Wednesday, July 1, 2015

My Ear Problem, pt. 2: Brine

Round #3 of antibiotics is done now. I feel like my colon has left the building, if you know what I mean.

Even though my ear feels mostly decorative, my ENT assured me that my infection is gone.

"But how long is this congested feeling going to last?" I whined.

Badgerette #2 NAILED my I'm-holding-my-shoulder-to-my-ear-because-I'm-a-wounded-animal look.
She's got a future as a wikiHow illustrator.

"Oh, your ear is still full of fluid. Your hearing is going to get worse before it gets better, too. Yeah, that can last weeks, even months!" (Why so excited to relay this news, Doc?)

"Ok, then I need you to put a tube in my ear."

"Ha ha. No." She looked at my face.
Look into my Angry Oscar the Grouch eyes, Lady. I am dead serious.
"Noooo. I'm not going to do it. You have really good hearing! I'm not going to cut your eardrum open."

"Well, then, someone better slap my ear with a cupped hand right now, because I can't sit around with a hot onion strapped to my head for weeks!"

I am taking my mostly decorative ear's fate into my own hands.

And other hands.

First, I've added massage to the mix. Susan Ward, best darned massage therapist and instructor at the Swedish Institute, worked on my neck and shoulders for an hour, teaching me about the tiny muscles in my neck that I've turned into steel cords and that could be cutting off the exit route for my ear fluids.

Susan Ward. Best darned massage therapist ever. I mean it.
I felt loads better, especially when I got to lay facedown because massage tables have that hole that allows breathing better than my two pillow method.

Tribble with a perm.
Sadly, Susan can't move in with me and work on my head and neck nonstop, so I'm now trying to remove the fluids from my ear through osmosis.

That's right. I've gone Homeschool Science Class experimenty on myself. With SALT.

If you're older than 18 and have ever eaten a couple slices of pizza, you know how salt on the inside retains fluids. Soooo, salt on the outside should draw out fluids....

I didn't make this up. Lots of people online tout the wonders of salt baths. Dead Sea Salt. Epsom Salt. Mediterranean Salt. Dancers I know swear by it. Yadda yadda yadda.

Thing is, I hate baths. I'm a power shower kind of girl.

Ahhh, energizing showers!
I'm bored in the bathtub. And since I haven't been able to get more than 60% of me into a normal tub since I was twelve years old, I resent them for freezing parts of me that just want to be warm.

But, whatever. If a salt bath helps to drain my ear fluids, awesome.

And it hasn't been so bad. I got rather ambitious with the salts the first time...sorta Dead Sea bobbed around for a half an hour. Felt good.

Also felt maybe two tiny burbles in my ear after, like the watercooler blubbing up when no one is near it.

So, I did it again. Only, I used all the bath salts up last time, so I had to improvise.

Any reason to make a trip to the Trader....
I wasn't sure I put in enough, though, so Badgerette #2 helped out by dumping the stoveside salt shaker in, too.
Badger Den now officially a low sodium meal provider
Hot onion on one ear, brining away in the tub, I thought about adding a cup of celery to my diet every day because it's supposed to reduce fluid retention.

Then it hit me: I'm incrementally turning myself into a Thanksgiving turkey.

Where's the peanut butter? Does sage have helpful medicinal properties, too?

Bon Appetit!

Copyright 2015, Tanya Monier


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Margaret! I appreciate that! I haven't been writing for several months now, but I'll be getting back to work soon. I hope you browsed around other entries, too.
      Best wishes, and Happy New Year! Tanya