Thursday, April 9, 2015

Water in my ear...

Water in my ear...  Tuesday evening, after I took a shower, I had water stuck in my right ear.  No matter what I did that water would just not come out.  Yesterday morning it was still there, and it was starting to hurt – just a little, but enough to make me worry about an infection.  My hearing was affected, too.  So around noon yesterday I headed for the Intermountain Instacare facility in downtown Logan, about 20 minutes from home.

This is the same place we went for Debbie's really bad cough about a week and a half ago.  We got amazingly fast and good service then, so I was hopeful the same might happen for me this time.  When I walked in, there were exactly zero people in the waiting room.  Three clerks at the desk were busy with paperwork and phone calls, but as I walked up to the desk one of them greeted me cheerfully and instructed me to fill out a little sticker (with my name, address, and complaint) and to hand it to one particular clerk.  I did that in about 30 seconds, and the clerk found me in their computer and had me all written up in about another 60 seconds.  I had to electronically sign a couple of forms (a liability release form included, of course), and then she told me to sit down and wait for my name to be called.  She said the wait would be no more than 15 minutes.

So I sat down, popped the top off my iPad, and tapped on “Kindle” to continue reading a book I'd started.  Before the Kindle app could even start up, a nurse stuck her head out a door and hollered my name.  Four minutes after I walked in the door, I was sitting down and having my vitals taken.  Two more minutes and a doctor was examining me.  It took him about 10 seconds to figure out what was wrong: a plug of ear wax had nestled deep within my ear canal, and it needed to be removed.

A pair of nurses went to work on me immediately.  They had me lay on my side, bad ear up, and then filled it to the brim with a chemical solution designed to soften the ear wax.  I had to lay there for about 15 minutes for the stuff to work.  Then they sat me up and squirted warm water in my ear to flush out the junk.  They had a gadget that was sort of like a water pistol with a short hose on it.  It worked – in short order all the bits of ear wax they'd espied had been removed, and I could hear normally again – the water that had been plugged up was gone, and the pain was also gone.

The doctor came back in to double check the results, and I was able to have a good discussion with him about why this might have occurred.  The entire experience was darned near optimal – fast, efficient, pleasant people at every step, and no problems at all getting all the information I wanted.  Thirty two minutes after I walked in the door, I walked out.  Back in San Diego, had I attempted the same thing, I'd still be at the filling-out-paperwork stage!

I love this place...

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