My ears have been ringing for a few days, now, and I decided to look it up on the internet - because that's what we do, nowadays, right? As per the norm, a quick search of 'ringing in my ears' led to a plethora of sites ranging from simple information on the name of the 'condition', possible causes and treatments, 'miracle cure' buy-our-product sites, and links to surgeons who perform cochlear implants. Fascinating. Turns out any number of things can cause the annoying ring, including loud noise, ear infection, excess salt or sugar intake, vitamin or mineral deficiency, stress, anxiety, certain medications, tumors, high or low blood pressure, Meniere's Disease, head or neck injury, and on and on and on. It's annoying to have my head ringing, for sure, but not unbearable, so I'm not calling the doc just yet. I have an appointment in February, and I can wait 'til then - I think. We'll see.
Obviously, along with all these possible causes, there were lists of treatments, therapies and/or 'cures' as well. Most of the sites suggested one first pinpoint the cause of their particular ring, as to best determine the course of treatment for it. Simple enough in my case: I'm going with the cocktail of sinus/ear infection, salt/sugar intake, vitamin/mineral deficiency, stress/anxiety. So, I can adjust my diet, try and calm down, and somehow conjure myself a craniosacral massage with essential oils and/or aromatherapy session. Easy! No need to run screaming to the doc at all - I can do this. The truth is, it's just another warning sign along the path that I've been ignoring for years. Dairy is well known to mime flu symptoms, and my now-yearly sinus infections are most likely a reaction to my love of all things milk and cream. Salt? Not so much. Sugar? All you who know me are nodding a resounding "YES" to that one. I do love my soda, and my chocolate - even if it is of the heart-healthy deep, dark kind. And this latest bout of Stress with a capital 'S' has thrown me headlong into the arms of my beloved vices - Sprite, cheese, milk, and that bowl of Hannukah chocolate that's been wantonly displaying itself on my table for weeks...
As one of my friends so blithely pointed out in her blog the other day (I'll have to ask her if I can link it here), we're 'at that age', and the little girl in the back of her head is stamping her feet in protest of having to pay more attention to the ways she treats herself as she ages, or suffer the all-too-often awful consequences. My ears ring in understanding, as I kick the ass of the little girl in my head for recognizing, and subsequently ignoring, the warning signs that have been setting off alarms in my system for years. When is enough enough? I'm pretty sure I've posed this question to myself before, but I ask again, what will finally make me do the things I need to do rather than think about, and then ignore them? What finite piece of the puzzle am I still lacking? Sure, I haven't had a smoke since babydaddy had his heart attack (month and a half, maybe two?), and that's progress, but it's like I'm walking around with the keys to the kingdom and I'm busy throwing dice out back. Rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints? Damn straight! I've got a bad case of 'it's all I've got left'! No sex, no drugs, no rock & roll makes Mama a very bitchy girl, and woe be to thee who gets between me and my bacon cheeseburger!
Perhaps, though, just perhaps - what if I find that refining myself through the fire and entering the kingdom proves to be the very thing I was seeking after all along? Wouldn't it be worth it? How will I know unless I try? I mean, if it isn't, I could always go back to abusing myself to death, right?