Why was I the last to know that the Ear, Nose and Throat clinic is the epicenter of evil?
I always thought of the ENT as a nice little practice where doctors massage swollen glands, cure ear infections and depress tongues. No removal of shoes, no over-starched blue gowns and embarrassing nakedness, just a chair and a kind man with one of those ear contraptions that gets warm and lights up at the end.
My first clue that I was entering hell: the chair. Not a nice comfy chair. The chair was stiff and metal with cold flat “armrests” and “footrests.” A large heavy device hung above the chair, seemingly to hold one’s head in place.
The doctor peeked inside of my problem ear briefly, and then decided that I should go to Audiology for a hearing test. I remembered those from grade school – the school nurse always wore a smile and carried with her well-cushioned earphones.
I have to say that the Audiologist was quite nice, but she lead me into a hallway that quite literally resembled Alcatraz’s D Block (the “hole”). She shut me into a 6’ X 6’ chamber with two soundproof doors after putting this ridiculous pressure thing behind my ear. That kind of sucked.
Turned out that I passed my ear exam with flying colors. I went back to the MD and that hard chair thinking my appointment was over. He came back in and started to explain that the middle ear is actually depressurized by this one small pathway from the nose. When this pathway gets blocked (or things start to grow in it… umm, gross!?), we experience ear popping and pressure. So perhaps my pathway was blocked.
“Now, I’m going to look in your nose. I mean, really in it.” He sprayed this bitter substance into my nostrils (and remarked “my spray is bitter, yes?) and then left the room. When he returned, he was carrying a 2-foot long, thin, hallow metal rod.
He started feeding the rod up my left nostril. I figured he’d only go about an inch, but after one inch came another, and another. I wiggled in the seat with straight, scared legs and blurred vision. The inner-awkwardness of the feeling made me queasy.
My right nostril was problematic. Basically, the doctor told me that it was inflamed inside and started probing inside of it with that damn rod. I started shrieking. My two front teeth went numb. I’ve never experienced that kind of pain before. He took the rod out and I almost started sobbing because it was the only emotion that adequately portrayed the terror of the whole thing. And funny, the doctor looked at me like I was crazy.
“I only got about half an inch in. Let’s try again.”
“Absolutely not. No, no. No. There’s no way that tube is coming near me again.”
I ran out of that clinic. Why wasn’t I warned? I was nose-raped! ENTs are trying to connect all of our sinuses together with tubes and scary equipment. It’s like a fun little maze to them, but not to me it’s not! Not to MEEE!
...P.S. Why are these people so okay with this?