An expensive and highly motivating tiny gnat

So there I was, minding my own business, and a gnat flies in my ear. My friend Tracy was talking and I couldn't hear a thing over the tap-dancing, singing gnat.

"Neep... neep... zeep zeep, neeeeep, zeeeeeep, azabazzeepzeep...neeepneeepzeep!"

This went on for a good ten minutes. Eventually the tiny bug got to the edge of my ear canal and having suffered his long performance, I squished him and thought nothing more of it. Fast forward a week and man, my ear hurts; and it's my good ear. So off to Urgent Care I go, just to have a doctor take a look and make sure it isn't really gnarly in there. Nice nurse comes in, takes some vitals, and looks in both ears. 

"Oh yes, it's very red," she states. I am a grumpy patient. I raise an eyebrow and say nothing. She says very solemnly, "You're going to need antibiotics." In surprise I retort, "Really? Can't you give me some ear drops instead?" Her turn to look surprised. "Well, sure, we can do that," she exclaims cheerfully and leaves the room to write the prescription. I mutter to myself that I thought doctors had learned not to prescribe systemic antibiotics at every teeny-tiny thing. Like a tap dancing gnat.

The pharmacy doesn't have the drops and will need to order them. Because I want to start treating the ear, I buy garlic and mullien ear drops from the health food store and use them as directed. My ear stopped hurting within the first day of the garlic drops and keeps improving so I don’t bother to fill the prescription. Four days later I see that my claim had been covered by insurance. I click through...


Five hundred and seventeen dollars for a nurse to look in my ear and prescribe drops. I have to pay $170 of this, which is still outrageous considering the situation.


This gnat, this pricey little bug, prompted me to open a clinic again. I was so angry that something so small and insignificant, that only required a total of about six minutes with a nurse, could cost over half a grand. So, if you come and see me, or do a online or phone consultation, you can thank a tiny insect for getting me back in the saddle.

Andie HolmanComment