My ear had a baby

There are a lot of different kinds of pain: Sharp pain; dull pain; throbbing pain; shooting pain; aching pain; the kind of pain where you walk into the doctors office and they ask you to point to a chart to determine its level and the chart is a bunch of fucking unrealistic bullshit, and if you say anything less than 10 (which should be DEATH), they think you’re a giant baby searching for some narcotics to knock you on your ass when really you just want the pain- no matter which kind it is- to STOP.

I’ve experienced all of those kinds of pains, and even other ones that I don’t think can be categorized by anything other than a string of indistinguishable curse words. I’ve broken my nose, fingers, a ridiculous amount of toes, spiral fractured my tibia while skiing because the bitch ski didn’t pop off when I took a header over a hill. I’ve had a kidney infection, UTI, mono, bronchitis, a chest infection where I was throwing up blood, and a stomach virus that had me shitting nonstop (yes, NONSTOP) for weeks on end.
Oh, and i’ve given birth to two tiny humans (and yes, I had to specify humans).

Up until this week, although I was told there were actually worse pains than childbirth out there- I’m not sure I fully believed it. What could be worse than tearing your vagina in half with something that you should NOT be able to force out? Or being cut into and having it ripped from your insides and then sewn back up? What’s more painful than LABOR?

An ear infection.

Seriously, if you haven’t had one- I know what the look on your face says right now: “Yeah fucking right, wimp”– but when I tell you it’s bad, IT’S BAD. I had them all the time as a child, so much so that I had to have tubes put in- but I don’t remember anything about them. Likely because they were so intensely horrible that my brain erased it in order to not cause permanent damage to my mental development.

Apparently I suck at taking showers. Every single time I wash my hair, I get water in my ears. Thanks to chronic neck and back pain, I can’t do that silly hopping up and down while pounding on my head jigg that most people do to get this water out. Water in the ears definitely sucks, but it’s never caused me any problems past annoyance before.

All of that changed this past week. Annoying water in the ear turned into slightly painful and annoying water in the ear. Painful and annoying water in the ear was so painful and annoying that I went to bed early that night to try and sleep it off… only I didn’t really sleep. Lovely.
Now, I don’t know what kind of magical spell I must have cast, or what hard surface Thomas fell onto and cracked his head but didn’t tell me that convinced him to work from home and help out with the kids- but he did.

This painful and annoying water in the ear started to become extremely painful- and instead of annoying, it was bordering on unbearable. Also unbearable? Whiny kids and an even whinier husband.
Why is it they always choose the day you’re feeling the shittiest to be even shittier than usual?

By dinner time, I had broken into tears twice and started doubling over in pain like I was in labor. Even though usually under all circumstances outside of death- I avoid the doctor. I don’t like spending the money, and the wait, and them looking at me like i’m completely insane and then not helping. I suppose it also partially has to do with all the crap Parker went through. Not all doctors suck… just most. I always get the “most”- but with these sharp shooting pains through my skull followed by deep intense aches in my ear were only getting worse? Damnit- I had to go.
Right after I ate (which I could barely even open my mouth to chew through)- I drove myself to the handy dandy quick emergency room (yes, they exist!), where I was called back immediately and informed of the bad news:

My ear was pregnant. Pregnant and trying to give birth to a big ol’ waxy baby. Only… there was no dilation happening- and since i’d already been in labor for 24 hours, they were going to have to go in and remove it themselves.
The LAST thing you want to hear when you’ve been in searing pain for that long is that someone else is going to jab at the area causing you to think death might be right around the corner with a long plastic pokey utensil.

Twenty minutes of excrutiating digging, flushing, digging, poking, stabbing, and peering into my ear later- and I was told it was clear. The giant wax-baby was out- and there, in all its glory, was my shiny eardrum. “Lucky” for me, I only had an outer ear infection.
Yeah, that sounds fucking lucky.
And then the doctor decides she wants to go at my OTHER ear too, you know- the one that isn’t painful? Through my tears I ask her what am I supposed to do about the pain right NOW? You know- from the digging and poking and stabbing?
“Oh, you want something for the pain?”
She passes me some Tylenol.

Process that for a moment.

Twenty more minutes of poking and stabbing and flushing, I was sent on my merry way- soaking fucking wet through two shirts and my bra, exhausted… and sore. I dropped off my prescription and went home; there was no way I could sit around in a car and wait for the ear drops. Pain killers? Yeah, i’d wait for that shit. Ear drops? I’ll be fine to wait for those until morning, I thought. Right now I just need a damn DRINK! Ear be damned, no one will ruin Mommy Juice Tuesday!

My ear ruined Mommy Juice Tuesday. The ache, which had never left, intensified to the point where I had to give in and go to bed and once AGAIN hope to wake up in the morning feeling better- only AGAIN, I didn’t fall asleep.
This time, I swear Thomas must have thought I was possessed by the devil. The pain become so horrible, so intense, that I was writhing around in the bed moaning for him to call 911. My temperature shot up to 102 degrees- and either in a stroke of derpiness or genius (i’m not sure which) he covered me in these children’s cooling patches- ones you’re supposed to stick on a child with a fever to cool them down. We put ice packs on my stomach, on my head. We used this ratty old sock full of rice that I  usually use for my neck that’s been so overheated on so many occasions that it looks like it’s been used to stomp through mud puddles and put it behind my ear- nothing seemed to really help. Thomas even got up at who the fuck knows what time and went to the pharmacy to get my ear drops… and was told they would NOT help with my pain. YAY! He even called a 24 hour nurse line to ask what in the hell to do- not a lot of help there either.
Although I felt bad for keeping him up ALL night long- after the tenth time he told me to “calm down”- I kind of feel like he deserved it.
YOU fucking calm down, you’re not the one with the pregnant explosive ear! This bitch obviously had twins in it and they left one behind at the doctor!
Somehow, none of this screaming or moaning or sobbing or crying woke up the kids. How is it, at 6 in the fucking morning, if I BREATHE the wrong way they’re out of bed “HI MOMMY!”– but they didn’t even stir during this mayhem? Shenanigans.

Since Thomas wouldn’t give in to my demands, another visit to the ER was going to have to wait until morning… if I lived that long. I swore at one moment, where I was shaking and shivering and moaning- and constantly wiggling my leg as to take some of the focus off of my head that it would be the END of me… and then it was 6am, the sun started to come up- the kids popped their happy asses out of bed and yelled in my face, per usual- and I managed to somehow put clothes on in order to go back and be seen again.

In I trudged (and no, I did not drive there. Poor Thomas, such a douchelick the first day only to turn it around the next, drove me with the kids), no makeup, sobbing, giant bags under my eyes, and what appeared to be a stank-ass sock attached to the side of my head.
It’s only too bad I wasn’t walking into a casting call to be an extra on The Walking Dead– I would have been IN.

I guess they knew I meant business this time, because after a quick look into that damn ear again, the doctor makes a comment about how when his wife was 9 months pregnant, she too had an outer ear infection, and insisted the pain was worth than childbirth.
He gave me a new prescription for better ear drops, percocet, AND an anti-inflammatory pain killer.

Only kind of… the shit still hurts, my head is dancing through the clouds, and Holden is taking great pleasure in my spaciness. From convincing me that a piece of lint is a spider and shoving it in my face, to just staring at me and telling me that i’m “funny”… it must be the lazy cross-eyes I have going on. Super sexy, I can assure you. I am also now too terrified to wash my hair in fear of getting more water in my ears- so I haven’t washed my hair since my ear become impregnated. Also SUPER sexy.

So I guess the moral of this story is:
Don’t wash your hair…..wait, no, that’s not it.
Don’t have ear-sex and you won’t have ear-babies…..hmmmm, definitely not that.

Oh, right-

the end.

Posted on August 23, 2012 by Holdin' Holden 21 Comments
Holdin' Holden

About Holdin' Holden



  • Ear infections are the absolute freaking worst! All of my kids have had them, some have had many. I have had one as an adult and wanted to cry the entire time. It is a pain worse than childbirth. An abscessed tooth is close on the pain scale, but not quite there.

  • I always have to take a q-tip and dry my ears out. Before I get any snarky comments about how you are not supposed to do that, I’m not sticking it in my ear drum. Just drying out the part that a child’s q-tip would get. That seems to save me from ear infections. Idk if that will be helpful for you or not, though I assume that after having an ear baby you would probably do just about anything to keep that number down to one….
    Btw, I almost peed myself at your expense and I apologize. Of course, I’m also 32 weeks pregnant, so I’m about to have some horrible pain. What I want to know is why she didn’t prescribe those wonderful numbing ear drops. Those are totally the best thing ever invented when it comes to ear infections!

  • Awful pain! I have eczema in my ears and sometimes when I take a shower the eczema will absorb the water. I had such a bad ear ache one December that my sister had to take me to the Dr. He told he I had swimmer’s ear, I hadn’t been in the water since August. It was from the shower.

  • I Completely understand the pain you were / are in with an ear infection. As a child, I had tubes 3 different times. My eardrums are so scarred from the tubes that I have hearing loss in both ears.
    As an adult, I have had two ear infections. One ruptured my eardrum and let me tell you, that was NOT a pleasant experience. I still lived at home with my parents at the time and my dad heard me screaming and came to check on me. I had my face buried in a pillow screaming the pain so bad. It took 4 rounds of antibiotics to clear up the infection. PS – Eardrops don’t work. At least they never have on me.
    And also to help with water in the ear… Buy some was earplugs. They are wonderful and are re-usable. Or if you have cotton balls handy, you can use them with vasoline. A little messy but it works.

  • OMG! They are the fucking worse! I had a double middle ear infection a few years ago. They were so swollen that you couldn’t do drops, they pushed a piece of cotton in each ear to get the drops down in there. Jaws & neck all swollen, can only do liquids, and what does my mother bring me? Pretzel rods! The big fuckers!! Oh I can so appreciate what you went through! 🙂

  • I went through that last summer and I swear I would rather have been run over by a car than deal with a damn ear infection! I too was in tears and bothered my husband with my whining and crying. He did laugh at one point which I know to this dat he regrets doing 😉

  • I have had a few horrible experiences with ear infections. I feel your pain, really I do! I q-tip my years and yes, right down to the drum. Then i shoot the blow dryer in there to dry em out! I think it works! Hang in there darlin!

  • Poor you! My husband gets double ear infections constantly, and I know it’s almost unbearable pain for him. He has psoriasis which builds up inside his ears. One time, the doctor gave us ear drops and told us to put 10 in at a time…I could get to 3, and then the drops would start coming back out. His ear was THAT swollen!

    I called them back because he was taking an obscene amount of ibuprofen trying to dull the pain and they wouldn’t give him anything. Listen people, he’s not trying to deal drugs, he’s trying not to curl up and die! We ended up at Urgent Care, and he got pain meds…never went back to that doctor again!

    I hope your ear gets better quickly!

  • I understand. I developed an ear infection while on vacation in Vegas. Holy sad face of pain did that hurt on the airplane. It gave me a whole new appreciation for what my kids must go through when they get them. I’d not had one before then.

  • Thankfully you are starting to feel better!!
    There are ear plugs you can buy at wal-mart for like two bucks that are like a water proof seal for your ears. I got them for my son over the summer since he hates how loud parades are. I don’t remember what they are called, but they are “junior” sized and orange. Check those out to use while in the shower. Hopefully they help!

  • It must be the time for ear infections because I too am on horse pill antibiotics for an ear infection. Lucky Us! You got the good stuff though…mine wasn’t bad enough to warrant RX pain meds. Lol.

    As an aside…just to make you laugh…my son called me into the bathroom to witness the awesomeness of his poopy accomplishment and then he started busting up laughing. I asked him what was so funny and he said that his poop looked like a hot dog, which, I guess is hilarious to a four year old. In his defense it actually did look like a hot dog. LOL.

  • Been there!!!! I am so sorry. I too will admit that ear infections are worse than childbirth.. I have a HIGH pain tolerance but, I can’t deal with ear infections or tooth aches.. I get ear infections too. The worst was called “Swimmer’s ear”. Same kind of thing that happened to you. I didn’t think I was going to die but, there were moments when I prayed for death just to make it stop. Hope you get to feeling better.

  • Ear aches are a shit ton worse than childbirth. I had one once before I was married, but already living on my own and I called my mom to come and take care of me in the middle of the night. It was the worst pain I’ve ever experienced. Great blog. Found you through Frugalista!

  • I used to get ear aches as a kid. I never doubt some ones pain when they say they have an ear ache, I had a kidney stone and that was worse than labor…

  • I could not BELIEVE how unbearable the pain of an ear infection was. I don’t ever remember having them as a child but I saw my own kids in a brand new light when I got my ear infection and thought my ear was going to literally catch on fire. I definitely feel your pain and am glad you’re feeling better!

  • I am clinically deaf, in both ears. I have a cochlear implant in one ear, so I am funcationally hard of hearing. The main reason that I am deaf is because of ear infections. I had them as a teen (only had one as a child, then my second ear infection was when I was 15, go figure) and as a young adult. Then I had the mother of all ear infections, it literally sent me to the hospital to be admitted for a week, twice, and finally I ended up at an infections diseases specialist-the kind of doctor that works with AIDS patients. No, I don’t have AIDS, but the infection was so severe that only someone that deals with life threatening infections was able to handle it. She put a PICC line in my arm (basically a monster IV that goes into your arm and the end of it sits right outside your heart and it stays there for months) and put me on super duper strong antibiotics that are only available in IV form that I took 3 times a day for 6 straight months. I still remember when I got that infection, it was from an inadequately chlorinated public swimming pool. The night after we went swimming my ear felt like I was getting another ear infection. The next day i called and scheduled an appointment with my ENT. The following day it felt like someone was sticking red hot pokers into my ear and moving it around. By Wednesday I was literally out of my mind with pain and I dropped the kids off at their father’s and went to the ER. The doctor was not able to see anyting and gave me this wimpy little antibiotic that would not have done anything on a regular one of my ear infections, and he gave me 6 narcotic pain pills, to get me through until my appointment with my ENT on Friday, the day he got back from his vacation. I made it to friday, walked in to the hospital where his clinic was located, the security guard took one look at me and made me sit in a wheelchair and called the doctor’s nurse, she came and got me and wheeled me upstairs and pulled the doctor out of the exam he was in with another patient, I had a fever of over 104, was delirious with fever and pain and he admitted me straight from there. My mom was also his patient and he called her to come and get the kids. It ends up it was a Pseudomonas Infection that was particularly hard to kill and it had spread through the tubes in my ears to my middle ear, my eustacian tubes, my tonsils and even into my sinuses. I never heard another sound normally after that ear infection. The infection left bone damage and severe scarring. Ear infections are no laughing matter and anyonesuffering wiht one has my complete pity and understanding! YOu can go to any hearing aid fitter or audiologist’s office and get specially made ear plugs that they make from a mould that fits precisely to YOUR ear and will help to keep water out of your ear. The problem of getting wax is one that is simply handled by having your doctor look at your ears during your annual physical exam (seriously, you need to have an annual exam done, to get rid of potential wax babies if nothing else) and they can do what they call a cerumen removal, which is to remove the dried out, caked up ear wax. Some of us produce more wax than our bodies are able to get rid of. Never fear, a cerument removal on a NON INFECTED ear feels a bit strange and might make you feel a little bit dizzy, but it does not hurt. Cheers!

  • That made my Ears hurt…

  • i am an adult who as a child has so many ear infections they lost count. i have have MANY ear surgeries, im not talking about tubes, they even tried to rebuild/reshape my ear canal to help prevent ear infections. nothing worked, and for a long time as a child i couldnt go swimming because it would make me get an infection

    as an adult… i have one ear infection for over a year. THE SAME INFECTION. they tried different antibotics, IV andibotics, everything. nothing worked. until the specialist decided to go in and SCRAPE the infection out of my ear. he went through my skull, behind my ear, and litterally scrapped out the infection. unfortunally, having an infection that long caused all of the bones in my ear (the ones that make you be able to hear) to deteriate. the specialist replaced them with titanium bones, but i cannot hear out of that ear.

    With all that being said…. kinda setting the background of “experience”…. go to wally world (aka Wal-Mart) and get you some silly putty from the kids toy department. when its shower or swim time… take about 1/3 of the putty ball and kneed it in your hands.. put a light coating of vasaline around the outter part of your ear canal, what you can touch with your finger… then put it in your ear. it forms a water tite seal and prevents water getting in the ear. if you use for swimming in a pool you will have to replace it every month or so-it doesnt like the chlorine.

  • Well that’s the worst thing will ever happen to my ear.

    Best regards,
    chiropractor seattle

  • Equal parts of rubbing alcohol and peroxide work EVERY time!