Leeches, tapeworms and candling

There are a lot of things that ought to be illegal: Arby’s iridescent rainbow roast beef, cigarettes, abalone and child-proof pill bottles for starters. One thing that really should be against the law is Q-tips. Q-Tips are not good for anything but trouble. Putting a little cotton fluff on the end doesn’t change the fact that they are basically sticks designed to put where nothing belongs. I’m pretty certain that various body orifices are created to be self-cleansing without a lot of outside interference.

All that doesn’t stop me. About once every two years, I stick Q-Tips in my ears. It’s one of those things where I start thinking, hmm, my ears are sort of muffle-y; maybe they have too much wax in them. This is wrong thinking because you can never have too much wax in your ears: either way, it works itself out or you don’t have to listen to complaints about the lack of edible food in the kitchen, barring tomatoes. But I do it anyway, usually after watching golf on TV, because I forget that sportscasters always whisper when they discuss golf.

So I did it and now, of course, I can’t hear ANYTHING. Even as I was doing it I was saying, "Vicki, don’t do this…" but I did it. And after I had firmly packed any wax that was in my right ear tightly against one ear drum I moved on to my left ear and did the same. So, this beautiful Monday, I’m stone cold deaf.Sol_006

I’m going to go get my ears candled in a few minutes. My friend, Judy, works for a chiropractor I know and although I wouldn’t let him touch my spine if my life depended on it I’m going to let him put burning wicks in my ears. I wouldn’t let him touch my spine because he’s one of those old fashioned crack-o-practors who twists your head around in such a fashion that you hear (even if your ears are plugged up because this sound occurs inside your head) bones, cartilage, and muscle grinding against each other so loudly that you know there’s no way you’re leaving there in anything but a vegetative state.

But being an old fashioned kind of guy he also does ear candling. Ping is all in favor of candling; I guess the Chinese have been doing this for a thousand years. It involves putting a tall hollow candle in your ear and setting it on fire. Between the heat and natural vacuum pressure the wax gets sucked out.

I could go to my internist and have the nurse blast my ears out with a firehose. That works. My brother said so and he’s had it done before. But I would have to wait four days for an appointment and I have to be able to hear House when it premiers tomorrow.

So I’m off to get my ears candled. Maybe he has a spare tapeworm, too. I can’t get these last five pounds off for anything. I’ll give you an update on this shortly.

TUESDAY UPDATE: This experience was interesting but disgusting to the degree that you don’t want an update. The good news is that my hair didn’t catch on fire and I can hear again. And Judy took me out for peel ‘n eat Cajun shrimp as a prize for being brave. So much for the tapeworm idea.

SophIn the meantime, Sophie has been out rooting around in nature and came in with a giant slug (maybe it was a leech) stuck in her silvery coat. I got that out but then she snuffled one of those tiny round green velcro seed pods up her nose while trying to get those out of her fur. Now she is sneezing and snotting copiously, like a kid with a pea up her nose. I’ll be darned if I’m spending money on the vet when I won’t spend it on my internist. Where are those Q-Tips?

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21 responses to “Leeches, tapeworms and candling

  1. They must whisper because golf is sacred.

    You are feeling nutty and spunky today and I love the circular sense this post makes. I remember Michigan leeches from my Interlochen summers. Get the salt!!

  2. No, really, I do want the update. Really. Seriously. Give it to me.

  3. Not a lot of things make me nauseous but the sound of a neck being twisted in an awkward position and cracking sends my stomach reeling. My baby brother knows this and therefore performs this procedure on himself several times a day, just to get the groans from his peanut gallery.

    About the ears, there are several over-the-counter kits that work quite well. Carbamide peroxide 6.5% in the ear, wait, syringe out with warm water. Works great. No waiting and no chance of singed hair, eyebrows or such.

  4. I do the candling thing to my husband every few months and, although it kind of grosses me out, I’m totally fascinated by it!

  5. I do the candling thing to my husband every few months and, although it kind of grosses me out, I’m totally fascinated by it!

  6. I never heard of ear candling before. Really works? I have to have my ears dredged by one of them eye-ear-nose-throat guys twice a year. Pish.

    If tomatoes start growing out of the cat’s nose, let me know. I’ll want pictures.

  7. Oh my GOD, I would DIE if they outlawed Q-tips. I’m obsessed with them. I freak out if we run out. MUST CLEAN MY EARS. Everyday. I love how they feel as I’m twisting them around in my ear

    Did I mention I was obsessed with them?

  8. Jen-suffice it to say you have no idea how much wax can accumulate in your ears- no idea. And I understand I am no exception. SRP- the fizzy stuff does nothing compared to this candling. Hoss- I recommend this as a great alternative. Seriously, There’s probably some Chinese guy in Salem who does acupuncture and ear candling. Just go for the ear candling. And then, look out. Turn down the volumn!
    Yes, Bonnie- I am feeling sort of silly today. 🙂

  9. I bought ear candles one time and then I was afraid to use them after someone told me you can burn your eardrum if you don’t do it right. I’d much rather get cracked by the cracko-practor (I love that name) than get my eardrums burnt!

  10. I bought ear candles one time and then I was afraid to use them after someone told me you can burn your eardrum if you don’t do it right. I’d much rather get cracked by the cracko-practor (I love that name) than get my eardrums burnt!

  11. Ear candling is gross, but effective. Much easier on my boy than taking him into the ENT and having his ears sucked out with a vacuum hose. Way to go, V.

  12. My husband stuck a Q-tip in his ear once a long time ago and it punctured his ear drum. It hurt like Hades. I don’t want to know how much ear wax I have-lalalalala.

  13. Wow. Ear candling? I’ll have to try this out.

  14. wow, i’ve never heard of ear candling. We use q-tips all the time, but only on the outside of the ear. I can’t take a shower without using one to clean my ear of the water afterward! Never had problems with wax buildup, so I really hope Johnson & Johnson doesn’t stop making them after reading your blog! ;))

  15. wow, i’ve never heard of ear candling. We use q-tips all the time, but only on the outside of the ear. I can’t take a shower without using one to clean my ear of the water afterward! Never had problems with wax buildup, so I really hope Johnson & Johnson doesn’t stop making them after reading your blog! ;))

  16. glad to hear that you can hear! there’s an ear candler in my area, but they promise everything but making you look 25 again. not buying that- it would keep me in q-tips for quite a while.

  17. Er…. I work for the company that makes Q-Tips. Are you still my friend? 😉

  18. I’ve always thought that must be an odd process. Me, well, I’ll stick with q-tips. They’re a known evil.

  19. Vicki, I return to your lovely site after blogging like a madwoman for Hurricane Katrina relief, only to find a discussion about ear wax. Or, cerumen. A hot topic in our household as Molly is an ear wax machine and has to have our family practice doc (who is, BTW, illegally handsome, perhaps like the aforementioned roast beef) dig the cerumen out of her ears with a curette. Dis.Gus.Ting.

    Being Asian, I do not have lipid laden cerumen. Mine is ashy and dry. Interesting! Also, there are theories on correlates of cerumen and breast cancer. The reference –

    Petrakis NL, Koo L, Lowenstein J, Lee M, Wrensch M, Miike M. Association of GCDFP-15 in nipple aspirate fluid and cerumen phenotype in Chinese women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev.

    Now don’t go running off to Medline at once, Outside In readers.

    Finally, I love the swirl of Qtips in my ear. It’s in our earthquake kit so I won’t be without in the aftermath of a natural disaster.

  20. That candle thing is cool. Where do you get hollow candles? And Tall Thing and I love to watch House. Best show ever. Great blog, by the way. I found you through Squeakers.

  21. I candled my own ears a few years ago when I had raging ear/nose/throat infections… I was digging wax out of my ears for weeks after – candle wax. Needless to say, something went horribly wrong… ROFLMAO!!! It was a hysterically funny process. I do candling like I work in the kitchen. Do not do this at home Kathy Howe! 🙂

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