I went recently to have my ears syringed. Before your doctor’s surgery in the UK will book an ear syringe, you have to have put olive oil (just cooking olive oil) into your ears for ten days.
I have done this before – regularly.
I wear hearing aids and for some reason, my ears produce oodles of wax. People with hearing aids often have this problem. The skin inside our ears is actually a conveyor belt, that shuttles out wax. If you are a normal person, you never notice it. But if you’re deaf, your equipment interferes with your clever conveyor belt.
So, regularly, I have my ears syringed.
In the village that we have just left, the only thing that annoyed me was having to sign a surgery-waiving-indemnity form, in case I fell over dead during the process. Well, it can make you dizzy. And actually, you could kill someone I suppose, but I presumed the nurse knew what she was doing, because she always did it well.
So, naively, I trotted up to our new surgery the other day, having been booked in at two o’clock, to have my ears syringed. Now I presumed that staff would know why someone was coming to see them, if there was some physical equipment that they might have to prepare.
But, it seems that’s not the case.
The nurse, hereinafter called The Mad Hatter -TMH – and I settle at her desk (one eye looking at her computer, the other on me – that sounds like she was squint, but she was not) and she asks aggressively “Now why have you come to see me today?”
Astonished hesitation on my part. “Well, you are going to syringe my ears. Didn’t you know?”
“I can’t syringe your ears” announces TMH.
“But I’ve been booked in for several day!” say I
“I can’t syringe your ears unless you have wax in them.” (TMH)
“Oh I do! I do have wax in them and I’m here so you can get it out for me.” Last Furlong hereinafter called LF
“How do you know you have wax in your ears?” TMH
“I know because I have gone very deaf” LF
“Well, you might have to have your hearing checked.” TMH
“I have – I wear hearing aids already” LF indicates hearing aids.
TMH looks annoyed. ” I can’t syringe your ears unless you’ve put olive oil in them for two weeks.”
“I HAVE! That’s why I’m now booked in for you to syringe my ears – but – I didn’t use olive oil because it makes such a mess of the pillows, I used O**X instead.”
TMH displays a very disapproving face. ” We advise olive oil, ONLY olive oil and not O**X! You should have used olive oil.”
“Are you on your way to The Audiology Department at the hospital?” TMH challenges as if she doesn’t believe I have wax, or that I am deaf/wear aids.
LF “No, it’s not my hearing aids, it’s the wax in my ears that is making me deaf.”
TMH goes on “Well, I’ll have to check to see if you really have got wax in your ears”, she reaches for her ear thingy. ” And then, if you have, I’ll have to go and get my equipment.” Cross face.
LF, frustrated by not being believed to have wax in her ears and fed up with the ugly tone of the interview says “You seem so annoyed with me, I’m sorry we got off on the wrong foot!”
TMH looks utterly astonished.
“I’m not annoyed with you at all! ” she snaps “Here, let me examine your ears.”
From then on, there was some silence which I presume came from TMH seeing that my ears were absolutely OVERFLOWING with the wax she didn’t think I’d know I’d have.
I just smiled pleasantly, I never said “I told you so” because it was HER that was going to pull the trigger on the water gun she was going to be using for doing the syringing. And I’d learned from our last surgery, that ear syringing could kill me.
She did a damn good job.
So I thanked her. As I left, TMH said “Your ears do seem to make an incredible amount of wax. I think you should use O**X every two weeks. I’m sure it will help”.
And she actually smiled. Fancy that!