After ten days of my family listening to ear splitting sound levels from the TV and being unable to communicate with me other than with sign language, I thought it about time that I visited Dr Fang in the village.
Coincidentally, J also attended a dinner on Sunday night (which I had reluctantly told the hostess that I wouldn’t be attending because it’s embarrassing saying ‘pardon’ to everything, everyone says) and there she met a specialist doctor. Unfortunately, he wasn’t an ear specialist or I would have been down to Helen’s apartment in Nice in a flash but I assume he told J that with my long-standing ear problem I should see a specialist.
So on Monday morning when I asked her to call Dr Fang for an appointment and she said she would be calling an ear specialist instead, I envisaged being stuck in a world of silence for another week or so, but it wasn’t to be. Two hours after her call (good old France), I was sitting in the doctor’s chair nervously eyeing all the gruesome-looking instruments in his toolbox.
Thankfully, J had gone with me, as it was impossible for me to communicate and she told the doctor of my aural history. He didn’t seem impressed and asked me to sit in his examination chair. I was still looking at the instruments which reminded me of the things you see when you visit the torture section in the London Dungeon when he stuck something in my ear and that was it – it was like an automated car wash was inside my head. I assume this was a straightforward ear syringing (I had my eyes shut) but after about 10 minutes of very uncomfortable treatment, he stopped and asked me to go to another room.
When I stepped through the door, there was another tool tray of hooks, poles, syringes and other ear related paraphernalia but I just shut my eyes and sat in the chair. This time the ‘treatment’ was even more uncomfortable. It felt like a Karcher pressure washer was being used to wash my brains out through the other ear.
After another ten minutes of gouging and washing, I was ushered back to the first room (where J was playing with the things on his desk) and again was told to sit in the chair. This time, I thought my head was going to burst. I felt like saying that I had a Black and Decker hammer drill at home and I could probably do it myself but I didn’t and after about another 10 minutes of poking and prodding, he stopped and amazingly, I could hear.
Next was a hearing test to see if my new ears worked and it proved to him that my right ear is shot to pieces (thanks for that trip to Alicante in the early 80s J !!) and that my left ear is deteriorating in sympathy.
After paying him the usual €60 (he waived the other €2.56 as I didn’t have change) he said I should come back next week for an ear nerve test. No doubt that’ll be another €60 unless they decide to open me up and rebuild my head.
Of course, I just had to do it. As I left and he said ‘au revoir’, I turned quizzically to him and said, ‘sorry – what was that’. Ha ha - what a joker I am !