I had an appointment today at the U.T. student health whatever it's called. I wanted to get my hearing checked out. I have more and more difficulty understanding people when they speak, especially if there's any other sound nearby, which has only become an issue -- an issue for me anyway, I guess it's been an issue for a while now for all the people who have to repeat everything they say to me 3 or 4 times -- since I went back to school. There's so much audio content in college classes these days.
My allergy symptoms have been so severe this week that I wondered if a hearing test would even be accurate, but I went anyway since I've been putting it off for a long time. The hearing test showed that I do not have high frequency hearing loss, the kind of hearing loss that factory workers and musicians get. That's what I assumed I had. Instead, I have loss of the low frequencies, which can be caused by fluid behind the eardrum from sinus congestion. I am, no doubt, congested. So, what I found out today was, not much. The doctor suggested a nasal spray decongestant. No thanks.
I had already decided that I was going to try a Neti pot. J used to have terrible sinus headaches until he started using one. And my sister's husband, who had years of sinus problems, infections, surgery and the whole thing, uses one now and swears by it. The only reason I didn't try it earlier is that the idea of pouring water into my nose scared the hell out of me, but the severity of this cedar pollen reaction convinced me I needed to just get over myself and do it. So I did. About twenty minutes ago. And it felt great. It was actually kind of soothing, warm salt water on my inflamed mucous membranes.
The clinic visit was not a total bust. They irrigated my ears to get the impacted wax out. I usually do that at home once every year or two, but the over-the-counter stuff takes a lot longer to work than whatever they used there.
The last few days I've been carrying a small Tibetan bag which is big enough for my wallet and a couple of handkerchiefs. It elicits a lot of comments from store clerks along the lines of "what a colorful bag!" which always sounds to me like "you're a big fag, aren't you?" but maybe I'm just defensive. The nurse who flushed my ears out said, "That's a colorful bag. Did it come from [some South American country, I can't remember which one she said]?" I told her I bought it from some Tibetan monks. She asked if I had been in the military. I was taking off my shirt at the moment she said it, so I thought she was asking because of my tattoos. I said, "No. Why?" And she said, "I thought maybe that was where you met the Tibetan monks." I told her I met them in Utah, and then I kind of trailed off, leaving her with a "hm" look on her face. I realized that to tell her how I and the monks ended up in Utah was too long a story for ear irrigation chit-chat.