With My Midnight Man’s progeny living in their own abodes, I had this naive and silly idea that the days of needing to go to the A&E (English for Accident and Emergency—the American counterpart is the ER) had ended. Not so.
I begin the tale a few weeks back, when my ears were itching and I was giving the canals a good swabbing out with those famous instruments called “Q-Tips” or “cotton buds”. The plastic and cotton tool I was using was not the high quality “Johnson & Johnson Q-tips”. No, it was a “Just Baby” knock-off, with some of the cotton tips securely attached and others not. As I was applying some much-needed friction, I felt the cotton tip loosen. I pulled the blue wand out—but no cotton tip. Hmmm... This had happened previously, but the tip had never dislodged in my ear. This time it DID. However, I wasn’t really sure, so I asked My Midnight Man to have a look under his brightly lit magnifying light. Unfortunately, he didn’t see anything. About that time I decided that it was my imagination that the bud had not been deposited in my ear; it had actually fallen out and onto the floor—even though I couldn’t see it.
Yet, my hearing was impaired. And it felt as though there was something in my ear, close to the ear drum. After about a week, I went in to see my doctor. After peering into the left ear canal he said I have wax build-up. I rather doubt this, as I do keep my ears rather clean. But, he’s the doctor and so I ask him what to do. He recommends a few drops of olive oil in the ear, twice a day for a few days to soften the wax and then to use a syringe bulb to wash them out.
Sometimes three times a day I dripped olive oil into my left ear—only to have the ear feel more stopped up. On Tuesday,( 22n’d March) after 10 days of no relief, I go back to the doctor’s office. I see a different physician, as Tuesdays are my regular GP’s day off.
This time I am direct...I” think I have a cotton bud in my ear.”
The doctor sticks the little medical gadget into my ear and says, “Yes, I can see it.” Well, it is a relief to know it IS there...but not a relief because it is still in there. He schedules me for an appointment with the nurse, who will attempt to remove the cotton with a pair of tweezers.
Two-and-a-half hours later, I reported back to the surgery (doctor’s office) to meet with the nurse. As any good nurse would do, she scolds me for putting anything besides my fingers in my ears! She makes an attempt, but the white, fuzzy obstacle is too far down. She then calls the hospital.
Armed with a letter from the doctor’s office, I am sent to the A&E (Accident and Emergency) at the local hospital and told to see the ENT (Ears, Nose and Throat doctor) who is on call.
As it happens, My Midnight Man has already been into town and purchased an All-day bus ticket. As I was going out, MMM was coming in—and he relayed the bus ticket to me. We certainly got the value out of that ticket!
Tuesday was sunny, almost warm and certainly clear. I relaxed, read my book on the bus and giggled silently to myself. I reported to reception at the A&E, and handed her my letter. She told me to take a seat. So I did, expecting a long, indeterminable wait. Instead, I read about a page and a half when my name was called.
Within a few minutes I was ushered into a room with a table and a surgical lamp above it. The on-call ENT doctor gently held my ear open and the pleasant Nurse-Practitioner, armed with small forceps, gently pulled that annoying obstruction from my ear. Sweet Relief! Though there was no infection, I am prescribed a week’s worth of antibiotics as a preventative. After getting my prescription filled at the hospital’s pharmacy, I make the trip home.
As I’m riding home, thinking about the whole episode, I couldn’t help pondering how it can mirror my spiritual life. What have I been listening to that is blocking my ability to hear what God is speaking to me? Have I been watching things on television that allows fear, doubt, and frustration to interfere with the reassurances of the Holy Spirit’s whispers? What needs the tender attention of the Holy Spirit to remove the obstacles I’ve allowed into my mind and heart? Yes, Glorious Healer, come and attend to the results of my silly and inept actions. I want to hear you clearly. I’m still Your child—no matter how old I grow to be.