I don’t do well with pain. I learned that lesson all too well during the birth of my first son when, after 10 hours of labor jump-started by a pitocin drip, I finally got an epidural. Nothing — and I mean nothing — has ever felt as good as the ebbing of that pain. I relearned the lesson during the birth of the second son, this time determined to go natural all the way when, after a few hours, I told the doula to “shut up” and ordered my husband to hunt down the anesthesiologist and “Get me an epidural — NOW!” He listens well.
By the time the third son was born, I had the drill down pat. I was admitted to the hospital to be induced again but this time, as soon as the IV was hooked up and before the first labor pain hit, I had the anesthesiologist in the room putting in the epidural. It was a completely painless birth — and a lot of fun.
My issues with pain extend to my issues with being sick. I simply do not like not feeling ill. I’ve been very lucky and extremely blessed in my life — the most serious thing I’ve ever had wrong with me was strep throat or a stubborn sinus infection. As a medical writer, I’m far too familiar with all the things that could go wrong with me, so I feel guilty even complaining about my minor issues. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at A Medical Writer's Musings on Medicine, Health Care, and the Writing Life*
“Hey doc,” the patients says, “I think I got wax in my ear.” I reply, “Well, that makes it hard to hear me, then, huh?” “WHAT?” – the patient yells. Oh yeah, I say to myself. “I’ve been having this ever since I was a kid. Every few months, I need my ears cleaned out.” So, I look in there, and it’s the most amount of wax I’ve seen in a long time.
“Sir, do you use q-tips to clean our your ears?” I ask the patient. “Well, yeah, I think I’ve been doing a good job at keeping things clean, don’t you think?” “Well, I wouldn’t recommend that because it looks like you’ve been pushing the wax further in there.” “WHAT?”
So, we’re able to get some of the wax out of there only to find a lot of redness and irritation in the ear canal. “Doc, I still can’t hear. Are you sure that you got all the wax out of there?” “Well, sir, there is no more wax in there now. It looks like there is an infection underneath, and that’s what causing the problem now.” “WHAT?” Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Doctor Anonymous*
Swimmer’s ear (otitis externa) is an affliction that affects scuba divers, swimmers, windsurfers, surfers, kayakers and many others who spend considerable time in the water. The prevailing opinion is that the most effective measure to prevent swimmer’s ear is to dry out the ears after each entry into the water, to eliminate the moisture that promotes maceration of skin and proliferation of infection-causing bacteria. This can be done mechanically by blowing warm air into the external ear canal, or by instilling liquid drops (such as a combination of vinegar and rubbing alcohol) that change the pH within the ear canal and evaporate readily, leaving behind a relatively dry environment. It is generally advised to not stick any foreign object, such as a cotton-tipped swab, into the ear, avoid traumatizing the external ear canal or, worse yet, the eardrum.
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This post, How To Remove Water From Your Ears Safely, was originally published on
Healthine.com by Paul Auerbach, M.D..