Are Your Ears Ringing?

flying, ears poppingA week before we’re to leave for our winter vacation this month, the ENT peers into my ear canal and says, “You can’t fly with this ear!”

“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 suppose I could rupture it for you,” she says calmly.ear anatomy, ENT

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.

ears, flying, ear popping

I like my ears
just fine.

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?

Notre Dame bells, ringingI back out of the room, prescription in hand, ears chiming like the Notre Dame bells, knowing that this ENT specialist won’t see the front of me, or my ears, again for a long, long time.

Sorry, doc. Are your ears ringing now, too?

30 thoughts on “Are Your Ears Ringing?

  1. I must be incredibly lucky because I have never had any ear complaints. – no ear aches or infections. Yes they ‘pop’ at altitude but I do the old ‘hold your nose and blow’ thing for that.
    Here hoping the medication works – the treatment sounds barbaric to say the least!


    • You are lucky, and generally I am also with various bits and pieces of my body. Just the ears, gosh darn it. I always feel sooo badly for those babies and toddlers who scream on the plane – you know their ears are hurting them badly.


  2. Pam, Linz has had the same exact thing! She is now on her second round of antibiotics and steroids and her dr says if that doesn’t work it’s off for a CAT scan and ENT…Hope you are happily writing this from a warm Hawaiian beach!


  3. You’ll have to overcome your fear if the steroids don’t work just to find out what will happen if you fly with your ear like that. Will it explode with the air pressure and cove everyone in gunk? Be mistaken for a gun going off so you’re covered in air marshals? Nope, lets face it, you can’t risk arriving too ill to enjoy the holiday.A small incision is much less painful than a paper cut and I bet you’re not afraid of the library.
    Have a Wonderful time.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx


    • This is why I like you so much (or one of the reasons, anyway). Your sense of humor! Oh yuuuccckkk, I would hate to spread ear gunk over other passengers. And what if a pop alerted the air marshals? Ye gad, more to worry about besides my blasted (or non-blasted) ears.
      Hmm, my fear of libraries…now, that’s another story.
      xx a hug and an earful xx


    • Pain, yes, the ‘cotton stuffed in the air, and ouch, I don’t like that ache’ kind of pain. I handle it better now than I did as a little girl! As far as the destination? Across the Pacific to those little islands called Hawaii. The tradewinds will heal any ear hole, I hear. (Oh, and absolutely, come on over!!)


    • Ohhh, I so wish we could drive across the Pacific Ocean, but so far, there is no ferry from CA to one of those tiny Hawaiian islands. I’ve even suggested a tunnel underneath the ocean, like the Chunnel, but so far, no engineer is willing to try it.
      Cowards. They are not thinking of us poor souls who have ear-flying problems, and you know what? There are moreof us than anyone realizes. We are silently popping our ears and chewing tons of gum.


    • Of course, those who ‘got away’ and are vacationing here watch the East Coast weather (on TV, newspapers, I-Phones) and shake their heads in fear and sympathy. Many of those here have to fly back to your feet of snow, soon.Stay warm, my friend!


  4. Oh, I am so sad about your ears and terribly afraid and happily amused about the way you wrote this story. A lot of emotions in one post! You posted an ear-ful. (Sneaks away tittering…) And of course hoping you’re all better very soon before your vacation and no additional procedures are needed.


    • I don’t like to talk about myself and my little ailments, and yet, my blog IS about my own little “flashes of life,” so I put my ears on display. When my guy heard that my post was going to be about my ears, he thought I was writing about my earrings. Ha ha. So now he’s given me an idea: one of these days I’ll tell everyone that I’m an earring horder – non materialistic me can’t go past a beautiful pair of earrings without buying them. Perhaps that’s my way of getting back at the inside of my ears – showing off the outside.


  5. WOW…you poor thing….so did the steroids work and were you able to continue on with your vacation? Just love reading your blogs. I have a whole slew of them that you have sent me and I just haven’t had the time to read them all yet and saved each and everyone and will be reading them. Keep em rock Pam!!!!


    • Thanks so much for your support, Bev. Yes, the steroids worked, so the vacation happened. Yay. And thank you SO much for the great book review on Facebook for The Right Wrong Man. I’m thrilled you enjoyed the read!


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