Last weekend I developed an ear infection in my right ear. It subsided to a dull ache with a little homeopathy, but I still called the ENT on Monday for a visit, because it felt like it was here to stay. By Tuesday I was begging for an appointment, and got one for... Friday. Hmm...
Excruciating agony wasn't a convincing enough description, I guess. I had a few antibiotics left over from a course that was changed midway, so I was told to take them as I waited for Friday. By Wednesday morning I wasn't able to hear out of either ear very well. That's right, the left ear decided to join the party!
I've had fluid in my right ear for a while (residual damage from my auto-immune fun), so the hearing there hasn't been stellar. It got worse with the infection, and then somehow I managed to get fluid in my LEFT ear while irrigating the old nose. Wonderful. The left ear doesn't work so well now, the ringing was INTOLERABLE, and I cried myself to sleep twice waiting for the Advil to kick in. By Thursday the meds started to help, the pain wasn't as intense, and I actually went to TWO Mother's Day events at the boys' school AND I taught two pre-K origami classes. Believe it or not, the near-deafness improved my teaching (and my parenting!). If you can't hear what they're saying, you just have to let go. You focus on the important missives (More glue, blue pencil please and unbuckle my belt so I don't pee my pants), and forget the rest (she hit me, he won't share, I can't do this). You are more careful with your visual instructions, you slow down and cause the kids to slow down in the process, and you notice how visual little kids who can see ARE. I always knew I talked too much when I taught, now I'm a convert to shutting my trap and using my silence and body movements more.
With the boys it's been helpful, too. I just can't hear them complaining. It's lovely. If something is important, they know enough to come to me and speak clearly into my ear. It slows down the drama.
An unexpected Mother's Day gift of near-deafness!
Seriously, though, it has sucked a lot. I did make the best of it, but when I went into the office I begged him to do what I've wanted and been denied for years -- tubes. Let them drain, dammit! He did it in the office, and boy did it hurt. I writhed. I whimpered. Yes, he used a numbing agent, but because both my eardrums are swollen to five times their size and scabby, the numbing agent could only go so far into the drum. As he pushed the tubes in farther, the pain began in earnest. I chanted my newly learned meditation chant in my head and yoga-breathed like a yogini on speed (if there is such a thing).
Interestingly, once the tubes were in, the pain stopped, my hearing improved an iota (now everything sounds just far away and not far away AND underwater). I have pain intermittently, but I slept through the night last night (without crying, as far I know), and my hearing pops in and out as the fluid drains. And boy does it ever! It is one of the most disturbing things I've seen and experienced, if you want the fluidy-good details. Mmmmmm! I wear cotton in my ears just so as not to gross out the innocent strangers I pass at the grocery store.
The boys have rolled with it all. Habtam was worried when I was in pain and kept checking in on me, sweetie that he is. Lire kept asking me, "Dead?" I tried to determine if he was asking if I was dead now, or if I was going to die. It was the latter, so I assured him I wasn't going to die anytime soon. "Yeah?" he asked matter-of-factly. Yeah. Hopefully.
They are intrigued by the yellow liquid flowing like golden sunshine from my ears, since H. had this early on with his perforated eardrum. Now we both must wear wax plugs in our ears whenever we swim or wash our hair. Like mother, like son.
Wish me better hearing soon. And I will wish all of you a Happy Mother's Day, whether still waiting for your child(ren) or already ensconced with them as I write. Hope your day was easy and free.