‘Ear, ‘ear, I hear you say!

Look what I found this afternoon…

I found a happy
I found a happy


I’ve had a blocked ear for a few days now and it has driven me insane. I think I probably drove everyone else in the family bonkers too, but it’s often hard to tell, so let’s not dwell on that too much … I know they forgive me 🙂 I couldn’t get over the awful pain, the tiny hammers inside my head that have no respect for how tired I am or how much I’m trying to concentrate on something else.

Good hearing is something that most of us take for granted. at least, I know I did. Waking up and finding that I couldn’t hear anything from my left ear was just awful, compounded by the onset of a cold (I’m assuming) which meant a blocked nose as well, I felt like I was being smothered and lost the plot on several occasions over the weekend. I just flat out panicked, wildly, vociferously and dramatically. Lawn pacing, head-banging, jumping up and down and screaming obscenities all featured in this episode. Well, at least it was probably quite entertaining!

But this afternoon, as the lovely nurse Erica at my local surgery unpacked an interesting array of ear-syringing paraphernalia and laid each instrument out on the pristine worktop, I was prepared to undergo whatever torture she might inflict in order to have my hearing back.

‘Here,’ she instructed me in that no-nonsense manner that they teach at nursing college, ‘Hold this vessel under your ear. It’ll catch all the water as it runs out down your shoulder’. I did exactly as I was told, without a single murmur of complaint or questioning tone.

It was a weird, strangely disorienting process as she flushed warm water into my ear canal, like listening to the ocean inside a huge conch shell. I was momentarily transported across the years and miles to my childhood in Barbados, with the sea gently crashing on the rocks at the far end of the white sandy beach… ‘Hold it up properly or you’re going to get really wet!’ Erica admonished. I’d drifted off, if only for a brief moment.

And then, there it was, remarkably quickly, given the disproportionate amount of pain involved over the past week.


Unmuted, un-muffled, unadulterated by layers of waxy residue.

Blessed, harmonious, mellifluous sounds.

My relief was indeed palpable.

I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to live life with dulled or absent senses – sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch are how we make sense of the beauty and diversity in our surroundings. I realise that everyone does, at some point in their lives, experience loss of one or more of their senses and I am in even greater awe of people who live with these difficulties and still manage to see the beauty and diversity in life around them. My hat is well and truly off to all who deal with this on a daily basis.

And I’m so glad I can hear my husband say ‘How about a cuppa?’ now.  That Cheshire Cat smile won’t be wiped off of my face for at least the rest of the day!


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