had the accident a few days later, which distracted me from the fact that the ringing did not subside. Well, it started to subside after a few weeks, but not entirely. There has been a high-pitched buzz/hum going on ever since. It’s been getting less pronounced, but seemed to stop tapering and plateau’d at a certain point. Most noticeable in quiet moments, like bed time and waking up. Lately it’s been surging on strongly for 30-60 second bursts, much stronger in the left ear. Finally decided to see a doctor about it because it became clear it wasn’t going to go away on its own. It’s really depressing when the body doesn’t heal itself. Makes you feel old and not invincible anymore.

Called up and they had me come in for “urgent care.” Uhh… it’s been eight months. It’s not that urgent. But whatever. Explained the whole thing to the doc. He took a look and said he couldn’t see my left eardrum — it was all waxed up! I had noticed that my motorcycle earplugs always came out dirtier than other people’s.

So an assistant came in for an irrigation (ear-igation?). Big 2″ syringe with a soft tip. Warm water. I held a basin under my ear and she plunged three syringefulls through it. Little pieces came out, but nothing major. Then she grabbed a long tweezer and plucked out something the size of a large pencil eraser — dark brown and hairy / fuzzy. I could not believe that thing came out of me. Unbelievable it could have been there all this time.

She said that some people just generate more wax and there’s nothing to be done about it but to irrigate occassionally. We can do it ourselves at home. Cool! Amy loves this kind of stuff, so we’ll get a kick out of it. She was fascinated by the story when I told her later.

Anyway, this doesn’t guarantee a resolution to the problem. I won’t know till bed time whether it attenuates the problem. And I still have to schedule an audiogram for full testing, to determine whether i have tinnitus or not. But this experience was like getting a hair cut and taking a dump all at once. Ecstasy!

By the time we were done I had seven minutes to get back up to campus for a meeting. Rode like the wind, and had the weirdest sensation of air rushing past my left eardrum. Didn’t even realize it hadn’t been there all this time, but I knew it was different.

Speaking of the motorcycle, I ended up with a big black toenail from the crash in June. I’ve been watching it grow out, and I just trimmed off the last of the black part. Now I know how long it takes my toenails to grow.

So busy listening to my own MP3s that I never get around to checking out all the great radio stations built into iTunes. Found this great Dr. Yo station tonight. Wow – one amazing track after another. I could listen to this for days. In fact, I think I will.

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