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Wax On, Wax Out

July 27, 2009

I have a somewhat gross story to share with you today. Nothing compared to the ultimate gross story, but gross enough to assure Nancy that no other woman will ever want to nibble on my earlobe again (damn I love earlobe nibbles…).

The story actually starts a little over a year ago when I was in an urgent care center for the aforementioned gross story (peritonsillar abscess). While the doctor was examining me, he looked in my left ear and commented that I had a lot of earwax built up in there. I shrugged it off at the time. Who cares about earwax when you can barely swallow soup?

So a year passed, and I got my annual weird infection (this time, an eyelid. Yeah. Who knew?). The nurse practitioner looked in my left ear and said the same thing about wax buildup. She told me I should try Debrox, an over-the-counter solution.

I went home that night and squirted some Debrox in my ear, laying on my side while it fizzled into my eardrum. Then I shook my ear out and discovered, naturally, that I could no longer hear out of that ear. Well, just barely.

So what did I do the next day when I still couldn’t hear? Of course I put more Debrox in my ear, thinking that it would flush out the previous Debrox as well as any wax. All it really did was solidify my deafness in that ear.

I stopped adding Debrox to my ear and called an ENT after a couple days. The problem got better over the course of the week before the appointment, but I still wanted to go, as I figured he could flush out any remaining wax.

That brings us to today. And really, there’s not much to tell. It was a very easy procedure. The ENT basically cuts off your ear, scrapes out any wax with a cudgel, and stitches your ear back on. No big deal.

Actually, he uses a vacuum to suck out the wax. I asked to see it, and there was a decent amount (enough to cover a quarter). It was darker than what I thought–it looked kind of like sweet potato pie.

So now my hearing is back. In fact, I can now hear sounds that I didn’t even know existed. Specifically, I hear something in my left ear when I walk that sounds like someone is walking really close behind me pouring sand on my shoulder. Seriously. It’s unnerving. I want to say, “Hey, Sand Guy, stop doing that,” but of course there’s no Sand Guy. Just a hungry cat.

All in all, not that bad of an experience. If you ever have earwax problems, I’d recommend you just skip the Debrox and go to the ENT. That way you can get your own personal Sand Guy to follow you around too.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Nancy permalink
    July 28, 2009 5:45 am

    I don’t even want to nibble on your earlobe anymore! And you just ruined sweet potato pie for me!!

  2. even bigger Papi permalink
    July 28, 2009 9:00 am

    agreed Nancy, I never want sweet potato pie every again.

    • July 28, 2009 9:03 am

      I’m pleased by the reaction to my imagery. More sweet potato pie for me. And apparently zero ear nibbles.

  3. Neeraja permalink
    July 28, 2009 10:07 am

    I had this happened to me too, Jamey. Woke up one morning and couldn’t hear out of an ear. I went straight to the ENT.

    For maintenance, take hot showers and clear out the wax in your outer canals (don’t stick that Q-Tip in your ear canal!!!)

    Q-Tips are kind of like an apple a day, right?

    • July 28, 2009 10:11 am

      Exactly. Isn’t that weird that it just happens out of nowhere? I’m surprised you found an ENT who would see you right away–mine took a week!

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