I’ve always been one of those fortunate people that with the exception of having to wear glasses for reading, I don’t have any faulty body parts. I don’t have fillings, I don’t have a bad back, I don’t have clicky hips or ankles and I can hear perfectly. You tend to take those sorts of things for granted.
It came as a bit of a shock therefore, when due to an unfortunate gardening incident, I lost partial use of one ear. Due to all the time I haven’t been spending in the garden lately, things had gotten a bit out of control. I went to clear the mail one morning when I noticed that one shrub had gotten so huge that it had pushed a small tree over. In a last ditch attempt to save the tree, I went at the shrub with some clippers. Whilst clipping, I noticed that the shrub was being ravaged by some kind of garden pest. Not wanting to be seen as the person that lets the street down by having a mangy yard, I decided to use some all purpose spray that I found in the shed to kill the pests. It turned out to be hugely entertaining. I’d spray randomly in the direction of the garden and several trillion things would spring out all over the place. It was great. Really satisfying. A bit like cleaning silver (I’ve never actually cleaned silver but my nan used to say it was the most satisfying cleaning task).
Anyway, things were going well. I was mowing through the trillions of pests when the incident occurred. A pest flew into my ear. Like, right in. I could hear it flapping it’s pest wings on my eardrum – at least, as close as you can get to an eardrum by flying into an ear. It was the most disconcerting thing I had ever experienced. I couldn’t stand still. I couldn’t balance. Those two things together don’t make for a good experience. I ran inside and stuck my ear under the tap and turned it on. I figured I’d drown the thing. Didn’t work. Shaun got the torch out to see if he could see it. Didn’t work. I rang mum. She said to try putting oil in my ear. Didn’t work.
Nothing worked for the hour and a bloody half that it took the thing to die. It didn’t go quietly either. It buzzed and flapped the whole time. I came close to going nuts(er).
When it finally did die, I was relieved. Until it occurred to me that there was now a dead body in my ear. I imagined it rotting in there. I called mum again. She suggested that I get my ear syringed. Perfect. Even more perfect is that mum has an ear syringe. Doesn’t everyone? So she came over. After several litres of water and lots of swearing during which no dead body floated out, we declared that idea a failure.
Unfortunately I think something may have gone wrong during the syringing process. Now every time I move I can hear water. Apparently that is normal for a couple of hours. That was several weeks ago and nothing has changed. When I turn corners it sounds like I’m being followed by the ocean. That’s rather disconcerting.
I’m not really sure how this story is going to end – but take it from me – earplugs should be considered mandatory safety equipment for gardeners.