Either “Pressure Me” or Beam Me Up

A modern USB spirometer (http://www.advancedme...Image via WikipediaIt was just my luck that my semi-annual appointment with the allergist was today, right in the midst of my recovery from a sinus infection, ear infection, and bronchitis.  At least he had some fun things to look at.  Things were going well.  I’d suffered through the weigh-in (hate those) and breathed through the spirometer for the lung function test without passing out.  I DID sound like a car that needed a tune-up during that last test.  The nurse tried to reassure me by saying, “I think those noises were just your vocal chords.”  Uh-huh!

The doctor came in and looked me over and assured me that my lungs were sounding better but my ears were still suspect.  He wanted to have the pressure checked in them and then reassess my treatment.  OK.

Tympanometer!Image by DdR` via Flickr
Soon the nurse entered with a portable tympanometer.  It wasn’t like the one pictured at the right.  It was a portable device and it looked like a stun gun from a Star Trek episode.  She also brought two other nurses to observe her do the test.  I must have looked a little startled because she assured me that she wasn’t going to “shoot me.”

“Hey, I was more worried that you might be planning to transport me to the next galaxy with that thing,” I laughed.

After much fiddling around trying to get the correct test to show up on the little screen, she put it in my good ear and pushed a button.  I felt a little vibration but that was it.

“Oh, oh….that’s not right,” she said to the other nurses.
Now since the last time I heard those words I was laying on a slab in the middle of a bone scan after being diagnosed with breast cancer and the jokers who said it were clustered around a screen,  I’m a mite touchy about medical people saying things like that near me.  Turns out in the bone scan case, the technicians were talking about a faulty piece of equipment but they neglected to tell me that until after they’d scared the bejeebers out of me.

“Um, are we talking about the equipment or my hearing?” I asked.

“Oh, no, no, no….just the equipment.  It doesn’t seem to be registering correctly,” she assured me.

She tried it again….and again….and again.   By the time she had tried it 6 times in each ear, she gave up and went off to find the doctor.  I was starting to feel like heading off to the Outer Nebula might have been easier.

She came back in one more time.  “Could you get off the examining table and sit in a chair at my level,” she asked.  “I think it might make a difference.”

I did and it did and this time she got a successful reading.  Eureka!  I had fluid in BOTH ears.  Must have been all that coughing I’ve been doing that has moved the fluid from lungs to ears.

“Just keep on using all the medications your family doctor prescribed,” my allergist advised.  “And use your nasal spray.  That should help with the ears.”

Okey, dokey!  Beam me out, Scotty!  Mission accomplished.

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