Stupidity hurts

There have been more than a few occasions in my life when I’ve done something to cause myself pain or injury. Usually it’s of the emotional or mental variety because my smart-ass mouth doesn’t check in with my brain before lighting verbal wildfires with Achebeyo. I’ve already explained what happens when you try to become a hybrid clone of The Cat in the Hat and Harry Houdini, as well as the perils of cliff-diving onto railroad tracks, but there were many other instances where my brain, mouth and body weren’t really keeping open lines of reasonable communication. Take the past few weeks, for example.

I made the rash decision to give up caffeine cold turkey a few weeks ago. As anyone who has tried this after prolonged addictio…uh, exposure to caffeine knows, it’s like the mafia, you don’t quit without paying the price. In this case, that price is brain-squeezing headaches that make you want to punch a nun. Thankfully, there’s no convent nearby.

You can tell me all day long about how beneficial caffeine is, and how it promotes healthy yappity yap yap McYapstein, but anything that does this to your brain when you (try to) stop taking it isn’t winning my vote for best chemical of the century. At least, not until I’m back on that beast again. And I’m sure I will be, at some point. I’m not judging you addicts.

Under the influence of what felt like the Incredible Hulk using my noggin for a grip-strengthener, I unknowingly created another painful situation for myself: I made myself deaf. Okay, perhaps only 40% deaf…in one ear, but still. My brain was too busy looking for a way out of my ears and eyeballs to cobble together any reasonable explanation for how this could have happened. In my addled state, I assumed the beast, Caffeine, was to blame again. Because, you know, caffeine has been documented to cause partial, crunchy deafness in one ear when you quit it cold turkey.

Achebeyo listened to me agonizing for a few days before her Campaign to Make the Whining Stop got into full swing. She insisted I go to the doctor and see what the problem was. I stalled for time, hoping my body would backspace over the issue and write me a story of no pain anywhere for a few days. When Saturday rolled around and nothing had changed except for deeper, darker circles under my eyes, I opted to go to an (un)urgent care clinic nearby. That would prove to be a turning point for the worse.

After a few hours of waiting (“open at 10am” shouldn’t mean, “we’ll wander in around 11am”) and being seen by the same quack who gave me a bogus diagnosis on a different issue I had previously visited for, it was determined that I had a slight infection that somehow, in it’s slightness, managed to only reduce my hearing by 40% in my right ear. His solution, after jamming that aural probe through to my aching brain? Ear drops. Antibiotic ear drops. Nightmares of one of my childhood visits to my father flashed in my head: “These drops will cure your ear infection, but you’ll have to lie still for about 3-4 hours.” I think my dad was just trying to get a few hours rest from my shenanigans.

These new and improved, 5-minute drops went into my earhole and created what I like to call now I can’t hear a stinking thing out of that ear…syndrome. It would pool up and then run back out when I righted myself, even after anti-shenanigans time. All you health sleuths are ah-HA‘ing right now, aren’t you? Let’s see if you were right.

This pooling and dripping went on until Monday morning, when I scheduled myself to see an ear specialist that same afternoon.

Them: What seems to be the problem?

Me: 40% hearing loss in my right ear, increasing to 90% after application of antibiotic drops.

Them: Did you put anything in your ear?

Me: Not that I’m aware of.

Them: Then what’s this Q-tip head doing lodged against your ear drum?

Me: Napping before his big exit?

Yes, I had a freaking wad of cotton lodged against my ear drum.

Yes, I remember being told a billion times as a child not to stick anything smaller than a wooly mammoth in my ear.

No, I didn’t realize I had deafened myself when it happened. The brain-mauling headaches, remember?

Two separate doctors (and co-payments) and two prescriptions later (ear drops and shame) and I’m a new man. Now I’m on the path to better earhole health with their simple suggestion: vinegar and rubbing alcohol. Because what orifice isn’t made better with those two liquids combined?

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14 Comments on “Stupidity hurts”

  1. Katie Says:

    Ha! Um… I have to ask the question that’s going to make you want to punch me: How did you not notice that the q-tip came out sans cotton after the initial insertion? Don’t you always look at it to see how much wax you got out? Or is that just me? I mean… seriously mind-boggling.

    • renpiti Says:

      The headaches, plus early morning plus GROSS equals no, I didn’t check the q-tip for grease levels. But now I’m sworn off of them going into the grease pit, so I shouldn’t have that problem again.

  2. yourothermotherhere Says:

    The first person you seen ought to stick to pushing a broom around the office rather than pretending they know anything about medicine. How could they miss that?

  3. Mr Pig Says:

    Perhaps the miss (of the big blob of white) came from the frantic need to get you out the door as rapidly as possible due to a)the general nature of “treatment” in these facilities, and b)your general nature… aggravated by the afore mentioned blg blob of white causing the splitting headaches.

    I’m glad you finally found some relief. Giving up caffeine and q-tips in the same month? Dude! You are the MAN!

  4. Meg Says:

    HEY!!! CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW!?!?!?? AAAAAHHAHAHHAHAHA!! Now go get a cup of coffee. 😀

  5. InaraSerra Says:

    ANd, how did the first Dr. miss the Q-tip?? Poor Ren!

    • renpiti Says:

      I don’t think he likes his job very much, as he seems to half-ass everything I’ve seen him for. Lesson learned, though. I’m not going back to him or the clinic that would hire and keep him.

  6. Erin Says:

    WOW. I’ve always had a weird phobia about getting a Q-tip lodged in my ear, in addition to a smorgasbord of other weird phobias involving eyes, teeth, etc. Your experience is now being filed away in the darkest parts of my brain for future nightmares, except when that happens cotton will be substituted for a nest of spiders. So I guess look on the bright side that you don’t have spiders in your ears? 😉 Anyhoo, glad to hear you’re ok, and you didn’t lose yet another sense. ❤

    • renpiti Says:

      You know that most pillows not purchased from high-dollar, fancy-schmancy pillow boutiques are 95% spider eggs, right?

      It was so embarrassing when she pulled the cotton out of my ear. If it wasn’t for the fact that my punching urges left with the cotton ball, I’d have punched myself in the hears to hide from their laughter.

      Less than three you too, sis. 🙂


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