I've been suffering for almost a week now with Ear Barotrauma - also known as Barotitis media, Eustachian tube dysfunction or plain old Airplane ear. Caused by flying while congested with a head cold, it has happened to me many times before, but usually clears in a day or so. This time both ears have been affected, and so too, has my hearing. Quite disconcerting to be 'off the air' for so long, but a taste of what it may be like later in life when my hearing really does deteriorate.
I found the term Barotrauma on the several medical websites I searched looking for a quick-fix. No luck yet with decongestants, nasal sprays, or anthistimines, so I am just carrying on with muffled hearing - and frustrating others by whispering, because my own voice is echoing in my head.
One hardly needs to go away to relax when living in the hinterland, but my trip to the NSW South Coast was pleasantly different. I stayed with a friend at Tuross Head and enjoyed the lake and the beaches as well as the countryside.
We had tea and coffee on the verandah of the secluded Forest Gallery ....
and a swim at the equally secluded One Tree Beach ....
Used to the heavily congested traffic on the Pacific Highway north and south of Brisbane, I was amazed to find that the Princes 'Highway' is mostly only one lane either way -- and surprised to see the roadsides infested with the same lantana, wild tobacco and morning glory that we see in the north.
Also similar is the vast number of closed dairy farms with their forlorn and rusting milking sheds.
And now, after a cool, relaxing (and blogless) two weeks, it's back to more life in the slow-lane in my quiet hinterland corner.