After the trip to the meditation center, I got back on Sunday night, ready to start back into work on Monday. I’ll rest for the night and then go to the clinic to get my ears fixed after work on Monday. Some of my colleagues know of a woman who studied medicine in France, otherwise I would go to Thailand…or let me ears rot. There’s no way I’m going to go to any of the local doctors after the mishandling of my friend Gom. This is certainly less serious than his accident, but I wont trust them any where the delicate parts inside of my ear.
I go to the clinic on Monday and it’s packed, so I leave and decide to come back the next day. Same thing on Tuesday! Wednesday I leave work a little bit early and get there ahead of the crowd. She sees me first and as I expected goes to check my ears, but tells me she can’t see anything because they’re blocked. Okay, she’s passed the idiot test, now let’s get on to how we can fix it. She tells me that the inner parts of my ear are red and she thinks that they’re infected. She pulls out the ear instrument and shows me the “puss” that came out of my ear. I’m no doctor, but I definitely know what ear wax looks like… I’m glad I have my mom to ask for advice with all of this stuff. Everything I’ve read online said that the big signs of infected ears are pain or discharge of fluid, which I have neither of. I tell her I don’t want to take antibiotics, but just want my ears flushed. She says that she can’t do that there and just to take the antibiotics. She says if it’s not better by the end of the week she will personally take me to the hospital and get it sorted out. I appreciate her offer, but I’m sticking to my guns on not seeing any local doctors here. It’s out of the question.
I take her medicine and Andrea, my boss, suggests to go to the local children’s hospital and see if they have just a few minutes to irrigate my ear. It’s the only place in town with foreign doctors. I head there and wrestle with people for a few hours before the Australian doctor comes out to talk to me. Everyone was telling me they only treat children there. Yeah well if they don’t listen to me, then I’m going to start acting like a child, so they better just help me now. He finally comes out and listens to me patiently. He then tells me they don’t do ear irrigation there and I’ll have to go to another foreign trained doctor in town. He also tells me to stay away from the local doctors here at the hospital. I thank him and then leave to call his lead. As I’m leaving I stick my tongue out at the people who were giving me a hard time to prove to them my maturity level is far below most of their patients.
The number doesn’t work… Brainstorming at home I realize that some of my colleagues are in Sweden, so I ask them to bring me a home irrigation kit. They’ll be home just after the weekend. Wonderful, I feel so relieved. Also after some debates with my mom I finally cave and start to take the antibiotics, despite not having any signs of needing them.
I get the medicine Monday morning at work and rush home to try it out. It works like a charm, I can finally hear again! It’s been about three weeks of constant cloggage and it feels so strange to have them unclogged. I feel like everything I’m doing is too loud. It rains the next morning on my way to work, but luckily stops before I start to walk. It’s amazing to be able to hear everything on my walk again so clearly. After I get through the market part of my walk, I’m walking through a more bushy area and all of the insects and frogs sound like a symphony playing beautiful music to my every step. I’m in total amazement at the sounds that I have taken for granted for so long and will soon take or granted again. It’s nice to have this little wake up call though.
The idiot that I am, I stop taking the antibiotics short of the week because, like I said before, there are no signs of infection from what I read on the internet and the internet is always right!
Thursday rolls around… and as everyone everyone has already probably guessed, except for me, I get a mild pain in my ear, but ignore it and concentrate on how the busy schedule at work. Walking home that evening it gets worse. Then at about 7:30 as I’m winding down for the night, it gets even worse. I call the doctor I saw before and go to see her. Feeling like an idiot for stopping the antibiotics I go in to her office with an embarrassed look on my face. She lectures me, twice, about stopping the regiment. Then she looks in my ear and to prove her brilliance, declares she can see everything. Gosh, she is really amazing isn’t she? Then she gives me stronger antibiotics and tells me to take them.
Friday, the next day, my ears get bad again during the daytime. They get even worse at night, and peak right before I go to bed. I take two 200mg ibuprofen pills before getting home, take too more before I go to bed, and then after a few hours of sleepless agony, I take another two pills. I also get in the shower and try to flush my ears again, thinking something is in there. With no luck, I finally dull the pain enough to pass out.
Now, up to this morning, on Saturday, the pain comes right back and makes it really difficult to focus on anything. Worried that a Men in Black alien is in my ear and about to take over my brain, I call Andrea. She says that we’ll probably have to go to Bangkok to get it dealt with if it doesn’t get better by the morning. I call my mom because she has more experience selling these drugs then that doctor, who studied in Oz, has been alive. My worry is deflated when she tells me that I have an outer infection in my ear and I just need to take drops to cure it. Now, I’m going to search all over the city to find those drops so I can stop this excruciating pain. This pain is much worse than any ailments I had when I was in Ghana, including the Malaria.
So, things I’ve learned from doing just about everything wrong (However, I don’t actually know anything about this and am the worst example you could follow, so don’t actually take this advice, or if you do, only claim it was from me if it worked):
- If you’re going to flush your ears to clean the wax, use a drying agent to dry up the moisture deep in your ear. That is one of the main causes of the infection I have.
- Even if a doctor is claimed to be good and has studied in some magical place, check with more people about their advice.
- Maybe the most obvious one of all, don’t stop taking your antibiotics, even if you thought you started them for no reason.
- If you are taking pain medication at a high dose, without being prescribed, take Ibuprofen because taking too high a dose of Tylenol could do permanent damage to your liver (like I said, don’t follow this advice, just use it as one of your many references)
- Lastly, the aliens from Men and Black clearly aren’t going to stay in your ears… They have much smarter people to inhabit.