I don’t know how many years I begged my father to let me get my ears pierced. His response was always the same, “You don’t need another hole in your head.” After much whining and negotiating, I finally got my wish for my 16th birthday, when I went to the local mall pagoda with my grandmother to do the deed. If I recall, I think she made me go first, because she was terrified.

(Unfortunately, the girl with the gun positioned my piercing a little too low on my tiny lobes, which didn’t serve me well during the 80’s, when earrings were large, dramatic, and very, very heavy.)

My ears were always a source of angst for me. I was plagued by childhood ear infections, and once, while I was at church choir practice around 5th grade, I think, my eardrum burst. Ear cleanings, heating pads on my pillow, and thick pink oral antibiotics were the norm.

But I digress…

A few years ago, I returned from a trip to Indiana and my right ear was feeling stuffy, so I began my at-home un-stuffing routine. I would do anything to avoid a trip to the doctor for a formal ear-cleaning. In case you’ve never had the pleasure, they basically take an enormous, cartoon-sized syringe full of water and force it into your ear canal until it loosens whatever is inside. It feels like your head is being invaded by an angry Atlantic Ocean.

My attempts to clear my ear didn’t work.

I’ll spare you the details of my long journey to find a fix, but I was finally diagnosed with Superior Semi-Circular Canal Dehiscence Syndrome.

In short, I have another hole in my head.

Go figure.

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