Monday, July 04, 2011

Blood And Earwax

It’s been like an episode of ER in my house over the weekend. The live one directed by Quentin Tarantino.

The wife and I have been vying to win a competition of ailments and injuries.

Call it cowardice, call it lack of motivation, call it perhaps just a healthy dollop of sanity but I put on a very poor show. I hardly made an effort.

I kicked off with a sore toe at the end of the last week. Is it a corn? Is it a nascent verruca? Is it a Manitou growing on the side of my little toe? One that will eventually start talking to me in a the lost dialect of the Mohicans, asking me plaintively what the hell ever happened to Madeleine Stowe ‘cos she was a proper fox, she was?

The wife suspected it was just a sore patch where my feet had been rubbing together. Not even worth a Band-aid.

Next I went for an infected ear. I’ve been suffering loss of hearing and irritation in my inner ear. Have been for months. Eventually I went to see the doctor. He couldn’t see any infection. Mainly because he couldn’t see my eardrum. It was occluded by a large mass of compacted earwax. In fact both my ears were 90% stoppered by plugs of my own making. I imagined two big balls of wax each the size of a Granny Smith but then couldn’t help wondering – if wax balls that big were inside my head where the heck would my brain be?

What? I didn’t quite catch that?

Anyway, I thought I might be in for a good syringing but no. The cure these days is a week long course of olive oil ear drops followed by a week long course of bicarbonate of soda ear drops. The first to soften; the second to [and I quote my doctor here] “fizz and disperse”.

I know, I know. I let Tarantino down. And I was hoping to get Brad Pitt to play me and everything.

My wife, Karen, however, decided to go for something not only spectacular but also improbable.

Picture the scene. She’s in her jimjams / sweats / slacks / comforters / whatever you want to call them. A casual trouser and top combo by any other name. She’s heading upstairs. Suddenly there is an ear piercing shriek (well, it would have been if my ears hadn’t been gunked up with wax). I dash out to the hallway, hastily abandoning my book, the TV remote, my box of chocolates and my crème de menthe and find my wife mimicking the one-footed kung fu pose from the original Karate Kid film.

The big toe on the foot that is raised is bloodied. Bloodied in fact in a thin line that seems to extend completely around the toe a few millimetres from where it extends from the base of the foot.

My first thought is that she’s broken the toe. Stubbed it against something so hard that it’s snapped violently and ruptured the skin all the way around.

But no. She hasn’t stubbed her toe.

What happened was, whilst walking barefoot in her slacks, she managed to catch the toe in the hem of the bottom of the trousers.

I turn slightly green, imagining a loop of loose thread that has acted like a cheese wire around my wife’s big toe. Karen fears the same and tells me later her biggest fear was that the skin was cut so deeply all the way round that the flesh would have simply fallen off like a discarded sheath, exposing the perfectly clean bones of her toe beneath.

I’m not even sure if that’s possible.

As it is, once I start cleaning up the would I see that actually she’d only cut the flesh on the top of the toe. Quite deeply but not enough to need stitches.

Phew.

I have a few minutes when I think that maybe I’m about to trump her endeavours with a mini heart attack but actually once I’ve calmed down I’m fine. Panic over. Don’t worry about me, folks.

However, Tarantino and my wife are now like this.

His next film is gonna feature a toe-job, I’m telling you.

And my wife wishes me to tell you that, just from experience, it’s not a nice way to go.



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41 comments:

TheUndertaker said...

Oh to have been a little fly on the wall... With a video camera. Tarantino, eat your heart out

Trish @ Mum's Gone to... said...

If your wife had needed to stop the bleeding from her toe, she could have plastered wax from your lugs around the wound.
You can tell I'm a doctor's wife, can't you...

Steve said...

TheUndertaker: and I could have given him a nice juicy apple as a dessert...

Trish: I'm not sure the bicarbonate of soda would have worked quickly enough.

Owen said...

Are you sure some of those bicarbonate drops didn't find their way from the ear canals into your brain ??? I'd be careful of them... if what's left of your grey matter starts to fizzle and vaporize, we're all in trouble !

Speaking of vaporized brains, this article provides some food for thought (no pun intended...) :

http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/06/hormel-spam-pig-brains-disease

We live in a truly charming world these days ???

Steve said...

Owen: how do you find this stuff? And why can't I? Am I blinded by all the porn?

Readily A Parent said...

I think if your wife knocked you "upside da head" once in a while those earwax plugs would fly right out.
You may be into a money-maker there. Could make candles or little wax sculptures for Wiccan festivals....
I hope you're harvesting.
Meanwhile. Tell your wife to wear slippers - or better yet capris.

Steve said...

Readily A Parent: I had to Google capris. I think (for a bloke) this is a good thing. I thought it was a type of car. Shows how wrong you can be. I'm harvesting alright. I'm attempting to remove those apples piece by piece and then reconstruct them outside my head in time for next year's Turner Prize Awards.

the fly in the web said...

I remember...says the old crone...when the purpose of olive oil in British society was for dealing with ear problems.
Moving to the country and giving my orders in the best
Edwardian fashion at the distinctly Edwardian grocers - me seated one side of the counter, brown overalled assistant standing, head bowed at the other - I added a gallon tin of olive oil to my list.
The head was raised...curiosity overcoming training.
'Ear trouble in the family, Madam?'

Seems it's gone full circle.

Steve said...

The fly in the web: I'm assuming then that it has to be Olive Oil - I can't make do with sunflower oil or ghee? I have to say it's doing wonders for my skin... my ears feel lovely and soft. Hopefully it's having the same effect on the wax!

Phil said...

Ouchee Wowchee! I really do feel for your wife’s poor lickle toesey woesey’s. Well, figuratively speaking anyway… cos I’m not actually ‘coming out’ here as some kinda repressed toe fetish junkie. No really. Trust me. Honest. I’m cool with all this. Serious. Straight up. No problemmo.

Just a random thought - did you take any piccy’s?

Last year, barefooted, I turned around in an awfully big hurry to make a rapid lunge up the stairs (it was the dodgy prawn curry I burgled from next doors wheelie bin) didn’t compute the half open door immediately behind me, kicked out hard with my right leg for the bottom step and promptly buried the bottom edge of the unseen door between my sixth and seventh toes, instantly breaking both of them. The searing pain was indescribable and for a few seconds I actually blacked out.

There is a scene in the Mel Gibson film ‘Payback’, when he is tortured by the smashing of his toes with a large ball hammer. I can’t watch it on the re-runs anymore. It’s difficult to correlate the whole toe injury to extreme pain level thing. Cured me from kicking other peoples chiwawa’s on the street in bare feet though. Now I just barf all over them instead.

Top tip for DIY ear goo removal:- Get completely and utterly bladdered and sprawl onto carpeted floor – slobber at wife to place your sink/drain unblocker sucker tool over an offending ear, then yell rudely at her to pull like hell on the plunger handle – as soon as you pass out, she can roll you over, empty tool of horrid wax goo and brain matter, then ‘do’ the other ear too. Your wife will probably thoroughly enjoy every moment of it. You, will wake up later with a very bad headache, crystal clear hearing, no recall of the last forty odd years, and only half a brain I’m afraid.

Alternatively - try using ‘Audio Clean – Ear Cleansing Wash’. It comes in an easy squirty canister type dispenser thingy from most good chemists, works a treat, and makes the occasional ‘goosuck’ trip to the nurse a quick and pleasant experience. I’ve had severe ear gunge problems my whole life. This one really works for me, is very quick, and saves you pouring all that excellent extra virgin olive oil into your lughole instead of a good green rocket leaf salad.

vegemitevix said...

Wow if trousers are that wild in your house have you considered keeping your knives in a locked cabinet? Or maybe your wife just needs to cool down the 'hot pants'. x

Steve said...

Phil: I sympathise with the ol' broken toe pain having broken a couple of bones in my foot a few years ago by merely stepping down too heavily from a ladder. There was a small snapping sensation, no pain initially... and then about 30 minutes later it felt like my foot had become one enormous ball of pulsating agony. Not fun. Were' you serious about the 'Audio Clean' thing - 'cos that sounds like some kind of cassette tape cleaner to me...

Steve said...

Vix: I'm beginning to think that clothes might be dangerous fullstop in my house and may have to bring in a madatory nakedness rule for all occupants and visitors. That should make parties very interesting in future.

Phil said...

Whoops! Dodgy old disslexsia snuk past my optical awareness firewall there. Sorry. Should have left out the ‘o’ part. Try this… www.audiclean.co.uk/ - costs between £5 and £8 squids. Good at washing ears out regularly.

Crap at cleaning BMW’s and old cassette tapes though.

Steve said...

Phil: what about dodgy DVDS bought under the counter from that little shop at the bottom of town? 'Cos they appear to be covered in wax-like stuff...

Gorilla Bananas said...

Walking barefoot in trousers is so wrong - hasn't your wife seen the Tarzan movies? If I were your doctor I'd stick an insect in your ears to harvest the wax you've been making. We don't waster natural resources in the jungle.

Steve said...

Gorilla Bananas: I can forward the "crop" to you in a Jiffy bag if you'd like?

Phil said...

Steve: Re - Sticky, dodgy, under the counter DVD’s. Funny that…I use the same shop, as you know – ‘Perves Porn Emporium’. Pervy Pete’s not too happy with you right now. Thinking of barring you he is. Getting fed up with having to scrub and scour the same old piles of ‘iffy’ DVD’s you keep hiring every couple of days in there. Blames you for all the strange illnesses and racking coughs he’s always catching too.

I said to him only this morning…“Yeah Pete…know just how you feel. I leant him my entire, immaculate, perfectly preserved, un-dog-eared collection of ‘Sports Illustrated Swimwear Catalogues’ going all the way back to 1911 – and they eventually came back to me like one, great big, solid, useless, concrete block.”

I use a nice old pair of well lubed up, bright yellow marigold gloves by the way.

You should seriously consider using a steam pressure washer…’mate’.

Suzanne said...

No-one in our house wears slippers, and I am forever saying to my youngest son "put your slippers on before you stand on something!". To no avail - we are all unscathed...as yet.
Hope you are all on the mend soon - I'm still chuckling that you googled 'capris' :)

Steve said...

Phil: can you leave your whippet outside the shop next time? I find his heavy breathing most off-putting when I'm trying to get into a "rhythm"...

Suzanne: given the amount of Lego constantly on the floor in my house I'm amazed we don't go around in Doc Martens...!

Kelloggsville said...

Cheese wired toe, wax ear and bicarb fizz. Sounds like a preparty canapé and drinks menu.

Steve said...

Kelloggsville: we considered buying the food from M&S but self catering is so much more fun.

Mark said...

Ouch!

Didn't the boxer David Haye have problems with his toe at the weekend too? Normally I'd be sympathetic but I make an exception for him - idiot that he is (why am I writing this irrelevant and thinly tangental comment?)

Passed near Leamington Spa last week on my bike ride - didn't stop if I'm honest, but I did think of you!

English Rider said...

Pretty much revolted from start to finish.

Steve said...

Mark: funnily enough, when I read you'd biked through Warwickshire I did wonder if you'd come within spitting distance of Leamington... and if you did which road you were taking out of town! As for David Haye - I share your nonchalence regarding his injuries.

English Rider: flatterer.

Rol said...

How come I had sympathy for your wife's plight but yours just made me go "ewww - gross!"?

Steve said...

Rol: I'm really rather hurt by that.

Very Bored in Catalunya said...

Being the incredibly squeamish girl that I am, I had to skim read your wife's injury. Needless to say, please pass on my regards and wish her a speedy recovery.

Your ailment however, I found much more interesting as a sufferer of ear annoyances for the past few years. These bicarb of soda drops? Something you buy or something you make yourself?

Alex said...

Wait, they don't syringe ears any more??? That is sooooo depressing. it used to be a massive highlight when I was a nipper. The little kidney bowl under my ear, the syringe of warm water, the marvelling over the sheer amount of ear wax that came out and afterwards wondering how there was room in my head for anything else.

Man, those were the days.

Being Me said...

You know, I actually think it's delightfully sweet that you were so worried you thought you might have a little mini heart attack. At least... I thought it was, until I started to suspect you might just have been vying for a top pozzy in your game of blood and earwax.

Speaking of which, I love ya Steve but what you've got going on between your ears is vile. (lobbing that one nice and high for you, my friend!)

Steve said...

Very Bored in Catalunya: bought over the counter at the local chemist - come in a little bottle with a pipette and everything.

Alex: apparently they're reluctant to do it these days as it interferes with the bodies natural mechanism for removing the earwax. I had it done once 10 years ago... probably explains the build-up now.

Being Me: what goes on behind my ears has been vile since I hit puberty. Boom tish! Thanks for that - might not be an ace but it was a good backhand.

Being Me said...

Noooo I said *between* your ears.... You really do have two granny smiths squeezing out your grey matter. As a matter of fact, I'm with Rol.... Ewwww! ;-P xx

Steve said...

Being Me: why did I say "behind"? I meant between! The sentiments are the same. Anyhoo... I guess you and Rol won't be wanting a commemorative earwax statuette then - fashioned by my own fingernails? They'll go a bundle on eBay.

;-)

Owen said...

Oh, and that tool they use for sloshing out the pig brains under such a high pressure that it creates clouds of mist might just work wonders on your ear wax issues... what's that old saying : In one ear and out the other ?

Or you could always try the African Wax Worm remedy, there is a variety of worm in sub-saharan jungles that thrives on ear wax, just put one in each ear, and they will eat out the offending clogs in no time, but one must be careful to remove them before they nibble their way through and into the cranium... (did you know that some worms have teeth-like structures, almost like leeches ?)

Steve said...

Owen: would you like to see a photo of my supper that I just sicked back up into my mouth?

London City Mum said...

OMG. Remind me to bring an ambulance and a full medical back-up team if we ever meet in person.

LCM x

Nota Bene said...

Women!!! Just so damned competitive. Suggest you chop your arm off...that'll learn her!

TimeWarden said...

You could start your own vinyl record-pressing plant with that amount of wax! First off the conveyer belt, 10cc's Graham Gouldman's 1980s' project with the recently deceased Andrew Gold appropriately entitled... Wax.

Steve said...

LCM: a nice nurse's uniform will be fine.

Nota Bene: my wife is urging me to go for my neck instead. Honestly, you'd think she wanted me to win!

TimeWarden: I think I have enough for a 7" single... I think an album might take me another couple of years...

Suburbia said...

Ewwww! Olive oil and Bicarb, yuck!

Steve said...

Suburbia: even the chefs on Ready Steady Cook would struggle with those ingredients.