How does it feel when an insect decides to have a rendezvous with your ear canal and decides to end its life there? I was in splits at the misery of a fellow blogger who logged such an experience a few months back. I never imagined that I'd be aurally deficient for 2 days from my own doing which ended only after a visit to an ENT specialist.
My ear seems to be a gunk magnet and needs to be taken care of every now and then. In the process of one such twiddling operation with ear buds two days back, I messed up, causing some gunk to half-block one of my ears. From hearing in 2 channel stereo, I was reduced to a 1.5 channel stereo with one ear struggling to hear. My ear was reacting to it in a funny fashion. I take a finger close to my faulty ear and I could hear odd whoosh sounds inside. I take the finger away and the sound reduced and faded. The tuning fork experiments in the Physics labs of yore flashed back.
Me, being the eternal experimenter, for relief, tried pouring warm water (not hot water, mind it) into the ear, shook and slanted the head in an effort to cajole the gunk to come out, but it refused. After a few minutes, it almost became a single channel stereo, disorienting me with a perpetual whoosh sound and a 'goiiiiiinnn' sound (:-) there is a medical term for the ringing, buzzing, crackling and hissing sound, 'tinnitus'). In spite of careful prodding with Johnson's ear buds, it worsened and I was a verbal wreck, bugging Señora every now and then (நச்சரிப்பு) to see with a flashlight if she could see something inside. Fed up on my antics from the morning, she quipped "இப்போவே இப்படி, இன்னும் வயசானா என்னெல்லாம் படுத்துவியோ". (It is like this now itself, I dread it when you age older)
Drove with the mono-aural capability to an ENT specialist in the evening who 'irrigated' my ear with warm water and washed the gunk out restoring my stereo hearing to all glory, all in just around 3-5 minutes, the driving took 25 minutes each way and the waiting at the empty clinic, another 30 minutes.
Today morning 'el Niño' was in a bad mood and left a piece of dosai in his breakfast plate, and I told him not to waste food as half the world goes hungry every day and that he was wasting food and hence money. Came a quick-fire retort, "You wasted money yesterday at the doctor by not knowing how to clean your ears properly. I don't do that. Ok!!!". I was speechless.
Lessons learnt - Avoid using ear buds to clean your ear, they could push the wax further into the ear canal, causing you extreme discomfort. Do not advise kids when they are in a foul mood. You will get it right back where you expected it least. :-) :-)