Actually, I have. I lost hearing in my right ear in late July. After waiting a couple of weeks for it to clear (I figured just a blockage), I went to see my GP. She couldn't see anything external, and so prescribed some blow liquid into your nose thing. She figured a plugged eustachian tube (as did I). After a week, no luck. So, referral to an ENT specialist.
FFWD two months to October 15. I go to see ENT. He does various tests (tuning fork, hearing sensitivity, pressure equalization tests), sticks a rhinoscope up my nose (that sucked) and, finally, looks into my ear itself. (This, after noting somewhat dryly, "Yes. Well. Your hearing certainly is compromised.") He determines that he needs to clean some 'gunk' off my my eardrum.
The first scrapes send bolts of pain into my neck. "Is that sensitive?", he asks. "Mildly unpleasant," I answer. "Oh. Well. I guess we'd better numb that."
He proceeds to inject my ear - somewhere very deep inside - with lidocaine. "Try not to move," he suggests.
After the searing, burning sensation subsides, the expected numbing sets in. He joyfully scrapes away, and sticks some microscope in my ear.
"You have a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cholesteatoma. I don't do ears any more; I'm going to refer you to a colleague who does."
(Happily, I remembered what the condition was called and started doing my own research. To be generous, I imagine that he didn't want to say anything about risks, concerns, prognosis, etc. given that he was passing the case onto someone else. But...damn. While not (I'm guessing) imminently serious, it still might have been nice to get a little more information from someone who is, ostensibly more expert than Wikipedia...)
I felt dizzy afterwards. Meh. I just had a needle stuck in my ear. And I'm told I need surgery. Okay. Fine. So I drive home. I stop off for fresh bagels on the way (I'm seldom in that end of town). Meanwhile, I'm getting ever so slow, so slightly dizzier.
I arrive home, park the truck. Pick up bagels and my bag, swing out of the truck and stand up.
I fall. The world is no longer a flat place. Except for the annoying presence of gravity, it feels as if there isn't any. Feck. Okay then. So, looking at the ground, and my feet, I stand slowly. Turn around. Look at my keys. Look at the truck. Look at the lock. Lock things up.
Looking at my feet, I turn around. Look at the garage door, and start lurching towards it. I make sure one foot is planted before I more the other. And, except for the falling, gravity still hasn't come back. In the hallway, I see myself in the mirror. I'm moving like an 80 year old man. (This is the first time I have a sense of what it may be like to get really old and frail; I have a much greater sympathy for anyone moving about in a walker or on a cain. The muscles are all fine; but there's simply no sense of where to put them, how hard, how far away anything is. Including the floor.)
I make it up to the flat and feel extremely nauseous. Okay. Fine. I have bagels. A bagel will settle my stomach.
Slice, toast, and cream cheese my bagel. Pour glass of water. Sit down. All the time with my hand on the countertop, or looking at my feet. And the nausea keeps getting worse. The bagel tastes like ashes.
Lying down seems like the best plan. I text work to tell them that I'm not feeling well and won't be in for the afternoon. So, to the couch.
I can't read. Gravity, which does not exist, is starting to make the room spin. The feeling is akin to the worst shooter drunk I've ever had, +20%. And all without the drinking. Which sucks. And now my bowels are roiling.
Fuck. Okay. Fine. Move like an 80 year old godzilla to the bathroom, whereupon the last six months worth of detritus that has collected in my bowels starts to exodus with the fervour of Russian Jews fleeing an oncoming tide of Cossacks. And these Jews didn't pack lite, either. Damn.
Of course, gravity is still playing non-existent room-spinning sillybuggers. And my head is feeling awful. And....fuck...so's my stomach.
Shit. Fuck. Oh....
So throw my sorry ass off the toilet and immediately heave into the bathtub. That's right. I'm on my knees on the bathmat, my trousers around my ankles, heaving chunks into the bathtub. And, no...I haven't stopped defecating. If anything, the exodus has just become panicked.
I shat on the bathmat. I shat the carpet. I defecated on a rug. Fuck me.
And I don't care. At this moment, I am so fucking ill and contorted, my stomach has cramped, my bowels have completely loosened, I'm amazed large, bagel-laden chunks of vomit aren't orbiting the bathroom, and I am so completely miserable that I don't give a flying fuck.
After this painful re-grounding in human reality, I haul (after some very basic self-sanitization) my ass into bed. I also manage to leave a phone message with the ENT to ask them to call me and let me know if dizziness and disorientation are common after such an exam as mine, or whether it was caused by the exam. (My theory (based upon my years of medical training) is that the lidocaine also managed to freeze the cochlea (the spiral shaped thingy in the ear that takes care of balance) and caused the severe and sudden vertigo and disorientation - a condition that diminished and finally passed when the lidocaine wore off.)
The secretary, when she phoned back, said in a very bland voice, "I talked to Dr. X, and he said that your nausea wasn't caused by the exam. If you're feeling nauseous, you should either see your GP or, if it's serious, go to a walk in clinic."
Blow me, bitch. Do you think I'm a fuckin' idiot? I'm not angry that this went down. Stuff happens. But I get really pissed off when an alleged 'professional' immediately engages in ass covering rather than saying something useful like, 'dunno - this hasn't happened before, but based on my experience, I suggest 'y' might be a possible cause, and see if you can wait it out' or 'FFS, this is serious, get your ass to a hospital now'.
So. What's the upshot?
- I need surgery. An appointment is being scheduled. Given that my condition isn't immediately life threatening, I imagine I'll be under the knife in a couple / three months.
- Imma phone the College of Physicians and Surgeons and lodge a complaint against this - perhaps knowledgeable, certainly unprofessional - motherfucker. 'Cuz I hate lyin', ass-covering, arrogant assholes.
That is all. Well, almost:
No matter what happens from this point forward, I will forever be the guy who shat on his own carpet. And even though I was miserable at the time, I'm incredibly amused by this...