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Alice Yang
Yang is a contributing columnist for the Fort Bend Star.
She is a student at Stephen F. Austin High School-FBISD.

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.
Waxing fear  

Iíve gone deaf in one ear for exactly seven days.

Last week, one morning when I woke up, I heard a ringing and it was not the alarm clock. Then, I turned on the radio and realized my right ear was muffled. Of course, I shrugged it all off as a sign of under-sleeping and went to school.

All throughout class, whenever people talked to me, I had to turn a complete one-eighty and give them an apologetic glance before explaining that Iíve suddenly aged sixty years.

At night, I spent a whole evening puffing my face purple to try and pop any foreign object out. When that failed, I hopped rigorously on one leg until sweat beads began to form on my face. After futile attempt number two, I went to the medicine cabinet to pour a whole cap of hydrogen peroxide down my ear, knowing that it helps dissolve earwax.

No luck. No luck. No luck. For five whole days, I walked around school like an alien, hearing that constant ringing, now newly coupled with a thump-thump, obviously my own heart pounding blood into the congested ear-stream.

Nights, I couldnít sleep, for the noise and my constant picking led me into a furious frenzy that I thought I might go crazy. Frustration bordering fear clawed at me as the fifth day rolled around and nothing was getting better.

I telephoned the doctor, arranging for an appointment. I mentally prepared myself for the most terrible truth: Alice, Iím sorry to inform you, but you have a terrible ear infection, your eardrum has been pierced, and you will be deaf within a week. Arrrrrrrrh!

The next day, after lying on a sterile bed in a sterile room at the docís with oily eardrops in my ear for half an hour, the doc took a look inside. Then, he laughed and nodded his head. Oh no! Now heís going to tell me horrible truth. Prepare yourselves.

ďAlice, I canít even see through your ear because thereís a pile of earwax stuffed all the way to your eardrum.Ē


Ha. Ha. Ha. I let out a big relief, albeit a little disgusted with myself. How could I pile on that load of crumbly matter when I clean my ears regularly?

But I learned a lot at the docís that day. Apparently, a Q-tip clean never gets all of it out, instead it pushes all the good stuff in and in, until everything condenses. For 17 years in my case. Thatís why I hear all the muffled sound and ringing because something is touching my eardrum. Instead, a store-bought eardrop would help dissolve the nasty little boogers. Never ever Q-tip your way out.

After the drops, the doctor took out a mini water gun(of course a more sophisticated instrument for which I do not have the name) and used the water pressure to clean it out. They came in crumbles, strings, and rocks (sorry for the rich description). And suddenly, with a literal pop, I could hear again.

What a great feeling that was! To be able to hear after a week-long sojourn into the land of the fearful unknown. It made me think really, how lucky I am to have everything on my body perfectly functioning. Another lesson of not taking things for granted, and always cleaning your ears right!

Yang is a contributing columnist for the Fort Bend Star. She is a student in FBISD.

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   Last Update:  May 02, 2007