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U-Station Blues

I've had fluid in my ear for two weeks. I went to the doctor on Monday and was prescribed some antibiotics and decongestants. So far, they haven't seemed to work well, and I have one day left of antibiotic treatment. You might say I'm a little concerned.

During the course of my illness, I've learned about the Eustachian tubes, which connect the middle ear to the back of the nose. Their job is to regulate pressure in the ear and to drain the middle ear of unwanted substances. Apparently, I developed some kind of blockage due to a cold, and my return flight from Montana probably exacerbated and prolonged this condition.

Let's talk for a moment about flying while your ear contains fluid. I've never been through the experience of giving birth, and I've been fortunate enough over the years to have avoided any serious injuries. One could argue that I've lived a relatively pain-free life, or don't know the meaning of pain. On that plane, though, when we were descending and the pressure changed, I felt the worst pain of my entire life in my ear. I remember thinking to myself, "...if the plane were to crash and we all croaked, I wouldn't hurt anymore". I was also wishing that my ear would burst, thereby relieving the pressure. Needless to say, the plane didn't crash and my ear remained intact. The pain went away about fifteen minutes after landing.

The biggest problem I'm experiencing at the moment is slight hearing impairment, which is annoying at worst. If things don't clear up soon, however, I'll be revisiting the doctor on Monday.


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