Do you ever think about your ears?
How often do you think about your ears? Probably not a lot. Why would we? We don’t see them unless we’re looking in a mirror. Even then we may not notice them unless we’re putting on earrings. They’re not cute, they don’t have joints, they don’t bear weight. Mostly we’re just not aware of them.
Oh, we interact with them, a lot, but not consciously. We hear with them every waking moment. We hook our glasses on them. Sometimes we pull on them when we’re deep in thought about something else. But they don’t get much attention. Until something goes wrong. Most of us are not cognitive of any of our body parts until they hurt, itch, drain or don’t work right. That’s probably a good thing. I can just see someone canceling a date because, “I have to stay home and contemplate my femurs and feet.”
When we’re healthy we don’t give much thought to being unhealthy. We might think about health in general terms like eating better and exercising more. But we don’t focus on specific care for specific parts until they don’t function properly.
Remember the old saying; don’t put anything in your ear except your elbow. And of course you can’t put your elbow in your ear. So that means don’t put anything in your ear, period. It’s not safe or healthy. But if our ear itches it gets our attention and we don’t care about safety. People will stick all kinds of things in their ears then. Fingers, toothpicks, Q-tips, bobby pins, paper clips, matches or anything we can get in there to try to quell that itch.
And an earache really gets our attention. Nothing hurts worse than an earache except passing a kidney stone or giving birth. An earache feels like someone is sticking an ice pick in your ear. I can’t say that from personal experience because I’ve never had an ice pick stuck in my ear. But it’s what I think it would feel like, really bad.
If the earache is caused from fluid build-up behind the eardrum we may also experience drainage if the ear drum ruptures. And if all those things happen we probably won’t hear so well. It’s a shame we have to go through all that to give our ears a little love.
Talking about sticking our finger in our ear makes me think of one body part that does get a lot of attention without hurting, itching, draining or not working well. That’s our fingernails. They frequently get clipped, filed, painted and even covered with a fake veneer. That’s all OK. But one thing they get that gives me the creeps is they get bitten. I never understood why anyone would bite their nails.
Here’s a short list of things your fingers come in contact with: Numerous items on the ground, money, doorknobs or handles, computer keyboards, shaking other people’s hands and itching ear canals. Most of those things have germs or gunk on them that will nestle under your fingernails when you touch them. Why would anybody want to put that in their mouth and chew on it?
I don’t. But, basically, I am like most people. I probably won’t think much about my ears or good health until it’s gone. If anyone has suggestions on how to make myself be proactive for good health let me know. If my ears aren’t hurting, itching, draining or not working, I’ll be glad to listen to you.
Linda Messmer can be reached at 812-448-8725.