Warning: this is a bit gross. A lot gross, really.
My head has been full of blog posts for the last two days, but I haven’t been able to write due to my head being full of something else: my regular 9-monthly wax period. Regular readers will know, and probably wish they didn’t, that every nine to ten months my ears fill up with goo, and nothing short of a pick-axe will shift the blockage. This is incredibly annoying, prevents me from driving and eventually walking straight, and takes a minimum of 4 days / £65 to clear, via one of the following methods:
- Over-the-counter ear wax dissolving stuff: works, but takes four days of constant application.
- Ear syringing: works as long as there’ve been a few days of softening via drops. NHS doctors offer a clinic once a week, but the upcoming appointment is normally full, and I have to wait a week and a half. Private surgeries can do it same-day, but charge £65 (or £37.50 if you fix their computers at the same time 🙂 ), which I can’t afford right now.
- Dubious self-inflicted medical techniques – work, but hurt, and are Probably Not a Good Idea.
For the first time ever, the problem has been solved in two days! I used a mixture of all three 🙂 If you want to know the full details (and, let’s face it, why wouldn’t you), read on…
I really, really needed to be able to drive on Sunday, so I figured that nuking it with wax-dissolving solution might work. Seven hours of lying on the bed, listening to the radio or uncomfortably holding a book, got to the point where I’d have a couple of minutes of clarity before something slid back into place. So this morning I figured I was close. But another hour and a half this afternoon and there was none of the reassuring fizzing or popping that indicates things are happening. I decided more drastic action was required.
I brought out the artillery.
Ear-syringing is a misnomer. It’s just firing hot water into your ear. One can, in theory, achieve this at home with a Super Soaker. This is not as stupid as it sounds, and has been used by doctors. I’ve tried before with no success, but figured it was worth another attempt.
It worked! The extra softening, plus a more effective angle, resulted in Gross Glob of Splat falling into the bath. And now I can hear perfectly…
…from the one ear. It is clear from the difference in hearing quality that the other is far from perfect, but I don’t think it’ll b0rk for a while yet. Hopefully. I’ll plan around it. Last time I was told to drop olive oil into my ear once a week to soften and clear excess wax. I, of course, kept forgetting. This time it Shall Be Different.
Anyway: HOORAY! I can now go to plays / head to Nottingham / write my magnum opus / clean the bath etc. etc.