My birthday started at the Urgent Care.
I was pretty annoyed. Not only was I at Urgent Care on my birthday, but I was there two days before treatment. Because that’s what a person wants to do 48 hours before an infusion- go to the doctor for something else.
But there I was. One would think having what I have would get me out of the minor ailments. But no. I’m still human. Still privy to the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to. Still eligible for headaches and back pain and stubbed toes.
Or in this case, a clogged ear.
It started last Monday. I was at the beach riding a wave and when I came ashore I noticed that my ear had water in it. I shook my head but it didn’t go away. I ignored it, assuming it would clear up on its own.
The next morning, it was still there. Same thing on the next morning. And the morning after that.
I could barely hear anything out of my left ear. Which really confused Jaimie. She was never sure if I couldn’t hear or if I just wasn’t listening. Which was great for me because I wasn’t listening, and finally had something to blame it on.
After a few days we tried some home remedies. Google said that pulling on your ear lobe is a way to get water out. So one night we sat on the couch watching The Bachelorette while I yanked on my ear like a demented Carole Burnett.
The next day Jaimie tried her grandmother’s secret cure for a water logged ear. “What is it,” I asked. She got this scary grin on her face and told me to trust her.
Five minutes later my head was leaned to the left and Jaimie was smacking my ear with the heel of her hand. I’m pretty sure she was saying, “Listen to me dammit” but I might have imagined it. It was a new level of intimacy in our relationship. If there was any doubt that we were supposed to be together, it was leaving with every pound of my ear.
While smacking me upside the head was no doubt fun for Jaimie, it didn’t get the water out. So at 8am on Monday morning I left out apartment for the Urgent Care, to start my birthday there.
And the most amazing thing happened…going to the doctor worked. They brought me back, looked at my ear, and knew just what to do. They put in some drops, shot hot water down there, and when I brought my head up I could hear again. With all the medical uncertainty of the past couple of years, it was such a relief to hear a doctor to go, “Don’t worry, we got this.”
When I got home and told Jaimie I was all fixed, she was relived that I could hear her again. But I did see a slight wave of disappointment at not being able to smack me with impunity.
I reminded her that her birthday was in September. She could smack me all she wanted then.