This week just keeps getting worse.
I went to go get fitted for musician earplugs today, which are basically custom-fitted earplugs with a little filter that allows high frequencies to come through, as opposed to regular fitted earplugs, which let almost no high frequencies through, so music sounds really weird and bass-y.
With the number of concerts I go to (at least 15 or 20 a year, plus whenever I actually get around to playing), I need earplugs so I might have a prayer of being able to hear anything by the time I’m thirty. So despite the fact they’re expensive, I consider them an investment.
So the process for getting fitted goes a little something like this:
They put a little foam pad in your ear to stop the mold maker (some very cold blue goo, which I assume is some sort of quick-drying putty) from going all the way to your eardrum, and it has a string attached to it so that the mold can easily be pulled out.
Then they squirt the blue goo into your ear, wait about 5-7 minutes until it hardens, and then take it out.
The problem with this process arises when all the various things shoved into your ear compress all the earwax so that you can’t hear very well, which is what happened to me. They told me that they could irrigate (flush it out), but I’d have to wait about an hour and pay something like 50 bucks.
Since my NU insurance only covers visits to the student health center and emergency hospitalization, I decided to go for the cheap method. I asked if you could just use one of the home earwax removal dealies you see at the supermarket all the time, and they said, yeah, sure, that oughta work.
Oh, how wrong they were.
I went to Jewel and bought the stuff, and it said, put drops in ear, tilt head to keep them in ear, wait “several” minutes for the stuff to do its job, then flush it out with warm water. This was theoretically supposed to clear my ears so I could hear right.
Instead, what it did was stop them up more. I couldn’t hear out of my left ear for most of the afternoon, and I still feel like I’m sitting at the bottom of a bottle when I hear people talk.
So now, I get to go to Searle at the crack of dawn (ok, the crack of 9am) and have them try to deal with this, and knowing their medical prowess, I’m probably going to end up with a ruptured eardrum.
Either that, or they’ll tell me I’m pregnant.
So, let’s recap: I went in to get something that’s supposed to protect my hearing, and have ended up unable to hear much of anything.