The most challenging foreign ear body ever!

A couple of weeks ago, right in the middle of a big Elections PEI data entry session, Oliver got a button stuck up his nose. Catherine took him to the hospital, they took it out, and by the time I got home later that night the episode was over save for some stern fatherly “you should never put anything in your nose Ever Again!” After which the matter has not been spoken of.

Well, tonight I went upstairs to go to bed, iPod and earphones in hand to let me drift off to sleep listening to the dulcet tones of Adam Curry. I lay me down to sleep, popped the earphones in (the Shure e2c’s I mentioned here). And then things went horribly wrong.

Somehow one of the rubbery things that slide over the end of the e2c’s and form a tight seal in the ear became dislodged. By the time I realized what had happened, said rubbery thing had been pushed far enough into my ear canal that I couldn’t pop it out.

Low-grade panic set it. I called Catherine and out came the tweezers and the high-powered spotlights.

But try as she might, Catherine couldn’t get the tweezers to latch. And so, mindful of the dangers of permanent hearing loss due to accidental tweezer jab, I reconciled myself to a trip to the emergency room at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Luckily I hit the QEH on a slow night, and with only three people in front of me, I only had two hour wait. I managed to watch most of Bonnie & Clyde on the CBC, read the front section of The Guardian and made it halfway through the “my most embarrassing teen moments” article from a 1999 issue of YM magazine before my name was called.

As chance would have it, my friendly ER doc turned out to be none other than the famous Dr. Chris Lantz, brother of Rob and occasional commenter here on the blog. After an initial trip into the ear, Chris proclaimed my stuck earphone thingy “one of the most challenging foreign ear bodies” he’d ever seen. I beamed with pride.

After a brief pause to requisition a high-powered ear scope, he was back in, and the rubbery thing was out 10 seconds later. I felt like a lion with thorn removed from my paw (which means, I think, that I now owe Dr. Chris Lantz three wishes; or something like that).

I fully expect to get a good dose of “don’t put things in your ears Ever Again” from Oliver in the morning. I’m counting on his underdeveloped sense of irony to pull me through.


Rob L.'s picture
Rob L. on March 11, 2006 - 14:35 Permalink

Challenging extraction (Ear Category), I’m sure. But hardly his most challenging foreign-body extraction from a human orifice — pure speculation, of course.

Darren Peters's picture
Darren Peters on March 11, 2006 - 15:33 Permalink

I once clogged my ear canal with gauze from my pillow when I was around five. I had just watched an episode of “The Bionic Man”. Steve Austin was my hero man! I had seen him put something in his ears to block heavy sound and thought it only fair and right for me to do the same. My poor ear became badly infected because I was too ashamed to tell my mom what I hads done. Eventually, we went down to the old Charlottetown Hospital to have the lovely gauze removed. The most painful experience of my life to date. Thought I might die for sure. I would do anything I thought Steve Austin would do. We had used to have an old toaster that used to burn all the bread. All my mom had to say was “Darren, You know Steve Austin loves burnt toast!” Have loved it ever since. Good to hear you are alright.

Valerie Bang-Jensen's picture
Valerie Bang-Jensen on March 11, 2006 - 15:40 Permalink

Just a heads-up in case Oliver is as self-sufficient as my daughter claimed to be. When she was three we took her to the ER because we couldn’t remove a bead she had put up her nose. We overheard her telling the doctor, “I could get it out by myself all the other times I put it in there.”

Ken's picture
Ken on March 11, 2006 - 18:11 Permalink

The acorn doesn’t fall far from the cranial orifice.

Clark's picture
Clark on March 12, 2006 - 02:43 Permalink

2 hour wait?! And that was a slow night?

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on March 12, 2006 - 03:58 Permalink

Two hours *is* a good night at the QEH ER, esp. for an issue as minor as mine.

Mandy's picture
Mandy on March 12, 2006 - 15:13 Permalink

wow, how the heck did it get lodged so far… that’s madness.

oliver's picture
oliver on March 17, 2006 - 01:07 Permalink

Darren, I think you’re scrambling the “The Bionic Woman” with the original “The Six Million Dollar Man.”

Randy's picture
Randy on November 21, 2006 - 03:26 Permalink

Peter -

I found you post after Google searching for “e2c stuck in ear” — Guess what I did twice in the last week (I know, fool me once shame on you…) Luckily, my wife managed to fish them out of my ears with twezers. Did you keep using the e3c’s? Did it ever happen to you again? Have you heard of it happening to anyone else? And, did you ever speak to shure about this? I really like the way they sound and I and bummed about having to stop using them.