Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Weird things seem to happen to me, Volume 1

"There is no earring here," said the triage nurse confidently as she checked out my earlobe. "It must have come out." When I told her that there was, in fact, an earring there, except my earlobe was too swollen to see it--well, she got kind of pale. It's a little alarming when an ER nurse, who has probably seen every kind of gnarly injury known to man, looks at a part of your body and blanches. Let's go back to the beginning of the story, though.

My poor ears have taken a lot of abuse—they have been pierced, in exactly the same spot, no less than five times. The first two times, I was too young to care for them, so I let them grow back; the third time, they got infected; the fourth time, things got interesting. My ears had been pierced, again, for about two weeks. The left one had been feeling a little infect-y, but I really wanted to wear earrings, so I was trying to deal with it. In the span of a couple of hours one evening, my ear turned bright red and started to swell. It was getting kind of painful, so I checked it in the mirror…and realized that I couldn’t see the earring, at all. My ear had actually grown (or swollen or whatever), well, around the earring. I was starting to get kind of freaked out by this point, so I headed off to the ER. Where I made the nurse turn pale. After apologizing to the nurse, I eventually ended up lying on an ER gurney while a doctor took a scalpel to my earlobe and cut(!) it open to retrieve the earring. I don’t want to be too graphic, but I will note that I had to throw away my white sweater after that little escapade. Did you know that there is a lot of blood in your earlobe? I didn't either. The evening ended with the shaken triage nurse telling me that her daughter had been begging for pierced ears for months, but there was no way it was going to happen after she saw my ear. So, to the child who got a hearty lecture instead of a shiny new pair of earrings, I’m really sorry that I wigged out your mom.

Since a lot of weird things seem to happen to me, I think I'm going to make this post part one of a series. (The next gripping tale features a pig.) Are you one of those people, too? If you are, what's the weirdest thing that's ever happened to you?


cardiogirl said...

(Grips her ear and falls down writhing on the ground as she experiences phantom pain) Auugghhh!!

Whoa. Gingah.

My 10-year-old kid got her ears pierced last Thanksgiving after months of begging and pleading. My fear was that she'd simply get infections and then let the ears close up.

Not that her ear would swallow the foreign body never to be seen again.

Um, can't say I have any stories to rival this one. Thank God.

suzicate said...

My sister had a massive infection on both her earlobes after piercing...she didn't show my mom until they looked kind of like yours. Ended up she was allergic to metals...she was devastated...she of course had to let her ears close and can't even wear any jewelry. Actually, there is only one type (maybe platinum) that she can wear, but all she wears is her wedding band.

absepa said...

cg: Even though it sounds awful, the ear thing wasn't really that painful. It did look freaky, though. Hopefully you will have fully recovered from my horror story by the time your middle daughter starts asking to get her ears pierced. :)

suzicate: That was my problem, too--except I discovered that I can wear earrings as long as they're pure gold, not plated. I was so glad to finally have earrings! I now have two holes in each ear.

Kathy said...

Can't. Breathe. Freaked. Out. The blood. Oh, the blood!

{picks self up off floor}

This story is incredible. I had no idea this could even happen. Never heard of it before from anyone I know. But now I can say I do.

I'm still feeling dizzy. My God.

I cannot wait for the pig post. Your life scares me a little.

absepa said...

Kathy: I'm so sorry for freaking you out!! The blood was the worst part for me, too. I can promise you that the pig story isn't gross, and it won't make you feel faint. :)

JD at I Do Things said...


I didn't react as severely as cardiogirl, but I did feel a little twinge in my earring holes.

I remember when I got my ears pierced (in my teens), how an infection was, like, the WORST thing that could ever happen to you. My girlfriends and I would dip our earlobes in a capful of hydrogen peroxide, and if it sizzed . . . INFECTION! Maybe because I was so vigilant, I spared myself a trip to the ER.

absepa said...

JD: I'm surprised my ears haven't fallen off of my head, given all the piercings and infections. I remember the hydrogen peroxide routine well.