This is so cool! I thought. I examined it like a doctor does an x-ray. Michael is so lucky he found this. My then five-year-old brother had found a rhinestone on the floor of the dusty garage, right near the parked mini-van. It was shiny like a real diamond, and there it was in my hands. All mine. Well, at least mine until my older brother would have reclaimed his property. Let’s just say that my logic was impaired, so naturally, I marched my three year old self over to Michael and started to have my fun. “Does it go in here?” I asked, shoving the gem near my nose and giggling.
“No,” he told me. “Don’t do that!”
“Does it go here?” I said, putting the gem near my ear.
And that’s when it all went horribly wrong.
As I flung my tiny hand up to my ear, I let go of the rhinestone. I felt the small object land in my right ear before it disappeared into the void. (The void being my ear.)
At first, I was too shocked to cry. I mean, something was in my ear and I didn’t know how to get it out, and that something was incredibly precious. Thankfully, I was able to piece together an explanation for my dad, who promptly sat me down on his lap as he began to prod at my ear. Then, the panic (at the disco! I’m sorry, I had to.) set in. What if he couldn’t get it out? What if I have a gem in my ear forever? I thought as I began to sob, tears rolling down my cheeks. I stared at an ant crawling up the wall as tears filled my eyes.
“We have to go to the doctor,” said my dad.
Fast forward to the doctor’s office, and I’ve been placed on crinkly examination paper to have doctors poke at my ear some more. I was being prodded with tweezers. These people meant business. This part’s kinda dull, so long story short, they couldn’t get it out either. It was worse than I could have imagined.
I HAD TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL.
My dad took me into the car and we drove quietly to the children’s hospital. The stoplights looked like smudged paint from my tears blurring my vision. Why did I have to put the gem in my ear? Why?
We arrived at the hospital, and a bunch of kids around my age were watching Dora the Explorer on the TV mounted on the wall. At least I could watch my favorite show now. I sat with them while my dad talked to the people at the desk. Soon enough, I was dragged away from the TV and brought into one of the hospital’s rooms.
The room was small and had pastel pink walls. They must have intended to make this a calm experience, but it felt like doomsday to me. I lied down on the examination table, disrupted ear to the ceiling. The nurse wet a cotton swab. Thankfully, there was a TV and VCR system in this room, too. “What do you want to watch?” asked my dad.
Of course, I responded with “Dora!”
Unfortunately, my dad denied me the opportunity to watch the show of my choice. “No, you’ve been watching a lot of Dora, let’s watch Blue’s Clues.”
The nurse stuck the cotton swab in my ear. Here come the waterworks. Now, I don’t remember it hurting, just feeling a bit weird. But, as you can tell from the story so far, I was an incredibly dramatic toddler. Plus, my dad made me watch Blue’s Clues instead of Dora the Explorer. I was having a rough day.
The nurse was able to remove the gem with ease. The whole ordeal probably took about two minutes, but it felt like an eternity. I rolled off of my side and stood up onto weak, shaky legs. My dad and the nurse walked me out of the examination room. The nurse proceeded to ask me what is surprisingly not the strangest question I have heard in my life:
She held up the rhinestone and asked me, “Can I keep this? We like to keep things we pull out of ears and noses.”
And guess what I said…
Hey, I was three!