My ear itches on the inside

Or, yet another tale of woe

Not my actual ear, but see that tunnel to the left? That's where my ear itches

Not my actual ear, but see that tunnel to the left? That's where my ear itches

Photo credit: windelbo

This itch in my ear canal has been going on for several weeks now but I won’t Google. Oh no, I will not Google for I know better than that. You see, on the internet all ear canal itches are caused by:

  • Some sort of burrowing or tunneling insect
  • Cancer
  • Atopic dermatitis that can only be cured by a raw foods diet or application of breast milk (on the internet all things can be cured by raw foods, breast milk or in some cases, kefir)
  • The eggs of some sort of insect, not necessarily of the burrowing or tunneling variety, perhaps accidentally deposited

And you know, call me foolish but I think I’d rather just peacefully pass away one day after some insect has successfully dug a hole straight through my brain than to live with the knowledge that such a thing existed. In my body. Where I also live. Yeah, no way, so while it might just be a little irritation that some hydrocortisone cream would clear right up, I’m not taking the chance that it’s a Amazonian tunneling knife worm.

So maybe I’ve got a little touch of the hypochondria, but at least I know when Google is not my friend. Sometimes, you just have to wait and the problem goes away by itself which so far hasn’t happened with my itchy ear. On the other hand, and don’t read this if you are uncomfortable knowing I have nipples (ahem, that means my brother if he is reading this), the other day I was getting ready for a shower and chanced to undress right in front of the mirror. Now, I am not one who generally stands there and stares at myself naked in the mirror but I looked down and my nipples had these little patches of black on them. Way too much information, but it looked like some sort of nipple mildew. I’m a regular bather and air myself out frequently, so I knew it wasn’t likely to be literal mildew but I remembered that irregular discoloration of moles is a very bad sign indeed.

Of course, I started getting really upset, wondering if this was some sort of odd rapid onset of skin cancer or a presentation of breast cancer I’d never heard of or an autoimmune disease. Scerloderma! I don’t know what that is, but it’s always a possibility on House. All I know was that I had five young children and a husband and I was too young to die dammit, but if I was going to, I should probably start thinking of some touching project or book to do before it happened, because as much as I love him I don’t think it would occur to my husband to write a memoir about me and how I taught him how to love and live.

You know, it’s very tricky to write a book in which you’re the one teaching somebody how to love and live without sounding like a pretentious twit, but mildew-esque black spots on the nipples gives you that right, I think.

In the meantime, I didn’t think staying dirty would solve anything so I hopped in the shower and behold the black spots rinsed away and I remembered I’d slept in a black t shirt that night. Oh dear, that was slightly embarrassing. But it goes to show sometimes you just have to live life and let things sort themselves. Unless you have mildew-esque black patches that don’t rinse off in the shower, then you really need to get to the doctor sometime today.

Back to my ear, no amount of showering has helped and I’ve made tentative swipes around the edges with a cotton swab but no deeper because I don’t want to pack down my ear wax. I’m really suspicious of all those holes in my body and how disconcertingly permeable they all are. What sort of barrier is there between the ear canal and the brain anyway? A membrane? That’s not going to cut it I’m afraid.

So many career choices have been taken from me because of my refusal to learn human (or any other) anatomy. Perhaps it’s empowering to you to know where your liver is, but unless the answer is on a cushion made of angel’s farts locked in a steel safe in Fort Knox, I don’t want to know where mine is. It would only worry and distress me. I mean, it’s just there, in your body, hanging out, probably right on top of some other organ you really need, like your pancreas or something. How do they keep from jostling into each other? Just one day your kidney slams into your colon and bam! Peritonitis. Gangrene. Wandering uterus.

And I have noticed that people do seem to be able to walk around without their organs exploding or falling out but it all seems terribly vulnerable to me and I’d rather not know any more than I need to. This afternoon, my baby was sitting on my lap and pointed at a part of my neck. My husband said “that’s a sinew!” and I was trying to be brave and not give the kids issues but “Stop! Don’t say that!” came out of my mouth and I started doing that crying and nervous laughing thing I do when I remember that I have sinews and tendons and probably cartilage and viscous fluids and orifices and my throat clenched shut and my stomach churned.

And he laughed at me! Him! The man I taught to love and live and was planning on writing an international best seller for describing same so that he could pay for the kid’s daycare and probably take women out for dates with the royalties was laughing at my inability to deal with sinews. That is really not cool and if he does it again I shall deposit Malaysian digging beetle larva in his ear and laugh.

Okay I will not because I would spontaneously explode if I found out I’d kissed a guy who went on to have bugs in his ears, but I’d think about it. Twice.

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