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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

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Sleep Is
For The Weak

Chicago Review Press

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Let's Panic

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At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it. → 

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Hey, kids! It's Alice's Tips for Living!

Let’s say your doctor somehow tricks you into scheduling a physical. He asks you when the last time your physical was, and because you're me, you say, "Uh, high school?" And then he recommends that you schedule one, pronto. He doesn't think it's so funny when you say, "But I get those, what do you call them, vagina physicals! Isn't that enough?" Actually he does think that's kind of funny. You like your doctor. But he walks you to the receptionist and asks her to schedule your physical, because he knows you'll run away otherwise. Dick.

Let's jump ahead to the physical, because this post is sort of dragging, already. Okay, so during the physical you mention to Dr. Charming that you can't actually, how do you put this, hear, and he looks into your ears and explains that the reason you can't hear is because you've apparently melted several candles and pumped their molten remains into your canals. In other words, there's a lot of wax. Now your readers are grossed out that they know this about you, but then, you've already discussed your peeing problems in great detail, so what the hell.

So your doctor begins to root around inside your ears--way deep inside, probably into the brainpan--with an instrument. From the way it feels, you're guessing it's an ice pick or a crowbar. And then he says something like "whoops."

"Whoops?" you say.

"The skin sort of pulled a little bit, and there's some oozing," says the doctor. "Let me just clean that up for you."

By "oozing," he means "crazy bleeding," which you can see very clearly from the numerous cotton swabs inserted into your ear and then removed when they've become saturated. Your doctor seems mildly horrified. There are many q-tips. He is apologizing. A lot. You're too busy worrying about that tetanus shot he mentioned to care very much. You fool!

After the shots (ow) and the various other ridiculous procedures you're put through, the doctor mentions that he's going to prescribe an antibiotic for your ear. "It's probably not necessary, but do it anyway," he says. "And don't try to clean out your ears, or, you know, go in there with anything. You really don't want that to get infected."

So now that all this has occurred--TO YOU--here are my handy tips!

DO NOT: wonder, the next day, if there's a big ol' scab inside your ear.

DO NOT: decide it's okay to get in there and find out. That is both disgusting and unclean.

DO: Get that prescription filled.

DO NOT: think that a little throbbing and itching is probably just "healing."

DO NOT: wait for the pain to escalate out of control before fishing the wadded-up prescription out of the bottom of your purse.

DO: thank your husband for running out to the 24-hour pharmacy for you as you claw at your ear, weeping.

I hope that I have helped you, in some small way.

Reader Comments (42)

Well, as sorry as I am that you had to go through that, think of the NaBloPoMo fodder!
November 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBikini
Ewww. Owwww. Ewwww. Owwwwwww.
November 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterYolanda
November 27, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterkate
I am repulsed and horrified FOR you but I can't stop laughing. I am a bad person.
November 27, 2007 | Unregistered Commentertulip
Only you could make it sound amusing to have a doctor pull half your ear out and then have it infected/inflamed/painful. But seriously! It sounds so funny when you say it!
November 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJanssen
Oh dear. I can't hear either. But now I'm afraid to find out why!
November 27, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterrye
Hey, I used to have an uncle who would pull marshmallows out of my ears. It didn't hurt, though.
November 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Vogel
:( Here's hoping yours didn't turn out like mine - I ended up with some hearing loss in my left ear because of an infection!
November 27, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterdd
The only thing I can think of that would be worse than this horrible experience for you is for the doctor to have said, "Whoops" while he was performing a "vagina physical".

I hope you feel better soon!JulesHouse of Jules

November 27, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjules
That sounds downright disgusting..but I agree all that pus and dead skin and excruciating pain will make for great posting tomorrow. The more pus and drainage in your blog the better!
I always learn something here.
November 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterTorrie
What's the doctor doing digging around in your ear, anyway? I thought you weren't supposed to stick anything smaller than your elbow in there.
November 27, 2007 | Unregistered Commentersrah
I love the "vagina physical." I just keep picturing labia with weights and a sweatband.
November 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDeb Abramson
Oh, you poor thing with your bladder and your ear and your vertigo and your's been quite a year for you.
November 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAll Adither
Owie!!! And yes, don't go putting anything inside your ear, except if you're a doctor and doing it to someone else. :-/ There are much gentler ways to remove ear wax than to go poking at it with an instrument. What the hell was he thinking?
November 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBeth
You have such an amazing way of making me laugh so hard at things the rest of us brush off as 'mundane every day living'. So sorry you are hurting and hope it gets better soon!
November 27, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterlulu
So does this guy have one of those... what do you call them. You know, that piece of paper that someone signed... you need one to drive a car. Oh yeah, a license! Does he have one of those? And if he does, did it come out of a box of cracker jacks?
November 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnne
Seriously? I mean really, seriously? This is horrifying. I'm grossed out and laughing and disgusted and horrified.

I'm sitting here suffering yet ANOTHER uti, bladder, kidney thing myself... considering going to the doctor for more gawddamn antibiotics but not wanting them. And thinking helz no. Not now. Not with this story out here. I didn't want to go in the first place and now? huh uh. no way.

Feel better soon.
November 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKeri
Oh dear. And here I was wondering why I seem to be suffering from hearing loss. I thought it was just because I turned 40 and God decided that I had lived long enough and thought "Hey, I know what would be fun. Let's make Dana's body fall apart. Yay!" Maybe I too decided to melt candles in my ears!
November 28, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDM
Jesus. All better now?

[Note to All My Body Parts: You will be seeing your respective doctors over my dead body.]
November 28, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterdianne
Good grief! Do you still think he's your friend?
November 28, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLori
Well at least the whole ordeal didn't cost a few hundred dollars. Oh wait...
November 28, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBOSSY
Still liking your doctor?! I'd be putting that fun little instrument into another crevice.
November 28, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjennifer Kashak
Yea, what Tulip said. Snort. Snirk. Honest, Alice, I'm trying to hold it in. But, oh you poor thing, and yet, that was too funny.
November 28, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRee
As a person who has experienced many years of this particular problem, I can assure you that most doctors use the pokey thing, and this is not the first time there was bleeding. And my doctor is so nice! Shut up!
November 28, 2007 | Unregistered Commenteralice

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