Thursday, January 20, 2011

Syringy lady

I can't make up my mind if syringey should be spelt 'syringey' or 'syringy.' Anyone got a clue? Ah, bugger it; I'm going to drop the 'e,' if only because it makes it easier to type.

Yeah, I'm *that* lazy. Whatevs.

SO! Longtime readers might remember about four and a bit years ago when I succumbed to waxy ear syndrome and had to go get them syringed. It was all good fun, and I found the whole experience of being syringed remarkably, some might say perversely, enjoyable. Back to the here and now, just before Christmas I noticed that my ears were a bit bunged up again, so I bought some Otex (almost bought Optrex, which would've been a CATASTROPHIC DISASTER; why aren't these things given more easily differentiated names? Like EYEtex and EARtex? And what the hell is 'tex'?!) and started popping drops in every day.

Now, I thought everything was going swimmingly with the drops; some weird shit kept coming out of my ears, which I believed to be a very encouraging sign. Last Tuesday, however, I woke up and was completely deaf in my left ear. And to make matters worse I had a pounding in my head that felt like a midget was trying to punch its way out. On the plus side, it did give me an excuse to selectively ignore various colleagues throughout the day, an excuse I am continuing to use even though normal service has been resumed (we'll get to that shortly). On the downside, however, I was meeting marvellous Lee for a quick post-work dinner that evening and I spent the entire time tugging down on my lobe, which temporarily restored some hearing ability but left me looking a bit like a slightly perplexed special ops person trying to receive orders through a faulty in-the-ear headset.

Post-dinner I raced home, hurled myself into a horizontal position, and pumped so much Otex into my head that I'm surprised it didn't start leaking out of my eyes and nose. Instead it fizzed away for about five minutes before an almighty POP restored my hearing, and I let out an orgasmic-sounding shriek that echoed around the leafy suburbs of West London for a good few minutes.

Sorry if that disturbed your tea.

But then on Sunday evening I developed a MASSIVE earache just as I was about to go to bed, which resulted in an utter failure to sleep. I survived most of Monday on coffee so strong you could stand the spoon upright in it, then foolishly went to yoga in the evening. Note to self: don't do a Bikram Yoga class when you've been awake for 33 hours straight.

Anyway, with a little bit of 'selective truth-telling' I managed to wangle myself an appointment for a good old syringing yesterday. I was very excited at the prospect, and subsequently divided the early part of the morning between editing an interview and spinning around in my office chair clapping like a speshul.

I arrived for my appointment almost bang on time, filled in a form, and then proceeded to sit in a waiting room with a crying child and some crusty old people. Reasonably quickly my name was called and I was taken to a small room by a jovial nurse. And by jovial I mean brilliant. From the word go we were firing witty banter back and forth at each other, and I liked her so much that I let it slide when she joked about shining her little medical torch in one ear and the light coming out the other; basically because it's pretty much true.

Bless her, she didn't even look perturbed when I stripped. Apparently you don't need to do that for a syringing.

Dressed once more, she fired up the little syringe machine, and by god I really need to get myself one of these things. I'm pretty sure it would be AWESOME for cleaning out my belly button (the one downside of having an 'inny'). Disappointingly, though, it turns out that the odious Otex had done a reasonably good job; my left ear was clear, with only a bit of wax wedged in the right. This leads me to suspect that I'll have a nasty brown surprise if I inspect my pillow a little too closely.

She fired it up anyway, quite possibly because I think she gets as much of a thrill out of using the syringe device as I did when she stuck it in my ear. She did it with cold water at first, which was a bit like someone shoving ice cubes down your pants and then giving everything a bit of a jiggle, but as soon as the warm water came through everything was good. I recommend it if you've never had it done, just for shits and giggles.

End of story, then? Loved nurse lady, hearing is restored, and I'm going to keep the little one-eared Space Hopper thingy that came with the Otex and use it to water my cacti (doing it with a watering can is a total bitch). All in all, everyone's a winner.



Tara said...

I haven't had an earache since I was a kid, so I never had the opportunity to have someone use the syringey thing on me..

I do remember my mom using some kind of stuff that she had to heat up before pouring into my ear. Then I remember the fizzy noises.

Inexplicable DeVice said...

I always find it remarkable how you can make something that's usually so crashingly boring so exciting and wonderful.

That is all.

Inexplicable DeVice said...

Oh. You probably won't believe that first comment's from me.

Hang on... What can I say to prove my identity?

Ooh, I know: If I dress up as a nurse, will you strip for me, too?

CyberPete said...

I bought a Debrox earwax removal kit in San Francisco when I was there. Used it once I had a nasty ear ache and it worked brilliantly.

Never knew there was a syringy option

Tim said...

Tara - I wouldn't recommend earaches, but syringing is great!

Inexplicable Device - *bows*

Inexplicable Device the second - Ye gods, NO!

Cyberpete - Yeah, you've got to use drops or olive oil to soften the wax up before syringing though.

CyberPete said...

Olive oil? Um, no thank you. Although that's probably the healthiest option.

Tim said...

Yeah, olive oil. Apparently it softens the wax better than drops.

CyberPete said...

I only have garlic- and chilioil but I doubt using that would be a pleasant experience

Anthony Lamb said...

I went to the doctors to have my ear syringed once. I thought it was needed. But when I got there the nurse took one look (well, two - one in each ear) and deemed it un-necessary. We were both quite disappointed. I was looking forward to the experience, and she enjoyed using her machine too. She was excitedly brandishing the nozzle even as I entered the room.

To this day I haven't had my ears syringed, but I do get to enjoy some witty nurse-banter during my annual flu-jab.