Friday, November 27, 2009

Bubbles in My Ear

I like bubbles. I do.

I like
bubbly water. Bubble gum. I even like the song Bubbly.

But bubbles in my ear? Not so much.

The other night I was jolted awake by the strangest sensation. I shot up, thinking my new kitten had climbed into bed and confused my ear with a particular piece of anatomy from its mother. (It's strange what your brain comes up with when awakened suddenly from a dead sleep.)

I soon realized my little Prince was nowhere to be found. As for the bubbles in my ear, they kept bubbling. So I did what any logical person would do. I jabbed my finger inside to see if I could make it stop.

I couldn't.

It came and went for the next couple of minutes. I sat there in the dark, trying to convince myself the dream I just had about a cricket did not mean that a cricket had, in fact, crawled into my ear. But then I started thinking about The Discovery Health Channel and the shows I've seen where cockroaches have actually climbed in and died in people's ears! I wasn't too concerned about cockroaches, but by this point I was fairly certain my cricket dream was my subconscious telling me I had a critter in my ear.

I shook my husband in a mild state of panic. Even bleary eyed and semi conscious, he could tell I was freaked out about something. I demanded he look in my ear.

He saw nothing.

Of course. 

A cricket in your ear isn't going to bed down and then readily wave at an exterminator.

I went back to bed and tried to sleep as best I could, hoping whatever was inside my ear would stop moving, die or crawl back out.

It didn't. Twice more I was awakened by bubbles in my ear. That is the best way I can describe it -- like a bike tire that had been punctured. When wet, little tiny air bubbles bubble out. That's what it felt like.

I got back up and performed an exhaustive search online at 2 a.m. for "air bubbles in ear." Sadly, I came up with little information that convinced me that I was not housing an insect inside my head. So I marched myself to the doctor's later that day.


There was no critter in my ear. In fact, the doc said bubbles in the ear are a perfectly normal occurrence.

Me: Well, what causes it?

Doc: Have you coughed, sneezed or laughed recently?

Ha. He wasn't kidding.

Apparently air and fluid can get inside the Eustachian tube by way of the throat. The bubbles are a release of this mixture. The best part, when it drains, it doesn't come out the ear, but down the throat.


Fortunately, I did not have the privilege of that experience. The bubbles just vanished. And after a sleepless night and a $25 copay, I can now blog about ear bubbles. And crickets.

Chirp chirp.


Judith said...

Huh. Learned something new (and weird). Forewarned is forearmed, if I ever have bubbly ears.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

No. Way.

I learn something new every day.

I modified the lyrics to the Don Ho song for you:

Tiny bubbles (tiny bubbles)
In the ear (in the ear)
Make me happy (make me happy)
Make me feel weird (make me feel weird)

Tiny bubbles (tiny bubbles)
Make me warm all over
With a feeling that I'm gonna
Love you till the end of time

(The lyrics modification may or may not be a result of my being high on pumpkin pie right now.)



Suzanne said...

popping is good, it's when they don't pop that's a problem & you get a sinus or ear infection. Sometimes you can get calcium crystal buildups in your ears that cause vertigo... that is not fun. Geez, sound like a mom who's been there done that. Love your descriptions- you are truly a creative writer :)

Sarah J Clark said...

Cheri: Way. Totally.

Seraphine said...

i've decided doctors will tell you anything when they look in your ear and don't see anything.
mine told me my nasel cavities were inflamed, which "put pressure" on my ear.
he gave my nose spray.
i kept sticking my finger in my ear, even after reading on the internet that that can make thinsg worse. i couldn't help it.
it was like having bubbles and little hairs in my ear. i gave my husband tweezers to look for hair in my ear.
are you sure there aren't big black hairs in there? i asked.
finally i noticed when i got out of the shower, sometimes i had some soap/shampoo/conditioner in my ear. just a little bit.
i think thats what caused it, because now i rinse my ears really well, and the itchy/bubble/hair feeling went away.
and no, i didn't use the nose spray in my ear, if that's what you were thinking.

Sarah J Clark said...

Charming story, Sera.

Next time I'll be sure to lather, wash, RINSE. ;)

Sarah J Clark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seraphine said...

i have a love-hate relationship with people that have bubbly personalities.
sometimes they can be so *charming*
sometimes they can be so *annoying*
there's an art to it. you can't fake being bubbly.
being bubbly either fits you or it hangs from you like a stretched out sweater.
i've seen your videos. you're bubbly.
i hate you. your sweaters fit.

Seraphine said...

a sincere wish for you,
for a wonderful, healthy, happy
new year, sarah.