Adventures with the ENT

Remember how, back on August 3rd, I said I had an ear infection?  Yeah.  I still have an ear infection.  On the 10th, I got to go to see an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor and wow, let me tell you, that was fun.  Yes, that is sarcasm.

Let’s discuss the excitement of the day, shall we?  Warning, I may or may not have exaggerated a tad.

  • I wake up.  I have a headache.  My ear is throbbing and full of liquid and I can’t hear out of it.
  • What do I do for a living?  Oh, right, I listen to phone calls and monitor them for quality purposes.  Really kind of important that I can hear.
  • I call in sick and go back to bed.
  • I am convinced my doctor appointment is on one side of downtown Saint Paul (near where the old Science Museum used to be) but decide to take a cab instead of walking.
  • Turns out the appointment is near the new Science Museum.  Good thing I decided to take the cab.
  • I fill out the forms and sit in the waiting room.  There is some guy who keeps staring at me.  Why is he staring at me?  This is weird.  Stop it.
  • There is a guy next to me who keeps making these snorting noises.  It’s kind of gross.
  • Weird guy is still staring.  Would hitting him with my book be considered assault?  Probably.  I don’t do it.
  • I am called into the back and meet my nurse person.  She looks at my ear and asks me some questions.  All perfectly normal.
  • ENT guy comes in.  “Hi, Dana.  How are you?  Let me take a look at your ear.”
  • Yep.  I have an ear infection.  Actually, apparently I have an “angry eardrum” and it is very thick and there are air bubbles behind the ear drum.  Oh, wow.  That’s really kind of gross.
  • I get to have a hearing test.  My hearing is not so good in the left ear.  That’s a shock.  But he thinks it will clear up.  Here’s my problem with this test.  When you put earphones on my head and talk into my ear, I can hear you.  I may not be able to hear everything you say but I can actually hear you.  You’re talking in my ear!  I don’t think that’s a completely effective hearing test.  Where’s the hearing test that takes place in the crowded bar or at the movie theater when I’m trying to figure out what people are saying?  How come I can hear better if I’m facing someone or if there are subtitles?  Explain that!
  • Apparently I have residual anger towards people who do hearing tests.
  • Then it is back to see ENT guy.  “Here’s what we’re going to do, Dana.  I’m going to stick this really sharp thing into your ear and slice your ear drum.  Doesn’t that sound like fun?”  Uh, no.  But if it works, I will be thrilled to death.
  • He pours this numbing solution into my ear.  He warns me that it will burn.  I am almost ready to ask if he can just put me out so I don’t have to deal with it but too late, stuff is slithering through my ear.
  • Burn is not the word I would use for this.  I would say “Mother-effing lava.”
  • Then he slices the ear drum.  Now my ear is filled with lava and the pain.  The sharp, horrible pain that will not end.
  • The liquid decides not to drain.  Why would it?  It likes my ear.  No, apparently it is too thick.
  • Happy ENT guy says “Okay, Dana.  Now we get to have lots of fun!  I get my kicks from torturing innocent people.  Some days I dress up like a clown!  Let’s shove a tube into this slice I just made so your ear drum won’t close up.  Look, it’s a really tiny tube.  It’ll be just fine.”
  • Uh, no, it was not just fine.  It was awful.  I am not ashamed to say that I cried like a baby when he rammed that thing in there.  It, of course, didn’t want to fit so there was some shoving and more sharp pain and more tears and oh, my God, this is not right.
  • I have finally found something I hate more than going to the dentist.  I hate going to the dentist so much that if I had a choice between a Pap smear every day for the rest of my life or getting my teeth cleaned, I would pick the Pap smear.  Do you know how demoralizing it is to realize that getting your teeth cleaned is actually a walk in the park compared to this?
  • As I walk out of the waiting room, tears still drying on my cheeks, I see that weird guy is still there.  Still staring.  As I leave, he follows me.  Oh, great.  I’m going to get murdered.  Well, that’ll be perfect.
  • Weird guy actually doesn’t follow me out of the office.  Apparently he was called into the back and I’m just slightly paranoid.

So that’s it.  Basically I paid a complete stranger $20 to slice my ear drum open and shove a tube in it.  And the infection’s still there.  I’m afraid to see what he’ll do on Friday when I have to go back.

I also have formed a theory.  Maybe Vincent Van Gogh wasn’t insane.  Maybe he just had an ear infection and the pain was so much he decided to just cut the ear off because that would be easier.  It could have been a radical new surgery process.  I am tempted to try it but Beth and Kim say no.  They also vetoed my using a tweezers to yank the tube out of my ear as well.  Sigh.  They are so very pratical.

GASP!  Facebook Drama!  Film at 11!

I love Facebook.  I really do.  I love the little quizzes and the games and catching up with family and friends.  I also enjoy crafting my status messages/comments to be funny or wry or amusing.  I like making people laugh.

However, sometimes you need to be careful.  One of my family members, John Doe*, took a Facebook quiz to find out how likely he was to go to jail.  It was 39%.  The little quiz result also said something along the lines of “You must have done a more serious crime because they don’t toss you in there for smuggling a lollipop out of the candy store.  Concentrate on positive things like using a hammer, toothpick and a piece of string to escape.”

*I know he’s related to me but I didn’t know how.  Name changed to protect him (and me).

This amused me.  There’s nothing serious about this, right?  Facebook is a social networking site, not a Nobel Prize winning think tank.  Especially when you think of the extremely horrible grammar in many of these quizzes.

So I leave a cute little comment.  Or at least I thought it was cute.

Dana Marie Vittum:  Hmm.  This worries me.  I have a hardened criminal for a relative!  But hey, having MacGyvver-like skills is nothing to sneeze at.

This morning, I am reading my news feeds and see there’s a comment after mine.

Parent Smith:  I am the proud parent of that criminal – back off.  You have other family members that are much worse to worry about.  “Judge not lest ye be judged.”

Um.  The words “WTF” came to mind.  She honestly thought was serious?  Really?  Oh, no!

I leave another comment.

Dana Marie Vittum:  John, if I offended you or your parent, I apologize.  I meant this as a joke, not a judgment.  I certainly do not think a Facebook quiz is an accurate assessment of someone’s criminal behavior.

So I am, of course, obsessing over this.  Am I a horrible person?  Is John going to hate me forever?  I am talking to Co-workers Rykken, Christy and Jessica about this today.

Christy:  Who is he?
DM:  Um, I have no idea.  I know we’re related, I just don’t know how.  He’s probably a cousin.  Or maybe a nephew.

I look up the information.  Yep.  He’s a nephew.  His parent is a former in-law.  That might account for the mysterious comment about worrying about my other relatives.  There may be some bitterness involved.  But part of me is still feeling guilty.

Do you think I’m a horrible person?  Would you have thought my comment was serious?  Should I have ended my comment with “J/K” or “LOL” or an emoticon so I don’t end up being burned in effigy later?

Updated – she did apologize for over-reacting.  We are okay.  I am glad about that.

Next week I am on vacation.  Keem and I are journeying to the wilds of Wisconsin to spend time with my mother, Kari and Josh.  It will be fun and exciting.  I’m not sure if I mean that or if that’s sarcasm.  My mother makes me a little crazy.  Not Vincent Van Gogh crazy.  Yet.

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