Day 12 – Something you never get compliments on
People dish out compliments on some weird things sometimes. Sometimes, they miss out obvious things. Maybe because they think some things are over-complimented. Maybe it’s because they feel like it breaks them down to build someone else up. It’s so much easier to “hate” on a person than it is to say, “You know what? This certain thing in particular about you… It really freaking ROCKS, and you should know it.” Or they just don’t take the time to notice. Or feel the need to comment. Or a million other reasons. *shrugs*
What do I never get complimented on? This is tough. I’ve even been complimented on my feet, and I think that is just STRANGE. My feet are not great, by any means.
*thinks really hard*
Oh, I know! My ears! No one ever tells me I have great ears. People tell me I’m a great listener all the time, but they don’t seem to notice the body parts that make it possible. It’s a shame, really. I do have great ears. They’re beautiful. They’re even more special now. They don’t match. I had surgery on my right ear, and it’s not quite like the left one any more.
The Surgery Story
I got my tragus pierced in July 2010. It was quick, easy, and painless. It looks great. I’ve never taken the ring out of it. It’s a captive bead ring. Stainless steel. Plain and simple. I get compliments on it all the time. People think is super cute and different. I just plain like it. Ok. Fast forward to 2011. I decide I want my rook pierced. It’s super cute. I want the barbell. I get Babe to go with me to have it done before we headed to Atlantis to chaperone my nephew’s sleepover. I looked at the chart of the ear and its various piercings and decide that I should do the snug first. Those would be my last two piercings. The snug, and then the rook. I choose a ring with green balls on the ends. I’m excited. I get it pierced. It doesn’t really hurt. Feels fine. I’m thrilled.
WELL. Days later, it’s quite swollen. And red. And oozing. I clean it like I’m supposed to. I insist that it’s fine and it should be swollen and a bit oozy at first because of where it is. I keep going back to the piercer who tells me it’s fine, and we just need to keep squeezing it to get the crap out. Eventually, she takes the ring out, and I go there daily to have it squeezed. Weeks later, Babe has had enough. It’s far too large. It even looks painful. She calls a relative who is a doctor and he suggests we see a particular doctor. A plastic surgeon.
Here’s how the visit went:
[Doctors enters room]
Doctor: Ok, so what can I do for you toda— WHAT. DID YOU DO. TO YOUR EAR?!
Me: [nervous laugh] Pierced it.
Doctor: Oh, my GOD.
Me: Oh. No. It’s not good if you’re saying, “Oh, my GOD.”
Doctor: No. It isn’t good. Your ear is badly infected.
Me: [blinks] Oh.
Doctor: We are going to have to operate. Right now.
Doctor: Yes, right away. We can do it here. It’s very serious.
Me: [tears roll down cheeks]
Doctor: Listen. We have to do this. You could lose your entire ear. We’re going to try to save it.
Doctor: Do you want to call someone?
Me: *shakes head*
Doctor: Ok, this is what is going to happen. [foreign language and combinations of words I’m not listening to at all b/c my brain is stuck on SURGERY when I thought I’d come in, and he’d use a needle really quickly to drain my ear.]
Me: [cries quietly]
Doctor: Are you sure you don’t want to call someone? Is that your friend out in the waiting area?
Doctor: Do you want me to call her?
Me: *nods while crying quietly*
[Doctor goes out of room. He comes back with T who looks very somber and sits down next to me and hold my hand. The doctor explains that he’ll do the surgery in house which is better than going to a hospital and staying overnight. He tells us that he will stick me a few times to numb my ear, then he’ll make two incisions (one at the front and one at the back of my ear) to drain the infection out. He makes it clear that he will do his best, but can’t guarantee that he can save my ear, or that it will ear look the same again. This is when I cry more. T makes a call to my sister to let her know what was up. My sister wants to be there, but she can’t leave work due to a training session. She calls our older sister who is off from work (not feeling well), and jumps up and flies to the doctor’s office to be with me.]
RANDOM NOTE: PEOPLE. PLEASE. Piercings are really cool, but BE CAREFUL. Do your research. find the best piercer possible. Ask questions. If anything seems wrong, go back to your piercer. If you have any doubt about what he/she says, see someone else. Another piercer. A doctor. Even at a walk-in clinic. Online forums are good too. I posted ONE picture, and they told me right away that something was VERY wrong.
Well, the procedure took a few minutes. T held my hand the whole time, and my sister rubbed my leg and told funny stories. I just laid there, quietly crying. When it was done, the doctor had to pack my ear with gauze, to give it shape. The infection ate away at my cartilage, so he really had to build it back. My entire ear was covered when he was done, and the gauze was wrapped around my head. I looked like I could have just had brain surgery. This was done on a Monday. I went back on Wednesday and Friday for dressing changes. By the next week, I didn’t need the full headwrap. I could dress it myself. But I didn’t. T did it for me. Every day and night. About a week after that, I graduated to just a bandaid at the back because the front had healed. I refused to look at it for about a 2 weeks. It was dark and weird-looking. As the doctor promised, it has lightened up and shaped pretty nicely. My right ear still doesn’t match my left ear, but I still have it. I can still hear. And listen. So it’s okay if people don’t think it’s pretty.