I've learned my (painful) lesson.
You know how on the back of a box of Q-tips it clearly says "do not insert Q-tips into the ear canal"? Well, for as long as I can remember I have been inserting those little cotton sticks into my ear to get them clean. I simply cannot stand the thought of having excess ear wax in my ears...
However, I think I have learned my lesson and decided that perhaps I should follow the advice of the packaging (and my husband, for that matter) and NOT insert them into my ear. This week I had the most painful ear canal infection. And you know what the doctor said when I went to see him? "Infections this severe are caused by inserting things into the ear canal...like Q-tips." So after several nights of lost sleep - because it was on the left side and pregnant ladies have to sleep on the left side - and countless ear drops to relieve the pain, I have decided that I shouldn't stick Q-tips in my ear. No matter what. In fact, I think I have even subscribed to my husband's advice that because God made ear wax to be in our ears, it's probably helpful. So hopefully my little cotton-tipped lesson will benefit my readers - especially ones who are prone to insert things into their ears.
On a side note, I have a hilarious story about my 8-year-old nephew Mitchell. A couple of weeks ago, he failed his hearing test at school. When the school nurse examined his ears, she told my sister that she could only see red in there. She thought it looked swollen and he should probably be taken to the doctor to check it out. Since it was my brother-in-law, Dave's, turn for the doctor visit (when you have 4 children, mom & dad have to take turns =), he and Mitchell went to visit the pediatrician.
Once the doctor looked in Mitchell's ears, he immediately asked Mitchell if he had recently put anything in his ears. He promptly answered, "no". When the pediatrician responded, "well, it looks like something may be stuck in there and I will have to get it out. I'll be right back so I can take a closer look"...and Mitchell started to look a bit pale. As soon as the doctor left the room, he turned to Dave and said, "oh, Dad...did I tell you about the little boy at school who likes to stick things in people's ears when they aren't looking??? He's a really bad boy. He is always putting things in other people's ears." Dave asked him what kinds of things this other little boy puts in people's ears. Mitchell said he wasn't sure...all kinds of things though...Hmm... That sounds very fishy, doesn't it?
Long story short, when the doctor returned, he removed pencil top erasers (the small red ones that come standard on pencils) from BOTH of Mitchell's ears. Once the doctor asked him about the erasers, he stuck firmly to his story about the bad kid at school who puts things in people's ears when they aren't looking. He must have felt strongly that the doctor would buy his story - and fear the second grader who had the strength to stealthily put things in other kids' ears. The doctor gently scolded Mitchell and made sure he understood that he shouldn't let ANYONE put anything in his ears - EVER. And just in case he ever got the idea to put something in his own ear, well, he shouldn't do that either....