Thursday, August 21, 2008


Q-tips. I've been meaning to by Q-tips for a long time. I always forget. I don't really need them for anything but I really think I should have some. I've been planning on buying Q-tips for over a year.

On Tuesday night, while in bed trying to sleep, I noticed something odd about my right ear. If my right ear was face down on my pillow, it would feel all clogged up. If I turned my head around the other way, so that my right ear was face up, that clogged up sensation would go away.

Funny thing about Q-tips. I don't really need them for anything but if they're lying around, I use them to clean my ears. Maybe if I got some Q-tips and cleaned out my right ear, that ear wouldn't get clogged the next time I went to bed. I'll get some Q-tips and clean out my ears. What could go wrong? On Wednesday morning I finally bought some Q-tips.

Nasty. There's something really disgusting about ear wax, especially when you remove globs of the stuff from your own ears. After a few minutes, and about 20 Q-tips later, both of my ears seemed fairly clean. I couldn't believe that I hadn't cleaned out my ears for over a year! I also noticed at that time that my right ear felt really clogged up. I figured that the clogged up feeling would go away after a few minutes, but it didn't. My ears were all cleaned up but my right ear was clogged up even worse than before. I could barely hear out of my right ear now and it was starting to hurt a bit. WTF did I do? How could I make things worse? Did I compact some of that nasty ear wax into my ear and make a minor problem into a big one?

I tried doing the Valsalva Maneuver many times and also figured out how to use an eye drop container to irrigate my ear. My ear was simply not getting any better. It was clogged up and it felt like it was going to stay that way for ever. I decided to leave things alone for a while and just hope that my ear would get better on it's own. When I got up this morning, my ear was still horribly clogged up. Crap. I think I might have to see a doctor about this.

Up hear in the land of universal health care we have a bit of a problem. A lot of people don't have a Family Doctor. Most Family Doctors aren't accepting new patients. There's a big problem with their not being enough Family Doctors here. Since I don't have a Family Doctor and this ear thing was starting to freak me out, I decided to go to a walk in clinic.

As I was waiting at the bus stop I started to think about how much it would suck to go to the walk in clinic. The city I live in has a fairly serious shortage of Family Doctors and the walk in clinic is probably where everybody like me goes for Doctoring. As I was pondering the prospect of sitting around, in a waiting room, with a bunch of sick people , I decided that maybe I could take care of this on my own. Perhaps I was being a little girl about this little ear thing. I wasn't sure what I could do but I knew that the answer was on one of the shelves in the pharmacy across the street from the bus stop.

On the way to the pharmacy, I decided that some Sudafed might do the trick. When I used to go skydiving, and my ears got clogged up, Sudafed always seemed to help. I started taking Sudafed at about 10 AM today and slept most of the day away. At about 3:22PM I started doing the Valsalva Maneuver again and irrigating my ear and it happened. Something shifted and I heard the glorious popping sound and gurgling noise that goes along the clearing of ones clogged ear.


  1. Don't use Q-tips in your ears!! I always tell my husband this, but he ignores me ... even after he nearly punctured his eardrum, which was quite painful.

    I had a similar situation after returning from vaca in Tennessee. Thought I had a bug in my ear (!) but it was ear wax. Used an over-the-counter earwax removal kit: put a few drops in & let it sit for a few minutes. It sizzled, like it was breaking up the earwax. After a few days, no more sizzling and it was all gone! But if you're feeling pain, maybe you should go see the doctor.

    Also, I look forward to reading your future posts as I am an IT-to-RT career changer also. Haven't met anyone like me before! I started school yesterday.

  2. I've been putting Q-tips in my ears for years. Almost nothing has ever gone wrong :-)

    I'll have to look into using some kind of an earwax removal kit, next time.

  3. You do realize that earwax is made to keep bacteria from infecting your inner ear that is why our body makes ear wax. If you remove the ear wax it makes you ear more likely to get an ear infection.

  4. Yes, I know that ear wax is a good thing. I had too much of a good thing. Having too much ear wax and not being able to hear very well, sucks.