Tuesday night I rode my trainer for an hour and a half doing a specific workout. It was the first time doing the workout and I felt alot of stress...in my head. I got off the bike and realized what the pressure was. I had a building pressure in my right ear...an impending ear ache! I've had ear aches/infections all my life. As a child they were a regular occurance, so I know when I'm going to get one. Right away, I had Tanya give me an ear candle. This sometimes staves off the ache. I went to bed. At 1:00AM, the ear ache reached its peak and my eardrum blew. I frantically took some Ibuprofen and sought the heating pad. After about 30 mintues of not finding the heating pad, I decided to go to bed. My ear sounded like someone was beating a metal garbage can outside our window. Slowly but surely, the Ibuprofen began to kick in and the pain abaited. In the interim, I remembered all the ear infections I'd had as a child. This should be old hat now. There were times when I had puss and blood oozing from my ears. As a child we didn't have healthcare, and so my only recourse was asprin and a heating pad. I'd lay on the heating pad hearing the cracklings, which incidentally was my eardrum (tampanic membrane) rupturing. I as a really young child I had tubes put in my ears; maybe that helped for a while. But I still had lots of ear infections growing up.
I lay in bed cursing my estachian tubes and their inability to drain properly. Then it dawned on me that there were some pretty good side effects to being prone to ear infections. I think, through my ear infections, I've built up a high pain tolerance. I probably wouldn't be the endurance athelete I am without the ear infections. Running, biking and swimming over long periods at high intensities is painful. You ignore the pain, much like an ear ache, and carry on.
Because of my common ear infections as a child, I learned to read lips. I was always near-deaf, so I learned to watch people's mouths when they spoke to me. That's a habit I have even now. I also really learn to listen when people spoke to me to fully understand what they were saying because I couldn't hear them. I'd follow non-verbal cues, facial expressions, emotions, and situations to fully grasp what was being said. If I didn't catch the full gist of what was said to me, I'd synthesize in my mind the few words I did hear until I did understand. To this day, I can say I'm a great listener because of having to accomodate frequent ear infections.
When I woke up in the morning, I felt the very same pressure building on my left side. A double ear infection. I went to the doctor, who after looking at both, gave a perscription for an anti-biotic and some steriod drops. She told me to stay out of the pool for a while too.
I filled the perscription and took the day off at work and watched a bunch of movies I rented. The volume was turned way up though.
So much for hitting 20 hours of training this week. Oh well, it's still only February.