Tuesday, April 28, 2009
My Ear, Part III
When we last met my ear, I had just performed the ear wax removal system twice on it, resulting in ringing and unbearable pain. I decided to go to the New York Eye & Ear infirmary at 2:30pm on a Tuesday because a) who the hell goes to the ear doctor at that time, and b) the place is near my apartment. So I walk to the dingy, rainbow colored building, and am standing in the lobby watching nurses walk aimlessly and while hoardes of random unemployed people are just standing around the perimeter of the lobby, holding forms and clipboards. As I'm standing there doing my best to look confused in the hopes that someone tells me what the hell is going on, a security guard comes up to me and asks me if I need help. I tell him I'd like to see a doctor about my ear, and he says, "No problem, just stand in that line," and he points to a line of about 20 people, including several screaming babies and lots of puffy coats. I ask him what the wait is like once I've finished waiting in the initial line, and the security guard smirks and says "There's the waiting room," and motions to what can only be described as a scene directly from hell.
There were about 150 people crammed in, standing and sitting all over the place, eating McDonalds, snapping gum, screaming at their children, talking loudly to each other and doing other annoying things. As far as the eye could see were South Pole puffy jackets, Timberlands and Sketchers, and then I asked the security guard if this was a joke. He then said "Doors open at 7:30am but they only see patients from 1 to 3pm." I then asked him whether these people had been waiting since 7:30 and he said yes, and I then asked him whether he'd ever seen the fresco "The Condemned In Hell" by Signorelli because this waiting room appeared to be to the inspiration for the terrifying masterpiece. The security guard looked at me like I was insane and for some reason thought I was asking where the soda machine was so he started giving me directions to it, at which point I walked out of the building.
I went home and remembered that many of the plastic surgeons that I had been researching when I was looking into my nosejob were affiliated with Manhattan Eye & Ear, so I called them and asked the guy on the phone if they allow people without insurance to go there and he said that they did if they paid cash, so I made an appointment for the next day at 8:30am since it was only $140.99. So the next day, I roll up at 8:45am because even when seeing doctors it's important to be fashionably late. The intake lady on the first floor takes my license and makes a photocopy and tells me that it's a good picture, so I then am forced to delay myself further by explaining that I always take amazing license pictures, it's actually a talent because I normally take bad pictures but I step it up for licenses and this happens to be my third amazing picture license. They send me up to the "Audiology" floor, where I am seated in a waiting room with two old ladies. The tv is on Regis and Kelly and the volume is deafeningly loud and assaulting my right ear. As I'm trying to protect myself from the volume by zipping my hoodie over my head, I catch the eye of one of the old ladies and say, "Ironic that we're in an audiology ward and the volume is up all the way!" which she responds to be staring at me blankly. Then two deaf people come into the waiting room and start signing to each other, which makes me feel better because my ear may be ringing but those people have real hearing problems.
Finally, they call me and I tell Dr. Lim that my mother the psychiatrist in conjunction with her friend Joseph the Oncologist have prescribed amoxicillan for my ear, which she laughs at. I also tell her about the wax removal fiasco and she shakes her head and then looks in my ear and informs me that I have "absolutely no wax" in there, which was a relief to hear because I didn't want to have to tell people this story and have them be disgusted by me. She then spritzes something up my nose and then asks me if I have trouble breathing because my nose is clogged. I tell her that my nose has been clogged since my nosejob in 2001, but I consider the clogging a small price to pay for a marginally better nose. She prescribes me some prednisone, vaguely tells me there some "fluid" somewhere and sends me away.
It's been over a week since then, and needless to say my ear remains clogged and ringing. I return to the office of Manhattan Eye & Ear tomorrow and Dr. Lim tomorrow. Stay tuned...