I woke up with more pain. The whistling was louder and the pain more intense. I counted the minutes down until the surgery opened the phone lines so that I could book an appointment.


I started ringing on the stroke of eight thirty and got through after only 15 attempts. I was asked all the usual questions and then whether it was an emergency. It was no me, I’m not sure what constitutes an emergency when seeing a GP but if this wasn’t one I don’t know what is.


The doctor was running to time so I was seen quickly. I told him the story of how I got it. He took a cursory look in my ear and diagnosed “swimmers ear”. Some water containing an evil bacterium had lodged itself in my ear canal and infected it causing my ear canal to swell. This had blocked the ear from the outside world and caused all the pain. He prescribed an antibacterial ear spray. The whole consultation can’t have lasted longer than five minutes. I like that. I didn’t want sympathy, I wanted a cure.


Whilst waiting for the pharmacist to prepare the prescription we went to the cake shop for something to lift our spirits. We came away with two Danish pastries and an Eccles cake. Loved one hadn’t had an Eccles cake before so it was high time she tried one.


I tried to do some work when I got home but the pain in my ear just got more and more intense. Eventually I had to go and lie down on the bed as the motivation to work through the pain had evaporated.  I thought I’d laid down for five minutes but an hour had passed when loved one asked if I would like a cup of tea. I was feeling a lot better by then.


The cup of tea came with a toasted cheese and ham sandwich. This was good. The spray must have started to work as eating wasn’t quite so painful. I still had to suck some of the toast but at least I could take small bites without pain.


As the spray worked its magic my ear started making strange gurgling noises. Noises like a drain unblocking. I took this as a good sign.


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