Can You Hear Me Now?

There are many experiences from my childhood I would love to revisit.

To wit: Long, lazy afternoons fishing on the lake with my grandfather. The feel of smoothing down a bluegill’s fins as I unhook him and toss him back with a splash into the crystal water.

The humid afternoons my sister and I would spend in our back woods, digging our fingers into lush soil in search of buried treasure, then taking weary refuge in our treehouse above.

And the naps. Oh, the naps. May I revisit those as well? Like, all of them? At once? Strung together into one long blissful day where I will effectively hibernate from the world at large? (Yes please!)

But ear infections? No. Thank. You.

I took my fair share of twirls with the Ear Infection Gods as a kid. They were always striking. And I mean always. Like, we may as well have had an amoxicillin dispenser in our house, always.

My mom claims the doctor told her my ear problems were so bad as a baby, I was effectively half deaf in one ear for a portion of my early years. (Ask my husband, and he’d say the same currently, but for entirely non-medical reasons.)

We got back early last week from our spring break vacation when the sniffles and sneezes started, and within days all that nastiness had settled in my left ear. And quickly. I was sitting on the couch going over the finer points of matching Easter outfits for sisters (I have officially become one of “those moms”) when it suddenly started feeling like someone was pushing my ear underwater. I couldn’t hear out of my left ear. And then, the pain. Oh Lord, the pain.

For reference, please imagine someone hammering a railroad spike into your ear.

Dramatic much? Ah, much too much.

We have been very selective with the consumption of antibiotics in our house, for all of us. This is a result of many factors–too many to list here–but trust me when I say I was begging for the good stuff by the time I arrived at urgent care and had effectively lost the ability to hear completely out of my left ear.

I thought for sure I’d be in the clear and the antibiotics would kick this to the curb, but because God thought it would be funny to give me one more thing keeping me up at night besides two kids and a baby (God, for the record? Not funny.), the drugs aren’t working and here I am, days later, still feeling like my head is in a dunk tank.

So I did what any reasonable human being would do and consulted Dr. Google. (For the record, I never advise anyone to consult Dr. Google. He’s a bit of a hypochondriac.) In this case, however, I was desperate. And I came across this article, which advised me that I could treat the pain and symptoms of my ear infection with something I already had in my pantry–apple cider vinegar. I mixed up a piping hot and stinky as all get-out compress, smacked it on my ear for a good 15 minutes, and … nothing.

So now I try another home remedy. This one is next on my list. And yes, it also involves apple cider.

Man oh man, this gives me a renewed appreciation–or maybe “pity” is the right word–for all our little kiddos who get these so much more frequently than we adults do. Next time the kids come down with ear infections in our house, you can bet it’s going to be all cuddles and spoiling until the pain passes.

In the meantime, I’ll be the temporarily hearing impaired lady wandering around town smelling like vinegar. Don’t judge. Just send more vinegar.

P.S. Some of my favorite #momfails here and here.

Sonni Abatta is a writer, blogger, TV host and mom of three who runs this Orlando lifestyle and mom blog, and is secretly kind of grateful to have temporarily lost part of her hearing because it prevents her from having to listen to one more soul-sucking minute of the Beat Bugs on Netflix.

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