I have recently read Jeff Vandermeer’s book Shriek, which is – among other things, about the horrible effects of fungus moving in on a city and its people. Definitely not nice stuff to think about (although the book itself is a good read).
So I finished Shriek, put it down – and get attacked by fungus. Yuk. Apparently as a result of getting water in my ear back on that nice beach holiday I had with my daughter, and supplying the spores with a nutritious environment to grow in… It’s just as well I couldn’t actually see inside my ear or I would probably have really freaked out.
Anyway, when I start losing my hearing and having pain in my ear, I trot along to a doctor, who completely misdiagnoses the culprit and gives me antibiotic drops. I guess the fungus loves antibiotics, because it throve on the diet and cheerfully produced spores, and more little fungi to grow into big fungi. By this time, I was climbing the walls. My tinnitus had revved up to the noise level of a jet plane about to take off, the fungi felt as though they have taken over my brain – either that or stuffed it full of cotton wool – and the antibiotic altered my system to such a degree that I ended up with thrush in places I don’t really want to mention.
I began to think Jeff’s book was jinxed. Or booby-trapped, or something. (He posted it to me, so….hmmm…)
And through all this, I am trying to finish off an-over-the-deadline manuscript and get a start on an environmental project and stop, um, shrieking at my husband because I feel so rotten.
Anyway, I eventually get the thing properly diagnosed and start putting in drops. Kills off fungus, but by this time there is so much stuff in my ear – half a bottle of antibiotics, half a bottle of fungicide and a dead fungal orchard – that I can’t hear a thing, expect of course the tinnitus, which is now around the noise level of a continually exploding volcanic eruption. Moreover, the cotton wool feeling has invaded every part of my skull until I was sure I’d been in the hands of a taxidermist.
So yesterday I trot off to see a specialist. Who – bless him – syringes my ear and pronounces me cured. The cotton wool disappeared, I can hear, 75% of the tinnitus vanishes, all in the space of two seconds, and I am so grateful I almost dance on the doctor’s desk.
And I trot along to the hospital pharmacy to pick up a tube of medicine.
Which the pharmicist tells me to put in my eye.
I am not sure whether it was because she misread the label as “Optic” drops when it actually read “Otic”, or whether her English was so poor she said eye when she meant ear.
Just as well I didn’t follow that advice, because I see that the instructions warn: ‘Keep away from the eyes”. Hmmm……..
Now all I have to deal with is the thrush, which is refusing to vanish.