So this one time, at MS camp, a surgeon temporarily removed most of my ear.
And I didn’t realize it until after I woke up. Yep, it’s finally time to tell that story. Because lately, I’ve been feeling a bit sad. A little stuck. Slightly down in the dumps I guess you could say. I’ve been doing some MS reading and have had to remind myself that depression is another symptom of Multiple Sclerosis. Also people suck in general sometimes. But I refuse to wallow in the MS blues and bring you all down with me. So today, a fun and whacky ear story!
After being diagnosed with MS and deciding to begin a super intense immunosuppressant drug regimen, the doctors told me I first had to get a few more MRI’s. Oh, and every possible thing inside of my body that “might” turn into cancer someday needed to be removed immediately. That’s all. No biggy.
5 MRI’s and 1 benign cyst behind my salivary gland is discovered. I meet with a surgeon and just a few weeks later we’re all set to take the little guy out. The cyst is so tiny; smaller than a pebble. The surgeon says he will do a “facelift-like” incision behind my ear and no one will be the wiser.
Hours after surgery, I am released with a pretty large white bandage around my head knowing fuck-all about what was actually done to me. So I get home and gently pry away the bandage while looking in the bathroom mirror – just to get a glimpse of the stitches or the wound or whatever the hell was under there. I look and I blink a few times, not sure if what I am seeing is real. It looks like Frankenstein sutures all along my ear and around the back of it. It looks scary. It looks like a bruised and bloody mess. It looks like he took my whole ear off.
What. The. Actual. Fuck.
My surgeon was a bit on the spectrum but geez. I later told his staff he really needs to learn how to communicate. Or at the very least tell people when he is removing an appendage.
Hilarity later ensued due to the scarves and wraps I wore to hide my ear debacle… jokes about neon 80’s headbands, people mistaking me for a Muslim audience member during a play about a man who has distanced himself from his Muslim heritage, me constantly asking people if my ear was still….well, there.
I never knew how much I relied on the feeling in my right ear. I never realized that I sleep mostly on my right side with my right ear pressed firmly against my pillow. I never noticed that I like it when guys touch and kiss my ear. I never recognized how easy it was to put a long earring in my earlobe and walk around all day as if it wasn’t dangerously going to catch on something and tear my ear in half.
But once I had lost all feeling in this severed part of me, I suddenly knew.
MS; you sneaky bugger you, you’ve done it again. Thank you for forcing me to take a look at everything; from my numb toes to my blurry eyes with light orange specks around the iris’s to the tips of my perfect little ears. Thank you for reminding me of all the parts that make up me and all the gifts they give to me every day.
I appreciate you ear. You are the best ear and as the feeling slowly creeps back into your curved and scarred body, I will notice and will cherish every moment of your return.