It started as a mild ear ache but within a few hours I was curled up on my bed clutching my ear to a hot water bottle, crying like a girl. Yes, I can confirm that a perforated ear drum is unquestionably more painful and traumatic than child birth…probably.
The thing is about your 6 primary senses; you just take them for granted. There is no thought required to use them, they just do what they do and everything is great. Until something goes wrong – then your body certainly lets you know about it.
I’ve suffered a few painful injuries in my time (I won’t bore you with the gruesome details here… maybe another month) but on the whole, with enough drugs, I have always been able to find some level of comfort. A position in which I was at least able to get a little relief from the pain and distress. This was not the case with a damaged ear drum.
However, it was not all bad, as the really intense pain eased considerably once the drum its self burst. The doctor confirmed the diagnosis. The crippling ear ache was the build up of internal pressure, prior to the burst, which saw the pressure released (and an alarming red discharge from the ear…eeek!).
Two weeks on, aside from the 24/7 under water tinnitus, I remain basically deaf in one ear. Like most of us nowadays, I decided to visit the internet, rather than the actual doctors for a check up. Dr Google told me this may last several weeks or even months – oh dear. Reading on, it also told me of cases where hearing loss is permanent – pardon!? Of course then I went on to read cases of where an infection spread from the ear into the brain and caused brain damage and paralysis – I knew this would end badly!?! Oh well, I’m sure it will all be fine. So long as I can still go running whilst this happens I’ll be happy enough.
This experience has taught me a couple of things. Firstly, it seems I tend to sleep with my right ear on the pillow, as I can’t hear the baby monitor anymore (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it). Secondly, I must show more sympathy next time one of the kids says they have an ear ache.
And finally, my (unofficial and bad) advice should you ever have the misfortune of experiencing this harrowing event. Take the maximum dose of Ibuprofen stated on the box, keep away from everyone – especially children, and do not ride a bike home from work when you can’t focus and feel dizzy.