torn drum

lots of little pills

I'm typing from bed, where I've been since Thursday evening, with only brief spells awake and upright in which to pee, shower, find something edible in the fridge to stuff in my mouth to keep the pain meds down, wash a dish here and there, find and visit a doctor (which decision took two days), and fall back into bed. My ear drum's been perforated—the thin flap no longer resisting gaseous pressure as a working drum—the hearing supposed to return, day by day, as the antibiotic works its little bug-fighting magic. Meanwhile, my heart beats in my ear and my head spins like a record. Ba-doom, ba-doom, ba-doom.

I've had the flu for over a week, thought I was getting better, thought I was being all long-suffering and saintly by working through it, coworkers mown down right and left, until it grabbed me by the ankles, nestled in my ear, and whomped me to the ground where I have been groveling near-deaf since.

(Psst. Let me tell you a secret. The worst part of being single is having no one to watch your back when you are ill—no one to do the dishes, no one to bring tea, no one to ask if you need anything. When contemplating a breakup, keep that in mind. Yet at least I no longer must endure the gaze of a man who resents my human frailties. So there is that.)

Welcome to February! Its thin gray days are flying by with nothing to show for it. But who cares about anything when one is cracked out on cherry-flavored Nyquil? All I know is I've never been this consistently sick in my adult life: four cold/influenzas and two costly ear infections since I started working with kids in September. Children should come tattooed with toxicity warnings, skull-and-crossbones stickered across their soft, unlined foreheads. Time for a career change.

Edited to add: It turned out via two trips to an ENT that the ear drum hadn't been torn, only blistered, which created the same symptoms. Who knew a blistered ear drum was even possible?

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