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C’mon Baby Light My (Ear On) Fire

March 21, 2011

If you’ve read my blog for a few months, you know I’ve had an ear infection that just won’t quit. Since last October, I’ve had biweekly visits to my geriatric Ear, Nose and Throat specialist, where he sucks crap out with a vacuum and scrapes my eardrum with an ice pick while I refrain from kicking him in the crotch.

Last week he told me that I’d need to go to the hospital to be seen under a special magnifying machine; apparently an infection that doesn’t respond to five rounds of antibiotics in six months is abnormal. Since it will take over a month to get under this machine, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

I called up Woo Woo* Headquarters, where in addition to telepathy workshops they perform massage and other services, and asked about ear candling. I was told it involves placing a 12-inch beeswax-coated cone in the ear canal and lighting the opposite end, which supposedly creates a low-level vacuum that draws earwax and other impurities into the hollow candle.

The next day I showed up for my session. I lay down on my side and a flame-retardant cloth was placed over my face and hair (I wasn’t sure if I should be reassured or alarmed by this precaution). The practitioner then inserted the candle in my ear and lit it on fire.

I felt a warm sizzling sensation radiating from my ear, which she assured me was normal. I saw the flame in my peripheral vision and it was more Olympic torch than birthday candle. To be on the safe side, a bowl of water was nearby (again, not sure if that made me more, or less, confident).

And now, representing Canada, LORI DYAN! (p.s. That is not me)

Ten minutes later, she removed the candle from my ear, dunked it in the water and cut it open with some scissors. Regardless of whether ear candles “work,” I totally get why people come back for more: the earwax show-and-tell was awesome.

For those of you eating while you read this, I apologize. (p.s. This is not my ear goo)

My right ear, the one that’s totally buggered, had little lumps covered in black (that would be the fungus) while the other ear was relatively clean. By no means do I think my ear is “fixed,” but it certainly didn’t hurt. And on the plus side, at no point did I have an urge to kick the practitioner in the snapper.

*For the uninitiated (I’m looking at you, Mikalee), “woo woo” in my house refers to alternative therapies and the paranormal, as opposed to a woman’s lady bits. That’s called a snapper.

42 Comments leave one →
  1. March 21, 2011 8:11 am

    Hmm I’m not sure whether or not to be happy for you here? I’m so conflicted!

    I’ll go with loving that you defined woowoo in there and hoping that your ear infection has *finally* quit.


  2. March 21, 2011 8:22 am

    Is earwax supposed to have the consistency of cream cheese because that clearly looks like cream cheese that was on my bagel that I was eating…key word “was”.
    Well here’s hoping that the woo woo cured you. Ear infections suck let alone having it for months!

    • March 21, 2011 8:29 am

      HA! It was more a powdery substance (like that…powdered donut you’re now eating?), which is the candle residue. The clumps are a mix of bee and ear wax…YUM! 😀

      (I fear that I’m sooo gonna lose followers with this post…)

  3. March 21, 2011 8:36 am

    Win a few, lose a few..

    I kid! I kid!

    I’ll follow you everywhere…woowoo place or not.

    • March 21, 2011 8:58 am

      I knew I could count on you to support the woo woo (I’m a rapper!)

  4. March 21, 2011 8:39 am

    I would totally become addicted to something like that. For some reason, the immediate gratification of looking at my ear goo would prove irresistible to me. I’m a sick puppy that way.

    • March 21, 2011 8:53 am

      You and me both, lady.

    • March 21, 2011 3:41 pm

      I’m with you Kitchen Witch – my ears are totally fine and I want to go (sidenote – now that I’m temporarily living with my sister – we fight over who gets to clean my kids ears for the gratification of the wax….LOSERS!!!)

      • March 21, 2011 7:01 pm

        Dude – put the Qtips DOWN! That and swimming got me into this mess!!!

  5. March 21, 2011 9:31 am

    Do you rent your wax out for birthday parties? I’m waiting for a make-your-own-candles craft post.

    • March 21, 2011 9:41 am

      If you’re waiting for me to do that post, you will be waiting forever. Not because the idea sucks, but because I do at anything crafty (in fact, I think I make YOU look crafty by comparison…)!

      p.s Threw the ellipsis in there just for you 🙂

  6. March 21, 2011 9:46 am

    I’ve actually been doing that at home for years. It’s quite relaxing and painless and we used it to cure my Mom’s ear infections that 2 rounds of antibiotics couldn’t.

    Hope you feel better ;o)

    • March 21, 2011 10:19 am

      You do it to yourself?!?!?! Now THAT is worth a blog post of your own…

  7. ryoko861 permalink
    March 21, 2011 10:54 am

    Well, do you feel better? I mean it got some of the fungus out, right?

    • March 21, 2011 7:00 pm

      I felt better, but it’s still plugged and kind of a mess. Oh well, good blog fodder!

  8. March 21, 2011 11:14 am

    a woo woo platter of fungus and earwax? now that sounds delicious!

  9. March 21, 2011 11:25 am

    Cool visuals! But then again, thanks to my medical profession, I have a stomach of steel and can eat in the midst of disgusting. I’ve heard about this procedure but have never ventured into woo woo land.

  10. March 21, 2011 11:46 am

    I’ve always been curious about this…I’ve seen the candles at GNC but I’m scared to let anyone near my head with a flame.

    • March 21, 2011 7:03 pm

      Fair enough – glad I could give you a vicarious trip down candle lane…

  11. March 21, 2011 12:19 pm

    Well, no wonder you’re doing a candida cleanse, after FIVE rounds of antibiotics! ick. Power to you.

  12. March 21, 2011 12:34 pm

    I used to use ear candling on my son. I don’t know if it worked or not, but it made me feel like we were doing something proactive. Besides, he liked looking at the wax!

  13. March 21, 2011 12:57 pm

    Oh lawd. I hope you dont have some MDRO ( multi drug resistant organism) in there. Keep me posted. The nurse in me loves a good infection story. I hope youre not in pain. Get to a big expensive inner city specialist & get that thing cured!
    I think “woo woo” is awesome & fun but now your post has piqued my curiosity and I’m I’m wondering if a woo woo candle in the snapper would cure a yeast infection? Don’t worry. I wont post photos.

    • March 21, 2011 7:06 pm

      That was a #peepeelaugh worthy comment! I would pay money to read about a snapper candling session (although I agree that visuals aren’t necessary).

  14. March 21, 2011 2:00 pm

    I had my mom use the ear candle on me once. Totally nasty to see the stuff in the candle afterwards. I hope your ear problem goes away soon, that has to be annoying to go to the doctor every other week.

    • March 21, 2011 7:07 pm

      Thanks – hopefully the hospital visit will help and he’s assured me my ear won’t explode on the plane ride next week, so there’s that.

  15. Marianne permalink
    March 21, 2011 3:40 pm

    I like your code for “other” therapies. I simply tell my husband, “I’m not going to the doctor tomorrow.” and he gets it.

    • March 21, 2011 7:08 pm

      Originally I just said I was going to the ear guy…he assumed it was the ENT.

  16. March 21, 2011 6:55 pm

    I don’t even know where to begin.

    I have texture issues. Woo woo phobias (your definition — not mine). Pyromaniacal tendencies while sleeping (when I was a child, that is…).

    So this post inspires a whole host of issues. And shudders. Even dry heaving.

    I may have been uninitiated. But that was before reading this post. And now, I fear I may never recover…

    Best of luck on the fruits of your woo woo. Again, your definition, not mine. 😉

    • March 21, 2011 7:08 pm

      I think we both deserve best of luck in all versions of woo woo 😀

  17. March 22, 2011 10:26 am

    I really want to do this now even though I don’t have any real ear issues. But I like any type of therapy or procedure where I can actually see the result, however gross that may be. Did it help?
    Also, I have to say I’m on the Mikalee train here, I thought WooWoo meant the lady parts and I was really wondering how that was going to help the ear infection! Thinking about it though, if Clive Owen showed up to my house to give me a Woowoo treatment I think I might forget all about my ear infection…

    • March 22, 2011 9:56 pm

      It helped a bit, but my ear is totally screwed and needs the medical dude, too. I’m going again before my trip because it actually brought out more gunk than the doctor could with his torture tools. I’m now thinking that I’ve been misleading a LOT of people in daily interactions when I mention my love for all things woo woo…

  18. TheIdiotSpeaketh permalink
    March 22, 2011 3:02 pm

    Too late….I was eating…… I hope this all makes it feel better. Yikes I hope I never get to enjoy that lovely little procedure.

    • March 22, 2011 9:57 pm

      Sorry, dude – I’ll post some Victoria’s Secret pictures in the next post, just for you 😉

  19. March 22, 2011 4:39 pm

    I’ve done ear candling a few times…but at home. I’m too cheap to pay someone to do it for me! LOL We just buy the ear candles at Drug Emporium and do it to each other. It is disgusting to look at what comes out but still too tempting to not look…it’s like a train wreck! You don’t want to look but you always do.

    Hope your ear infection gets better soon! That is scary stuff that it hasn’t healed by now. Do we need to get you tubes? 😉

    • March 22, 2011 9:58 pm

      I was wondering about the tubes!!! Hopefully going for the MRI or whatever it is will help – but that’s a month or more away so I’m gonna go back to my candle angel…!

  20. March 23, 2011 8:51 pm

    I have had ridiculously bad ears for YEARS now. YEARS. My ears click every time I swallow. That’s all kinds of awesome.

    I’m tempted to do the candling but I’m terrified of catching on fire.

    • March 24, 2011 7:14 am

      They take a bunch of anti-hair-on-fire precautions. I say go for it (I’m going again today!).

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