I’ve never had an ear infection. At least, not that I can remember. So when my ear started bugging me this week, I began to worry. There was this sort of pressure, like someone was covering my right ear. And yesterday it worsened. And last night it kept me awake. I thought for sure I had a tumor that was growing so large and so quickly that it would eventually render me deaf.
So I spent my Saturday morning at the doctor’s office. Uncaffinated. Talk about a sucky way to begin a weekend.
Long story short (because I’m sure you aren’t so thrilled about reading the saga of kim’s ear), I’ve been using q-tips too much. The doc asked how often I used them. ‘Occassionally,’ I lied. Truth is, I use them every day. Twice in each ear, in fact. Once when I get up and again after I shower. I don’t like the idea of stuff in my ear, especially water. So the end result is a waxless ear, which, apparently, has created this pressure I’m feeling. Go figure.
But here’s the funny part (isn’t there always a funny part?): no only did Dr. G tell me to throw away my q-tips (something I’ll never do because, you know, I like ’em); she told me to put olive oil in my ears. Olive oil.
And as it turns out, it’s kind of a cool sort of feeling. Gunky at first, but once the oil does, er, whatever it does in your ear canal, it feels pretty good.
All this has me thinking about home remedies, how we always resort to chemicals and professionals instead of experimenting with the things we have on hand. That’s how it used to be, back in the day. The fix ’em up shop was in the kitchen, where they kept the castor oil and baking soda and olive oil (because they didn’t have q-tips back then, poor folks). And how’d they ever learn that this stuff works? They experimented, likely out of shear panic. ‘Billy’s got a terrible ache in his belly. Quick, give him some castor oil! Poor little feller.’
So when I told her I use q-tips, the doc just looked at me like I was a moron, and I know she didn’t belive me when I told her I don’t use them every day. But what I was I to do? Admit that I’m an idiot and that I dig around in places I shouldn’t? I don’t think so.
So the visit resulted in me feeling stupid and uncomfortable and embarassed. Had I stayed home and looked around in my kitchen I’m sure it would have eventually occured to me to pour oil in my ears. I mean, it might have taken a while to come to that realization, but it could have happened. And it would have saved me a great deal of embarrassment. And I could have slept in this morning, too.
So next time your’e facing a doctor’s appointment becuase you’ve been poking around where you shouldn’t, take a look in your kitchen. The cure is probably right under your nose.