For the past week I could not hear out of my left ear. I didn’t have any pain, but it was definitely like someone stuck a cork in it as it was muffled whenever someone spoke. The second day of having it, I was working in the ER and kindly asked the doctor at the end of the shift if they could take a peek at my ear. Turns out it was just a bunch of earwax (sorry if that grosses anyone out)! Relieved it wasn’t as serious as I thought it might have been, I got some over the counter medication at the UIC Pharmacy to see if that would help clear it. Well, four days passed and it didn’t help, so I made an appointment at the Family Medicine Center at UIC and thankfully got an appointment an hour after I walked in (although they didn’t see me until one hour after because they had two patients in front of me, which I totally understand why I have to wait so long since I see it frequently happen in the ER!). They put hydrogen peroxide in my ear and wow did it bubble and fizz! I was totally worried my ear was eroding too, haha! After that, the nurse irrigated it with a syringe and blasted my ear. I don’t think I ever had that much pressure on my ear drums, but whamo I could hear out of my left ear again! XD Now that it’s clear of earwax, everything feels so much more amplified in that ear. I asked about my right ear and how to clean it (avoid q-tips everyone, as tempting as it is) and the doctor told me to use a bulb and squirt warm water like once or twice a year (not once a week or once a month!!!). I guess our ears can take care of themselves, but my ears are tiny so I can see how I’d have more frequent problems!
The doctor also told me that people of Asian descent have dry wax and African Americans and Europeans have wet wax. Isn’t that weird?! I’m taking genetics and it’s really cool how we’re all made up of. We did a lab on mitosis and meiosis, which normally I’m like “ehhhh” but it’s pretty cool how all of our cells divide and die…it’s almost like we’re reborn every few moments (or we die every few moments if you want to think of it that way).
These regulatory mechanisms our bodies use are incredible! In anatomy and physiology, I finally got to see a human face…although I wasn’t expecting the face to be split in half and hanging. They didn’t give us much warning, haha. Anyway, we’re studying the visual and auditory systems, including the mechanisms of how they transmit information to the brain and the anatomy of how it all works! The malleus, incus and stapes bones in our ear are SO TINY! They looked like bug exoskeletons (I received a tiny jar of them as a gift from someone I met in Taiwan and never realized they were bug exoskeletons…at least the bow/ribbon around the jar was cute). Man, there’s so much to know about the body (and scientists have discovered a lot already…but more to understand)….it makes me really excited to pursue an MD/PhD!
I’m doing my best to restudy for the MCAT on top of my part-time jobs and running organizations, but as the test date comes closer and closer I’m starting to think I need to shut everything out for all of February and March! We’ll see how things go…I may or may not have to move the test date, but I badly do not want to. However, being ready for the test is immensely crucial and if it takes me a longer time to study so that I can ensure success, it will definitely be worth it!
I know it’s only the third week of class, but it’ll be final exams in a blink of an eye before you know it! Stay safe and warm UIC! (: