GBE 2: Blog On
“Tell me, why are you here today?” Dr. George Roller inquired. I could tell this was a habitual question and he may or may not hear my answer. It was just something he said, not unlike how are you or any number of rhetorical questions. George and I had been long time friends, so I felt I could be extra flip and see just how little he was listening.
“An elephant crawled into bed with me, then decided he didn’t want to go to work this morning and crawled inside my ear.” I smirked as my friend continued to pour over my charts.
“It says here you are having difficulty hearing, you have elevated blood pressure, and you should crack better jokes.” He looked up at me then with a wide grin on his face. “Let’s have a look into that elephant filled ear and see what is going on.” Placing the otoscope into my ear he gave the perfunctory “Hmmm.” Followed by the “Well, Hmmm.” With barely any hesitation he asked, “Did you and your lesser half go on that vacation yet? And weren’t you planning a cruise to some tropical island?”
I know my face must have shown the myriad of thoughts running through my mind; what does my vacation have to do with looking in my ear? Why the two “hmmms”? What is he seeing that he isn’t saying?
“Yes, we had a wonderful time. The cruise was ten glorious days of sun and fun. As you can see by my charts, I quit smoking and took full advantage of the buffet system on the cruise ship. I plan to lose some of this extra weight over the next few months.”
“Hmm. As you know, this is a teaching facility. I would like to bring my student in to show him the elephant in your ear.” Dr. Roller returned shortly with a slender young intern. “This is Dr. Renee Ashton, she is working with me for the month. Dr. Ashton, this is Helen Bundt. Ms. Bundt has been a patient of mine for nearly twenty years. She and her husband recently returned from a Caribbean cruise. Ms. Bundt is complaining of hearing loss.”
Dr. Renee Ashton then peered into the otoscope. “Hmmm.”
“Ok, I heard enough of the hums. What’s going on? Do I have a world record wax build up or something?” I was still trying to be glib.
“Actually, there is some irony here. In the tropics lives an minute spider, it’s actually a spider mite, called the elephant spider. It appears one has slipped into your ear for your ear canal is filled with cobwebs!”