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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Matt's Ears Revisit Childhood and We All Pay the Price

This past week was chaotic. We were getting ready for Hud's big birthday, Matt was starting a new project at work that was ultra time consuming and Connor was just busy being himself. In the midst of all this, we had a minor medical crisis. Wednesday night, Matt woke up with screaming ear pain. I am not exaggerating when I say screaming either, so I assumed it was genuinely painful. Since it was the middle of the night and we had all been sound asleep, I was thrown into a tizzy of confusion. Connor can sleep through a hurricane, so he wasn't bothered, but it had the little man up and asking for breakfast. He requested eggs. Fantastic. Since this ear pain was so sudden and he wasn't having any other symptoms, I immediately diagnosed swimmers ear. Matt, who under the healthiest of circumstances questions my self-awarded medical degree, doubted my swift diagnosis. This was surprising since as a child he could never recall having swimmers ear while I could remember the pain so vividly, it might has well have been yesterday. I am obviously an expert, but whatever. I humored him since neither one of us had ever met an adult who had been afflicted with swimmers ear; and I took to google to gather evidence to convince him I was right.

Sure enough, his symptoms matched up with swimmers ear (and also a multitude of other ear problems) but since I wanted to be right and I was the only one not completely incapacitated by shooting ear pain, I presented the evidence and started on my home remedies with the help of one particularly tiny physicians assistant. There are an unbelievable amount of home remedies for swimmers ear out there on the internet ranging from the common to the freaky, so we started with common. Since I am such a well prepared mother, I had lots of the "ingredients" handy. Hud and I raided the kitchen and poured a whole bunch of junk in Matt's ear while he was curled up in a fetal position in bed. It was all quite sad, although Hud had the time of his life. He kept up a running commentary about being the doctor and what spiderman might do if he was sick. There was a lot of gentle petting of Matt's head and leaning over and talking directly into the afflicted ear so his daddy could hear him better. Matt wasn't really entertained by all the chit chat since he was having such intense ear pain, but I secretly thought it was adorable. We had reached the point in our ear ache science experiment when Hud suggested that he might cut off his Daddy's ear with his foam sword and Matt seriously considered taking him up on it. With that I decided to step up and make a trip to the 24 hour pharmacy.

Ah, the 24 hour pharmacy. I consider myself lucky that in 5 plus years of being a mother, I have never made a trip to this strange mecca of middle of the night weirdness. But desperate times call for desperate measures. I loaded up Hudson since Matt was not in any condition to care for him and whisked us off to find some kind of relief. Again, the excitement was almost too much for Hud to handle. This particular pharmacy is about 15 minutes away from our house in a neighborhood that might be considered "past it's prime". And I don't mean like Cher past it's prime, it's more like a Lindsey Lohan past it's prime. We turned into the parking lot and discovered the all night pharmacy is a hot spot of nighttime activity. There were a wide range of people in the parking lot, there for a wide variety of reasons, many of not them not necessarily pharmaceutical in nature. But I couldn't worry about that because I was a good wife on a mission. I scooped a pajama clad H out of his car seat and realized that in our haste that we had forgotten his shoes. No big deal because earlier in the evening he had gotten a hold of a sharpie and had markered all over his legs and feet. See, we were fitting in already.

I took my marker shoed child in and discovered an enormously long line of desperate and wild eyed people waiting to see the pharmacist. Feeling a little desperate and wild eyed myself, I decided to hit up the cashier for some advice because, after all, they have probably scanned every over the counter medicine in the joint. Marker Feet and I schlepped our way up to the cashier and I quickly explained our situation. "Hi, we are looking for swimmers ear treatment and/or ear numbing drops. Do you know where they would be located?" After he studied me for a very awkward feeling 45 seconds, he replied "For a boy or girl?" Automatically I said, "Boy. Wait. What? Does that matter?" He just shrugged his shoulders. Okaaaay. Hudson took advantage of the weird silence to pipe up in a semi-aggressive way, "I a boy. I no baby, I big big boy." Thanks for that update Hud, we definitely needed a dash more crazy in this conversation. Ignoring my highly offended child, I faced down the cashier's blank stare and decided that this future member of Mensa was probably just trying to mess with the deranged woman clutching the mouthy toddler and stormed off to try my luck going solo. The line for the pharmacist was still 10 people deep so H and I combed every stupid aisle of that place and didn't find those drops in any of the logical places. Since in my mind this was clearly an infant problem, I thought surely they would be in the baby aisle. Nope. Children's medication? Nope. Finally when I had reached the point of giving up I stumbled across them in the eyeglass section where Hud was trying on all the readers. Yes, in the eye glass section. I whooped out loud and started laughing hysterically. We headed to the checkout where I thrust our selection of drops in front of the spaced out cashier and shared with him what they were and where they were located so he could be informed whenever the next customer asked. I also felt the need to share that ears are not body parts that differentiate due to gender. He remained unimpressed. With a final dirty look from Hud, we took our sad sack of drops and left. We got home and frankly, I was feeling pretty good about myself. Good and more than a little haggard. We rushed upstairs to save the day and found Matt snoring away. Apparently all my home remedies worked (Lord knows which one since I did them all at once), and he was out like a light and pain free. My victorious return home wasn't even acknowledged by the patient. Oh well, Hudson and I know what we went through to get those drops and then we had another two hours to chat about it before I could get him back to sleep. We had to wait until he felt ready for a nap since he still believed it to be morning. I also spent some of that time googling the most effective ear plugs for a 30 year old man to wear while he swims. I'm sure the sexiness will overwhelm me, considering that he also prefers to swim in a full face mask to prevent water from going up his nose (but that is probably a blog post in itself).

Sorry ladies, he, and his baby ears, are taken.

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