Come On, Baby, Light a Fire in My Ear

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This morning, I saw Dr. Jim Hartman, my otolarincologist. First, I’m not sure I spelled that right, second, try saying it three times fast! Anyway, the shortened version is ear, nose and throat doctor. Due to some major trauma to my left ear canal, Dr. Hartman gets the joy of cleaning my ear canal every month or two.

A few days ago, I was having a convo with a friend and the subject of ear wax candles came up. Do they work? Are they dangerous? Could I cut my visits to Dr. Hartman if I used these? If you’re not familiar, ear wax candles are approx. the size of the taper candles you set on the table during a romantic evening. So help me God, you lay your head on a table, stick one of these minature torches thru a paper plate and into your ear. Then you light it on fire and let it burn down to a mere couple of inches. This process supposedly causes a vacuum that sucks wax and debris from your ear canal.

While Dr. Hartman had me in the chair, I asked his opinion on this freakshow medical technique. He admitted that he’s never seen an ear canal before and after a candle treatment. Being a brave soul, I ask, “You want a guinea pig?”

Now, think of this: if I do this and it works, I may take a bite out of his business. Still, Dr. Hartman tells me the truth – that he’s willing to experiment and maybe find a way to eliminate his services.
Friends, I think this takes a lot of integrity. He could have just suggested himself right out of a job. And yet, the patient’s needs come first. Props to Dr. Hartman for being up front and honest AND for keeping his patient’s needs at the forefront of all interactions.

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