Thursday, August 17, 2006

Cauliflower Ear (DIY)

I am not a doctor. But I know my body and am getting old enough to understand that I do not need to see one for every little thing. On Monday, after class, I found that my left ear was pretty sore around the top curve part. It had a bump, like a little pocket of juice under the surface between the cartilage and the skin. As the discomfort continued and I asked for advice in the forums on Tuesday. The consensus was to drain out the fluid.

Being the cautious guy that I am, I decided to wait to see if the discomfort would diminish. I was not afforded that luxury because after class last night, and a few rolls, that little pocket of juice grew. It grew enough so that my sleep was disturbed a few times. In the middle of the night, I grabbed an ice pack that became my new pillow.

So this morning I decided to take action. I did some preparation reading online; I like to study things of this kind of importance. I was then ready to pick up the materials for my little bubble bursting mission. I picked up the following:

  • A 10 pack of BD Ultra-Fine II Insulin Syringes (1cc, 8mm, and 30 gauge)
  • Gauss
  • A triple anti-biotic ointment
Now for the attack. I had given a lot of thought to how I was going to penetrate the skin and suck out the juice for maximum effect. I did not want to stick the needle in and out all over my ear, so one entry point was essential.

At the bottom edge of the bubble, I stuck the needle in upwards so the point was almost parallel beneath the skin, I did not want to hit cartilage. *It is important to bring the needle to the ear and not bend the ear to the needle as it slipped out one time as my ear bent back. Once the needle's point was at, where I though, the center of the bubble was I started to extract. I slowly pulled out .4 cc of dark red and clear fluid.

As the needle exited the hole, a big drop of blood followed. I took the gauss and cleaned it up and applied the anti-biotic to kill any baddies that may want to wander in to the needle's exit point. I felt instant relief from the pressure, although it is still sore to the touch but less so than before. It has not bled since the initial bleeding and I can barely see the entry point. Kudos to the inventors of small needles!

The next part is to keep an eye on it to ensure that it remains drained. Next class is in a while and, with some things, I heal pretty quickly. So I should be good to go before my next roll comes around; I will be defending my ear in any case.

Thank you for the advice from everyone on the subject. I only wished that I had asked for advice on dealing with the discomfort from the pharmacist's attitude when asking for a bunch of needles. That, in this whole process, was the most challenging thing.