Monday, January 16, 2012

Acute Otitis of the Left Ear

Ain't been sick in a long time. I keep my immune system chirping with raw garlic, a glass-half-full approach, plenty of water, constructive arguments (bottling them kills cells), a minimum of sarcasm, a dash of aerobics whenever inspired (be my jog pal), and an Emergen-C packet here and there. I don't touch antibiotics unless absolutely necessary, and I'm not easily convinced.

However, at least two counterproductive habits have finally caught up with me. I go on using the same disposable ear plugs for weeks and store them on dirty surfaces. I often penetrate my precious labyrinths with cotton swabs in attempts to scoop up wax. I don't need to delve into why these and other peculiar hang-ups like nicotine and too much coffee work against all I do to build integrity and empathy (the cornerstones of character). Well anyhow, something's bothered my left ear for a over a week now. It started with just a tickle and an inability to hear clearly out of that side. I left it alone for a few days and the symptoms quietly persisted. While driving the cab I managed to resuscitate sound wave conductivity on that crucial window side often used to negotiate traffic by holding my nose and blowing pressure through it.

Yesterday afternoon, as I arrived home from another twelve hour tour, the pain hit me. It was roaring throbbingly and all sound had ceased to have any chance of passage. Worried about something spreading into other, more serious members of my cephalopod, I gave in and relinquished a quite possibly lucrative Martin Luther King Junior Day in the taxicab for an extremely rare visit to the doctor and an even rarer antibiotic stupor in bed. The pain is gone and I'll be back behind the wheel tonight (earliest hours of Tuesday.) In case you were wondering, cabbies in NYC are independent contractors. Sounds profound, but unfortunately it means we have no access to medical insurance or any other benefits. Luckily, I was recommended a great doctor (Diogenes Almonte, MD) who only took $50 for the visit and treated me as if I were his own son. Another $50 at the pharmacy for the darned pills and the Neomycin ear juice.

I'll leave you with my favorite MLK, Jr. quote ever: "If a person is called to be a taxi driver, they should hack even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. They should hack so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great taxi driver who did their job well."

(Please note that the quote was originally about street sweepers. I've altered it to reflect my own profession. After all, he was only implying that every job is just as valuable a piece to the whole.)

hack 2 (hæk) verb
12. informal ( US ) ( intr ) to drive a taxi


  1. ah, good to see the ear cured itself quickly, let me know about how to make this garlic concoction.

    I scrolled down on your blog to see the last visitor was from Passaic, New Jersey.. Oddly enough the server seems to route me from bensonhurst all the way to Passaic.

  2. Awesome blog. nice information.Otitis media is an infection of middle ear. Middle Ear is the area within the temporal bone. In simple words Middle Ear is the space comes after Ear Drum and before Inner ear when going deep inside the ear.

    For more information related to this please visit: otitis media animated video and and

  3. Thank you for taking the best care of my dear friend Gil! Your time with him healing is worth more than 100 best fare days. And next time I'm in NYC, I'll go for a jog with you!


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