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Minikin's Journal

Routine Ramblings of an Occasionally Interesting Housewife

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Empty Gestures
LJ Idol Season 6 - Week 1 - Empty Gestures

I got a "clean" bill of health from my ear doctor yesterday. Yay! No more drops. And a follow-up appointment for April.

My ear doctor has his own definition of satisfaction with my ears, and I believe when he was dictating the note to be sent to my family doctor he said something about both ears being clean and dry. Mind you, the right ear was only clean because he popped out the ear candle embryo. It wasn't long enough to anchor a wick, but it made an audible pop when it came out. I can tell my left ear is doing as well as it does, because when I clear my ears in the afternoon, I can feel the warm breath coming out my left ear canal. I know better than to do so in the morning, because the best I'll get is a whistle and the worst is that I'll have enough sleepy goo to stopper it up from the inside for a few days.

Uh, yeah. I have a hole flap in my left eardrum. It's from years of earaches, when the internal pressure built up enough to perforate the eardrum. Eventually, it just healed open. Only a bit -- I still test well in hearing tests. Backup a bit. I was the second child. My older brother was a Very Active Toddler™ when I was born, and my mom chose the bottle over the teat for me. She didn't think she could chase after him if she were nursing me. Back then, it was called formula, because your doctor handed you a recipe formula for mixing it up. Mine included corn syrup and it seems that I was allergic to it. I threw up most of every feeding, and I cried. A lot. When you've got a baby that cries all the time, the only way you know she's crying from the pain of an earache is after the eardrum bursts and the blood shows up. She says I was two something - weeks? months? - the first time I had an earache. If I'd been the first child, I'd be an only child. ;)

I was a teen when a doctor first told us about my eardrum; I'm not sure how long it had been healed that way. His concern was that it could somehow cause a skin ball (you know, like a hair ball, only made out of dead skin cells?) to form and adversely affect my tympanic bone, causing deafness. He recommended yearly observation. My reaction at the time was heavily influenced by the Bionic Woman - I figured I'd be a candidate for a Better, Keener Ear™. But yeah, the doctor was preparing us for the possibility that I would lose my hearing.

Over the years, I've been pretty lax about seeing the ear doctor. Oh, the intense pain of an earache will drive me there. After moving around a bit, I've got a regular ear doctor here in Lexington. And he's caught on -- he hasn't mentioned any bugaboo about bones, but he knows I need regular observation. His office fit me with a customized earplug -- filled my left ear with a quick-hardening rubbery substance -- but I'm more comfortable using the soft silicone ball plugs. I've figured out they are one time use; after that they're not sticky enough to stand up to ear-jiggling during a shampoo. I keep my ear dry and after four years of allergy shots, I don't generate nearly as much internal growth medium for itty bugs. The last time I had an ear infection, it hardly hurt -- but I knew to see the doctor because I couldn't blow through my ear anymore, and I was tiring of the hearing blockage.

I've taken sign language classes three times. All three times, I took the beginner level. I can remember most of the alphabet; I can sign "I was born in Key West." Each time, I retain a little bit more. But I've no one to practice with, and I seem to have lost the urgency over contemplating eventual deafness. I've noticed a woman signing at the front of the church, but I don't know if she's there for every service or just occasionally. Either way, all those intricate movements remain empty gestures to me.


This entry was written for inclusion in The Real LJ Idol writing competition on Live Journal, Topic 1: Empty Gestures.
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I don't understand how people think formula is easier ... especially in the beginning!

I hope they remain empty gestures for you though :)

I think Mom's decision was influenced by her experience nursing my brother. Her milk supply couldn't keep up his appetite, and she gave up after 6 weeks. So, she probably had a heck of a time getting him to nurse etc.

My experiences with my two boys were completely different. My first had happy baby/failure to thrive -- I didn't know enough to wake him, to feed every hour at times, etc. and he was too easy to console with alternatives. Supplementing with formula turned into formula-only when he was cruising and figured out the bottle was more portable than me.

My second was a champ nurser who latched on minutes after birth and was crawling up under my tee-shirt on his own before my doc made me choose between nursing and progesterone at one year.

For all I know, I might have had earaches from other allergens, and wouldn't have been able to nurse from nasal congestion, even if she had tried. I used to be allergic to practically everything before the years of shots.

*nods* I wasn't getting into the logistics - rather that it's a myth IMO that formula is easier than nursing. I gave formula for a small week before exclusive nursing and that was the hardest week of all. Now after that a whole lot of considerations come into play, and I must say I am glad that despite being so uninformed I quickly was able to get a crash course - but only now at 2 years I just figured out why the little one couldn't nurse properly for the longest time, so it's a whole lot of different factors that come into play!

Oh ear aches are no fun at all! I can sign a bit which helps in my job!

Writing this has reminded me that I really want to understand more sign. I will add it to my "leisure" activities. :)

UGH, I hate ear aches and have to deal with it because of wearing hearing aids, and air doesn't get in there except at night LOL! I am already deaf anyways, and rely on sign language in some cases, and will continue to lose my hearing from the rubella virus, etc.

I hope this stays this way for you for years to come.

Thank you. I know how lucky I am to still have good hearing. It feels very isolating when I have a flare-up and can't hear. The worst is when I get laryngitis, since it usually affects my hearing as well as my ability to talk. It's like being thrown into one of those game show isolation tanks. Ugh.

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I'd still like to learn. I'd love to be able to talk in loud rooms, for instance. But, I'd really like to be able to talk to deaf people in their native hand.

This was an intriguing entry, I went from wondering in the beginning, "Where could this possibly be going?" to loving how it comes together at the end!

Thank you! I was hoping for just that reaction. :) A lot of my everyday conversation works this way - only I don't have the luxury of looking back to the top of the paragraph to see how I got where I was going. ;)

I liked the way this was told.


Thanks. :)

You know, when I was little, I didn't understand the concept of NOT seeing your doctor. Now that I'm older, I understand how easy it is to put things off, let things slide...

I figured I'd be a candidate for a Better, Keener Ear™.

That made me laugh. And, yet, I completely understood the child brain that would think such things (because I had my own television-induced ridiculous thoughts).

Yes, at first I wanted to lose my hearing so that I could get a bionic ear. Then I figured out that bionic ears don't exist yet, so I did what my doctor told me to. :)

I had both my ears perforate at different points in my twenties - one of them twice! They healed closed but still aren't 100 percent "right."

The amazing thing is, I spent my childhood and adolescence getting all kinds of ear infections, but my hearing is still normal. I do deal with occasional vertigo and severe motion sickness, and have yet to find out if it's all related.

But enough about me. :) Very nicely done! Especially loved "Very Active Toddler."

Thank you very much. My mom had her hands full with us -- and seemed to enjoy every minute of it. She then went on to spend years taking care of the two year olds at church, until she couldn't handle getting down on the floor with them. Now I take care of them. They are so sweet and loving -- even when they're running around like wild things. :)

The tiny ones were always my favorite in my child care days! I am a sucker for babies, especially between 4-18 months old.

I kept thinking we should pair you up with hug_machine-- she wrote about learning ASL because her sister told her it was a magic language, if you haven't read it yet. It seemed to be some kind of mirror to yours!

I have asthma and I think the chronicness and the fear every time you get a bug is similar-- I have to be super careful not to get bronchitis.

Thanks for the heads up. I haven't started reading the other entries yet -- I wanted to make sure I got through all the intros, and I've only 20 left to read. I'm slow but determined. I shall have to be quicker about reading the entries for the first poll that counts. :)

Yeah! I just though you would really enjoy hers in particular! And that is very sweet of you to make sure you get through all the intros even when it is taking you a long time.

I really liked this entry. I hope your gestures remain empty for you!

Interesting entry. Thanks for sharing.

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