Well, it isn’t really underwater, but it sure feels like it. I awoke last Friday with an odd feeling in my right ear. I mostly ignored it; I had plans to celebrate a friend’s birthday and so was distracted by good company and good food. The next day, I awoke to a completely blocked right ear. It felt like it was stuffed with cotton…but from inside my skull.
I continued with my most effective health management weapon: denial. So, I got up, went to my yoga class, complained about it but not too much (I hope!), and then carried on the rest of the day at home with all of the self-care measures that I knew of, to no avail. By 5pm, it was worse, not better.
I’d been talking myself out of going to the Wells Urgent Care for hours…but finally, when it was going to close in an hour and a half, I grabbed my coat and keys and went. On the way over, I told myself:
- If it’s really crowded, I’ll just leave.
- If my ear (miraculously) becomes unblocked on the way over, I’ll just keep going on down the street (Dairy Queen is now open!) and turn around in the parking lot and go home.
- If the wait is too long, I can just leave (reference DQ note above~it wouldn’t be a total loss to have gone out!) and head back home.
Well, none of these things happened. I had barely gotten in the door and they greeted me and ushered me into an “intake” room where they checked my blood pressure (yikes!) and temperature (none) and wrote down my concern. Minutes later I was taken to another room to wait for the doctor, who came in almost before I could read an entire sentence in the book I’d brought to kill time while I waited.
Diagnosis: Otitis Media. What? Are you kidding me? Little kids get that! Stupid ear infections! Yes, plural: not one, but two ear infections, although the blocked ear (surprise!) was the worse of the two.
Let me just say that I now have a world of empathy for those poor little kids who have fluid in their ears and can’t hear properly for however long that lasts. In my case, they told me to plan on it clearing about 48 hours after starting the antibiotic. After almost 72 hours, while it’s not actually clear yet, it’s much better. I’m very glad that I went because the morning after I did I woke up feeling much worse, but I wasn’t worried about it like I was the day before, when I didn’t know what the cause of it was. Knowledge is power…and peace of mind.
I decided that ‘head underwater’ is an especially appropriate title because I was under…well, overwhelmed by doing so much for so long that my immune system must have just said, “Hey, I need a break. You’re on your own for a while,” and then just went on strike.
It hasn’t been pretty. I’m hoping to woo it back with ten days of amoxicillin.