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For several weeks now, I’ve been having some trouble with my hearing. My right ear feels full of gunk and my left one, though more clear, occasionally goes out on me. My acupuncturist has stuck needles in them on several occasions, but to no avail. My personal diagnosis is that I’ve got some weird sinus congestion going on that has migrated to my ear canals, and I figure it will clear up eventually on its own. Probably in the spring.

My Lovely Wife has been putting up with my hearing loss for years now, a product of the cicadas (AKA tinnitus) that took up residence in my ears a few years ago, so she’s become accustomed to repeating herself when she has something meaningful to say — which is most of the time. But some of my colleagues at work think I ought to go get fitted for a hearing aid.

That sort of mechanical solution isn’t really my cup of tea, but the suggestion has got me thinking that maybe I ought to look more seriously at the issue. It is possible, after all, that it’s not going to clear up all by itself in the spring. Maybe I should actually go to a doctor and have it checked out.

This is uncharted territory for me. I haven’t seen a conventional doctor about some health issue since I blew out my knee in 1998. I figure my semi-monthly trip to the acupuncturist keeps all my qi properly aligned and eating right and exercising generally keep me pretty healthy. Except for these ears.

Dr. Needle has suggested on more than one occasion that my cicada problem is probably related to a candida problem, which could be ameliorated by a couple weeks or so without any sugar. Of any kind. No fruits, no bread, no alcohol, no dark chocolate — even if it is organic and fair-trade. And I’m prepared to accept the fact that she’s probably, maybe, plausibly, pretty much correct about this.

But giving up fruit with my yogurt in the morning, or toast with my egg — not to mention a glass of wine with dinner — is not a decision to make lightly. I know it’s only for a few weeks, and I know it won’t kill me, but still . . . . It would require a certain amount of buy-in from MLW (“Hey, wanna detox together?!?”), and the kind of Spartan commitment to purity that does not come naturally to either of us.

So, I mentioned all this to MLW, who, true to form, went right into research mode. She checked out a few detox Web sites that may or may not have been reputable and suggested that perhaps we try something other than an all-out, no-sugar-at-all detox regimen. For one thing, she couldn’t imagine that it would be a good thing to avoid fresh fruit for a month. We could certainly moderate our wine intake and stay away from all refined sugars. From there, she went to several homeopathic sites and spent a couple of hours grilling me about symptoms and drilling down into the materia medica. The result: she suggested that maybe a little Pulsatilla might be helpful.

So, maybe I’ll skip the doctor’s office and see if this approach makes a difference. If it works, it will just be another example of how good things happen when I listen to my wife.

Thoughts to share?

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