in which you discover we're really just hippies.

I had an ear infection.  It got so bad, there were a couple of nights I couldn't fall asleep because of the pain, so we heated up rice packs and I would lay with my ear on one of those until it stopped hurting long enough for me to finally get to sleep.  It was horrible.

While we haven't dealt with many ear infections in our house (I think Atticus is the only one who has ever gotten them, but maybe Penelope has had one), I usually put warm garlic oil in their ears and stopper it with a cotton ball.  Works like a charm - we've never had to use antibiotics - but the kids smell just awful afterwards.  I'm talking rank.  Imagine garlic breath wafting out of your ears.  I didn't want to do that to myself, so I kept hoping it would go away on its own.  But on the third day of getting no sleep and being in tons of pain, I finally sent Todd to the store to buy a couple of ear candles.

'Ear candles?' you say.  'They sound weird,' you say.  Well, yeah.

They're basically long, hollow, tapered tubes made of beeswax and muslin.  You gently put the tapered end near the hole in your ear, and light the other end ON FIRE.  Like so:

Why the towels?  Well, because I have a (pretty reasonable, I think) fear of some ash falling off the end into my hair and setting my head ablaze.  While I have done this three times in my life, and never has a single bit of ash ever fallen off (you cut the end into a bowl of water as you go), I still think I can't really be faulted for wanting to be safe.

So anyway.  How does it work?  I'm no scientist, so I don't know exactly, but I did take physics in high school, so I think that at least qualifies me to postulate.  

Hypothesis One: The warm smoke enters the ear canal, loosening up the gunk and allowing it to drain, and soothing the inflamed ear drum.  (See? I can even use anatomical words because I also took biology and half of an anatomy class in high school.)

Hypothesis Two:  The flame at the top creates a suction, and as it pulls oxygen from the bottom of the candle upward, some of the nasties that got loosened up by the smoke in Hypothesis One get pulled into the candle, hopefully pulling some of the bacteria and other whatever whatever with them. 

I know Hypothesis Two is at least partially true, because I cut these bad boys open when it was all said and done, and the candle from my right ear (the one with the infection) was full of... I'm not even going to describe it.  You don't want to know.  Just trust me on this.

And by the evening the pain had lessened enough that I slept easily, and by the end of the next day, my ear was pretty much back to normal.  

So, there you go.  Weird stuff works, yall.  Weird stuff works.

1 comment :

todd said...

I like how they market themselves as a "for entertainment purposes only"

Ok NOT ear candles. Point taken. You don't want a lawsuit for when Jane Doe melts her face off trying to make her ears feel better.