The battle between ear and doctor : Removing the Fungal Invaders
The story of a fight between me and the excruciating pain in my ears.
I can't exactly pinpoint the month, but I was a 7th-grader when my ears were infected by a dangerous fungal infection. It was so excruciating that it still haunts me, especially when the rainy season rolls in.
This saga unfolded right before my 1st-semester exams. One day, out of the blue, my right ear decided to start a protest – it started hurting. At first, I just ignored it as a minor cold, but it quickly escalated. Concerned, my mom took me to see a general physician.
There we were, waiting, or rather, sitting in line at the doctor's office. Finally, it's my turn. After I explain my symptoms, the doctor whips out a colossal flashlight, inspects my right ear with intense concentration, and delivers the decision – there's some kind of rash inside my ear causing the agony. He writes out a prescription, reassuring me not to worry.
The little optimist in me begins the medication regimen right away. But instead of relief, the pain cranks up a notch every day.
A painful week later, and I’m back at the doctor’s, this time with unbearable pain. Once again, he pulls out his epic flashlight.
I can’t say for sure what he checked this time, but he suggests I see an ENT specialist and hands over a contact.
Off we go to this unfamiliar lane. The narrow streets look like something out of a gloomy movie, and we’ve never visited this part of town before.
We ring a few doors, embarrassingly mistaken, until we locate the ENT's house. Alas, he's not home, and a family member informs us he won't be back from the hospital until 8:30pm.
So what now? I'm on the brink of pain-induced hysteria, and there's no place to wait for over an hour. My mom and I spend the next half-hour killing mosquitoes and standing in that lifeless, eerie lane where no one seems keen on chit-chat.
Finally, the ENT arrives. I get checked out, and this time, it's water causing the earache, or so I'm told.
I keep insisting I didn't get any water in my ear, but who's listening? Medications are prescribed based on the diagnosis, and I get taunts at home for not mentioning the water incident. Even though I swear it never happened.
Again I hold onto the hope of speedy recovery, my school exams begin, and this time, I have a blessing – my left ear decides to join the party. Talk about rotten luck!
I'm drifting even further from the blissful land of painless ears.
Almost another week and a few nights of screaming later I gave up on those meds.
Back to the same ENT, but this time, it's a different story. He mentions something about seasonal fungi and suspects that's the culprit behind my ongoing ear saga.
He whips out a solution and a long, steel-like rod (ENT equipment) that he proceeds to insert into my right ear, nearly touching the back of my throat. I let out a scream that could be heard from other parts of the world.
As he proceeds to clean out a whole lot of squishy, grim-looking stuff from both ears. Ouch! It hurt, especially because my ears were already infected.
That day, probably after some thorough research, the ENT reveals that it was indeed a fungal infection that had attacked both my ears, and it had probably been the perfect weather that invited these fungi to party in my ears.
So, it turns out I was wrong all along, and I suffered through the pain for nothing. But hey, at least we finally discovered the root of the problem.
To this day, if I feel even a tiny twinge of pain in my ears, I'm ready to seek out the best ENT specialist in town.
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