Science Rules (AKA Insomnia)

Science is the search for truth (whoa-oh-oh)
It only finds the facts, it has no agenda

‘Science and Honor’ by the Phenomenauts

I know you’re not supposed to but I couldn’t help myself. I knew how good it would feel. After a moment’s hesitation weighing the pros and cons I took the plunge and plunged it in. It was squishy and a little bit gritty. After twirling it round a few times I pulled out for an inspection. The tip was green. This was unexpected. I lifted it to my nose and gave it a cautious sniff. It didn’t smell too good. I turned it around and put the other end in. This time wasn’t as good but still pretty good. There was green gloop on the other end when I pulled it out but not as much. And some other crap too. I’m not sure how it all got in there, the beach I suppose, but it did explain a bit why it ached so much.

All in all I used three cotton buds cleaning out the one ear. At the end I stuck an alcohol swab in there too for good measure. Then I dug through my medical kit for my dwindling supply of Trisul. My sixth course of antibiotics this year. Not good. The Trisul is though, wipes out everything from ear infections to STIs (so I’m told). It was the second time the ear has been infected in India. Must be the humidity or the bugs or something. The other four courses of antibiotics were all bowel related. Not sure why I keep getting sick here, must be something in the water or something.

The first ear infection had been a real howler. Not as bad as the time I had to go to a hospital in Tirana to have it flushed out by a vacuum cleaner sized machine that had the ear wax of a thousand Albanians in it but still pretty bad. It crept up on me until I was completely deaf in one ear. I was constantly wiggling my finger in it or blowing my pinched nose trying to relieve the pressure. It ached all the time. It even leaked a bit of fluid onto the pillow one night. I was reluctant to take the antibiotics because I’d been on them pretty much continuously since arriving in India but then realised it wasn’t leaving on its own accord. I decided to send it on its way with a strong dose of western medicine. That cleared it up pretty much immediately. Science rules.

But then it came back. Might have been the water this time. The sea isn’t exactly pristine here and the presence of sand on the end of the baton suggested that a bit more than water had got in there. This time I wanted to get on top of it straight away. I wasn’t going to spend a week moping round with a clogged ear canal hoping that my depressed immune system might take the initiative and sort the damned thing out for me. I took the pills with a swallow of tap water (couldn’t hurt right? We’ll see.) and went to bed. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t take my mind off my aching ear. C’mon science do your magic. I don’t want to be lying round at one in the morning typing out pointless blog posts about my body’s infected orificeses.

Just in case my description wasn't vivid enough

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6 Comments on “Science Rules (AKA Insomnia)”

  1. Chris says:

    That was a beautiful update.

  2. Dave says:

    Before I left New Zealand I was waking up every morning completely deaf in my left ear from wax. I went to the ear clinic on Kent Terrace in Wellington where they use that mini ear-vacuum cleaner you describe. It took over an hour for the nurse to suck out the olive-sized clump of wax that was lodged deep in my canal – she had to keep pouring oil in my ear to lube it up as it was so dry. When it finally came out she showed the jet-black clump that must have been hidden in there for about six months to me before it wooshed down the shaft of the vacuum. The best part though was when she pulled back the curtain in the room to reveal the transparent container for the vacuum, filled almost to the top with about six litres of browny-yellow sludge – the cumulative earwax of hundreds of past patients. om nom nom

  3. Pabloneco says:

    That was nasty.


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