Swimmer’s Ear

“We need to get some information before we can schedule a consultation with the doctor. Now these questions may get a little repetitive,” said the voice on the line. Her name was Amanda and she had gotten snippy when I’d been rude to her earlier, so she was definitely human.

“Ok.” I winced and moved the phone to my other ear.

“What’s your name?”

I told my name, carefully enunciating the letters.

“Ok, thank you. Now, what’s your name?”

I repeated my name.

“Thank you. Now can I get your name?”

I gave my name.

“What is the name of the patient requesting this consultation?”

I gave my name.

“What is your phone number?”

I gave my phone number.

“And an alternate phone number?”

I gave a backup phone number.

“And what is the name on the account?”

I gave Alice’s name.

“And what is your name?”

“I gave you my name already. Can we just skip these steps?”

“I’m sorry, this is required. What is your name?”

I sighed and gave my name.

This continued for thirty minutes. When I was connected to a doctor, he told me to stick my finger in my ear. “Does it hurt?” he asked. “Yes.” I said. Then he prescribed me ear drops and the strongest pain relievers he could offer. When I said I could handle the pain and it was mostly just annoying, he said, “Oh, just the drops, then.”

Alice says I should throw caution into the wind and swim even if it will exacerbate my ear. I have a policy of never doing exercise that will make me less healthy. That is the only value of exercise in my mind, so I do not have much to say to people who might think me lazy or cowardly for stopping for health concerns.

It’s going to be challenging to tell my triathlon team I have to bow out for a week, but I can try and make it up in the following weeks. I decided not to make my classic “this is proof exercise is bad for you” joke since I don’t want to discourage other people in the group who are trying to use this as an opportunity to get moving. That joke’s starting to seem a little immature anyway.

Honestly, I’m frustrated. I really did like the swimming, and I’m looking forward to getting this cleared up so I can jump back in the pool.



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