Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Great Balls of Wax

This morning I went for a medical at the expensive health centre over the road from the office. It was a bit inconvenient, because I had to fast for twelve hours beforehand, which denied me my usual opportunity to dine on a dozen pheasant eggs and a bowl of muesli before I went to work. Also, I had to dress up in an unflattering gown and get x-rayed, but that's par for the course these days.

Having drawn blood and any other bodily fluids they felt it was polite to ask for, they asked where my stool sample was. I said I didn't have one, mainly because the logistics of providing one had not been explained to me. I hadn't been sure if the done thing was to turn up with a handful of fecal matter. Should you put it in a plastic bag? A Tupperware box? An old Haagen Daz carton? These are the kind of valuable bits of knowledge that I wish I'd been taught in school.

(Today the front page news was that the children of Shanghai were the best educated, and the lowly British were well down the scale - less literate than the Canadians or the US, although I firmly believe that's because we were marked down for spelling 'colour' and pronouncing 'aluminium' correctly. However, I don't think any of the tests focussed on how proficient schoolchildren were at transporting their waste.)

Anyway, I now have a small pot with which to furnish a stool sample at a later date, which will require some mucking about in a lavatory with a plastic spoon. I'll not discuss any more details unless things take a turn for the worse.

I went to see the doctor after being weighed, ECG'd and otherwise checked, and he looked in my ears and said that I had rather a lot of wax. This wasn't exactly news to me, because for the last month or so my fiancee has been on at me to stuff a cotton bud in my ears to clean them out, but I've steadfastly refused. Firstly, I can't see in my ears (out of sight, out of mind) and secondly, as the good doctor agreed, one should never muck around with cotton buds and fragile ear drums, unless one really enjoys deafness. However, he suggested that maybe I was getting dizzy because of all the wax in there, so off I went to get my ears syringed.

This was vaguely disgusting, as they squirt warm water down your lughole until it backs up behind the wax and forces it out. It took a good few squirts to do my left ear, all the while my head feeling like it was swelling up to a ridiculous size. I looked at the grommet of brown wax that had come out - about the size of half a lentil. How disgusting, I thought.

Then they did my right ear, and after a bit more squirting something the size of a garden pea came out, and they then pronounced my ears sufficiently clean, which was jolly nice. I then left, but not before seeing the ear syringe, which I'm glad I hadn't spotted before they put it in my ear.

I'm used to the sight of syringes, mainly from ending up in inconvenient conversations with strange men on trains going through Brixton, who had skag needles stuck in their hands, but this was something else. An enormous, stainless steel barrelled piece of medical equipment, that looked more suitable for artificially inseminating cattle than putting in your ears. Still, it forced out the enormous pieces of wax, and now I certainly don't feel dizzy. I haven't noticed a sudden improvement in my hearing, which is a little disappointing - I was hoping to have bat-like levels of echolocation provided when the wax was removed. Maybe there's more in there for them to get out.


Anonymous said...

I just brought up my breakfast banana. Yuk, yuk, yuk! Ear and nose excretions are two things that I just cannot deal with. The occasions when I have been talked to at length by someone with a solid visibly lurking in their nostril are some of the most traumatic of my life...

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