photo friday: shell like

glass sandcastle and shellbubble shell

little scoopshell weeds
I read an article today about knowing what your spending triggers are to stay on budget. I didn't need to read it though, I already know my spending triggers are online shopping, and currently, online teeshirt stores. I did resist the urge earlier in the week to get Ma something that was adorable but fairly pointless, but then went looking on Tee Fury this afternoon and saw that their shirt of the day was Lego themed... yeah...

In other news, this week has been SHITEFUL!

It seems like every year around this time the wheels tend to fall of the universe. Last year it was potential homelessness, but this year... joy of joys, ear infection.

It all started on Monday afternoon, just before I was due to leave work my ear started feeling weird, and then by the time I got home it was blocked and a little painful. I mean I was feeling a little below par all day, but just assumed that that was from the lack of sleep and general dancey-ness of Saturday night.

I got some sleep Monday night, although not a whole hell of a lot, came into work Tuesday, it cleared a little so that I could at least hear things again, and then I left work early and Ma and I were headed off to see the second of the Ghibli movies we had tickets for, The Wind Rises.

Normally there would have been a movie review that accompanied that excursion, however I think I slept through about half of the movie. I'll admit, as much as I like SOME of the Ghibli catalogue, there are other movies that just have the ability to put me to sleep, and that's when I'm not sleep deprived and battling an infection/fever. So I napped my way through the movie and then after some dinner, Ma dropped me off at home around 6:30.

As soon as I got upstairs, I got straight into bed. Which should have been fine, and was clearly what my body needed, and would have been great if I could have actually turned over like I normally would. It is, however, one of the few times I've been glad to be 50% deaf, given the noisy party my "backyard neighbours" threw until 3am. I don't think I heard that much of it, as I couldn't roll onto my left side at all during the night, so I was "deaf side up" all night... but I ended up sleeping fairly fitfully and I think I woke up either every time I wanted to roll over or every time the neighbours made excessive amounts of noise (which at one point did sound like they were hurling bottles around the place). Fucking cashed-up bogans (which is literally the only explanation).

I finally gave up on the whole concept of sleeping and got up around 5:30am, had a shower then caught the very first bus of the day into the city and wandered down to the Emergency Room at the Royal Adelaide.

I got seen relatively quickly, since it was coming up on change of shift and I think they weren't really all that busy... not really surprising at 6:45am.

But because it was the change of shift I ended up being seen by three different doctors... first a dude who was cute but who was clearly a junior (because he didn't seem to know that much all on his own, plus even with the beard he was about 12... that's clearly the sign of getting old, when doctors seem like teenagers), then someone more senior (but not very much older) but who was coming up on the end of shift and didn't really want to make any decisions (he literally said that aloud about three times), then a female doctor who actually ended up doing most of the actual doctoring... and who's name may or may not have been Dr Bunny... seriously.

Mostly they left me sitting in a somewhat uncomfortable dentist's chair in the ENT "zone"... the same chair I'd sat in like a dufus after sitting in the waiting room for like seven hours (okay, technically three, but it felt longer) way back in 2011 when I didn't seem to make a habit of visiting the Emergency Room. Given that they gave me some lovely Panadene Forte and I'd had very little sleep for the past two nights, I was more than a little dopey and very sleepy when people did actually come and ask me things.

So much so that I completely vagued out on the fact that even though it was a completely different scenario, I'd had "otitis externa" once before (which is just the fancy name for "Swimmer's Ear")... whether that would have been useful information in the general scheme of things or not, I don't really know. I do know that with all of the medical professionals I've seen this week, the majority of them didn't always necessarily seem that interested in chunks of the story, and because I had to tell the story a number of times, I don't think any of them got the total and complete version with all the bells and whistles.

Anyway, Dr Fluffy... err, Bunny... (and yeah, she was the least kind of Fluffy Bunny woman you could picture) poked me with a stick, mostly figuratively, for a while and then decided that she wanted to send me for a CAT scan, just to check it wasn't an infection in the bone... which is definitely a new one for me, even after all the times in the recent past I've ended up in the emergency room.

Then in the end she shoved an "ear wick" in my ear (essentially we're talking about an ear tampon... stick in hole, apply liquid, it swells up... c'mon), gave me a letter for my GP (which would be great if I'd had a GP at that point that I didn't completely despise), some drops and a prescription for some Panadene Forte and sent me on my way.

I got home around 10:30 or so, got back into bed and actually slept the rest of the day away. I ended up getting out of bed around 6:30pm... had some fruit and messed around on the laptop watching YouTube videos for a few hours before going back to bed again.

I have spent a bunch of time wondering exactly what the hell triggered this, but unfortunately the list of suspects is too long rather than too short... I was already having some issues with fluid in my ears, but then:
  • I went out dancing for six straight hours and mostly stood right in front of the speakers
  • I bought new over-ear headphones
  • I slept in the living room under the aircon after said the dance party
  • I was running on less sleep than usual all of last week
  • plus about three or four other less specific things
But maybe it was just that element of wishful thinking gone awry, where I'd been wishing everyone would just shut the hell up, and then suddenly, I'm mostly deaf. Yeah, not likely I know, but still...

Thursday was a tiny bit comical, in that my left ear was totally blocked, but I could still hear fine out of the right ear... so while I needed various people to say things CLEARLY AND SLOWLY a few times, I did okay for the most part. Less fun was the fact I needed to go to the Medicare office and replace my lost (or very safely located, which amounts to about the same thing) Medicare card. I'd been running around using an expired card for months without even realising it, and it was only when the woman at the hospital pointed it out that I realised I had no clue where the new one was. I won't even go into why a government agency decides that noon is the appropriate time for three quarters of their staff to all go to lunch... not that they were all working when I got there in the first place... however WTF!

Anyway... while I've had no appetite all week long, I did start craving weirdly specific foods yesterday, so I had pork dumplings for dinner... just that, with some soy sauce...

Towards the end of the day yesterday my right ear started feeling a little hot and swollen, so I was pretty sure that when I woke up I was going to be pretty damn deaf. Whether I was "legally deaf" or not, I have no idea, but it did feel very much like I had a sofa cushion shoved in each ear, and I know that it was very, very difficult to understand what various people were saying, between the muffled hearing and the incredibly loud white noise blasting in my head.

Fortunately I managed to find a doctor's surgery relatively close to work, so I took myself off to my appointment this morning, saw a doctor who was 106 if he was a day (he was nice, just a little old and crusty), who poke around in my ears with various things, pulled the ear wick out, which was looking pretty damn gross, then essentially jammed some rolled up tissue in each ear for a while until I could partially hear out of the left ear.

He also wrote me a prescription for some strong and frankly gigantic antibiotics and some better quality ear drops than they gave me at the hospital and sent me on my merry way, with the happy thought that the lovely drugs should have well and truly kicked in by Monday, and if I was still having issues on Tuesday to come back and he'd arrange some sort of Emergency ENT specialist appointment.

So here I sit... I've had two of the antibiotics thus far, I'm waiting until bedtime before I put the new and improved drops in, and I'm essentially functionally deaf in my right ear and can kind of hear out of my left.

Of course, because I haven't felt like doing much of anything all week long, the apartment is a bit of a disaster area (relatively speaking) but I just can't summon up the energy to be bothered. A little bit like how I'm not sure exactly how bothered I'm going to be about heading down to Ma's to put the Christmas tree up on Sunday... that's going to be A Very Trying Day.

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