… And then some not-so-excellent news

A couple days before New Years I contracted a cold – no idea from whom or from where. It was miserable, like any cold, but the runny nose persisted and is still here.
Then, this past Saturday, while practicing, my right ear started feeling kind of odd, rather like that when you’re in an airplane and your ear needs to pop. Except, it didn’t – it stayed uncomfortable and with much pressure (and not much hearing). As time went on, it began to hurt, and I mean really hurt. I tend to pride myself on my high pain tolerance, but this was absolutely unbearable.
Then suddenly, it started to drain.
And drain.
And drain.
And my nose kept running.
We contacted my physician, and she said to take Advil and a decongestant. It helped, but only kind of. It still drained, the runny nose was still there, and I still couldn’t really hear anything.
Sunday came; I had to cancel my lesson because I was still in pain and incapacitated (with having to lay on my side). At this point my physician said it was a hole in my eardrum – by my own doing (oboe) and further incapacitating me from playing.
Great news with my first audition February 1.
I stayed home yesterday and hauled myself to school today, cotton ball in my ear and all. In the early afternoon we took a trip to the ENT (ear, nose, and throat, for those of you who, like me, had no idea what that was) to see how bad the damage was.
I had my nose vacuumed.
Talk about weird.
Turns out I have a sinus infection that’s behind all this – the hole is indeed there and there’s fluid from my sinuses around my eardrum which is making me somewhat deaf. Good news: the hole in my eardrum should heal in a matter of days. Bad news: the fluids in my ear canal should clear up in a matter of weeks. And until they do, I can’t play, as that will re-open my eardrum. Not pleasant, to say the least.
That February 1 audition is looming reeeal close. At least all the auditioners – save one – at Boston University have heard me play, some more than others. But it’s been a long time since Tanglewood, and I’d like to think a lot’s changed since then. Plus, this audition is doubling as my Tanglewood Institute audition – not something I’m keen on missing.
According to the ENT specialist, I’ll be able to play on the audition date. I won’t, however, be able to play much before.
If this is karma, I’d like to know what I did.
In any case, this is a test of my ability to find humor in these situations – so far, so good. The deaf jokes are coming in hordes, mostly from my own mouth, and so are the jokes about being an octogenarian: I’m on so many prescription medications that I’m beginning to think my actual birthday was in 1930.

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