“Okay, I’ll take my other ear,” I crack.
The doctor doesn’t crack even a glimmer of a smile. “Your eardrum will rupture. You can’t fly.”
“I am NOT missing my vacation, or my flight,” I respond, rising from my reclined position in the doctor’s chair.
I sit back in the chair, beginning to sweat. I’ve had ear “troubles” since I was a kid. My mom tells me that when I was a toddler, the doctors wrapped me up like a mummy to pierce my eardrum. I don’t remember this incredible horrible form of childhood torture, but have wondered if those repressed memories are the reason that I suffer from claustrophobia.
And a fear of ear doctors.
Is there a phobia for that? Upon looking it up, I found that (1) there is an ENT doctor whose name is Dr. Fear. I promise, you won’t catch me dead or alive in his chair, and (2) there’s a fear of ears, called Kaciraffphobia. But I like my ears fine. No, I just have ENTphobia.
“I can’t let you near me,” I whisper to the doctor now in what I had hoped would be a threatening growl.
“Let’s try steroids first,” she suggests. “We have six days before your flight. If prednisone doesn’t reduce your inflammation and allow you to pop your ears, come back the day before your flight. We’ll make a small incision in the eardrum to drain the fluid.”
Back in six days?
Sorry, doc. Are your ears ringing now, too?