Let’s Hear it for My Ear

Picture from UCL

It started with a dull earache in the middle of the night. The pain progressed as the night wore on and when morning came, I was sure my right ear was infected yet again. At times, I even felt off-balanced because of the earache. My right ear felt stuck, and the sounds were muted. When I was at work, it hurt when I heard the other voice on the other end of the line. It is a habitual thing that I prefer to hold the phone receiver on my right side.

After lunch, I traipsed to the company inhouse clinic to see the doctor. She checked my right ear, viewing it internally with the ear device, and then told me that my right ear drum was perforated. I almost fainted from shock. The very word “perforated” had me reeling from fright because it sounded really serious! She told me that the top part of my ear drum was pearly white and perfect, but the bottom part had a tear in it, and she could even see streaks of blood! The injury could be caused by trauma (slapping of one’s face, which was obviously not how I got it), swimming or poking, none of which I experienced in the past day. The doctor promptly wrote me a referral to see an ENT specialist immediately.

I then called my hubby and told him about the whole perforation diagnosis, and he came to pick me up to go to the specialist. We drove to the nearest hospital, the Pantai Mutiara. I had already called the specialist from my workplace to let him know that I was coming, but unfortunately my company nurse gave me the name of the eye specialist instead of the ENT specialist there, so we had to reregister to see a Dr Zul, the only ENT specialist in Pantai Mutiara hospital.

The waiting room was mysteriously empty. No patients at all. And we were called in after about 5 minutes. Dr Zul used a device to look into my ear, and then used a probe with a humming sound to (I think) test the vibration of the ear drum. Then he announced that my eardrum was not perforated. Instead, there is some moisture/water bubble caught behind the ear drum. The news that my eardrum was not perforated was music to my ears, but Dr Zul told me that he might need to do some further investigations to ascertain what the reason for the infection could be caused by. He suspected it could be because of flu where the mucus moved backwards into the ear canal from the nose, or perhaps even an allergy to something, be it the environment or food. In order to treat my ear infection, I would need antibiotics, nasal sprays, antihistamines and throat medicine, i.e. treating the root of the problem. Because it was not the outer ear that was affected, ear drops would not help at all. Dr Zul mentioned that in order to perform the investigations, I will need to be admitted into the hospital, and of course, I didn’t want to do that. My hubby, sensing my resentment over the suggestion of admission into hospital, told Dr Zul that I would take the medicine prescribed first and see how it goes.

Dr Zul then proceeded to use a light-sensory probe to show me what my internal ears look like. He then continued to show me my nose canal, using that same probe. That was the highlight of the visit, really. It was the first time I had seen my ears and nose from that perspective. Eeek. My right ear definitely looked very swollen from inside compared to the left ear. I even got a printout!

However, after the nurse gave me the prescription, I noticed that Dr Zul’s fees were exorbitantly high! The consultation with the probe and the registration all cost more than RM400! And that did not even include the medication yet. I was in for a shock. The total bill was more than RM600, and although my company covered the expenses, there was a ceiling amount that was covered. Unfortunately, the total bill exceeded this amount and I will have to pay the excess charges through payroll deduction.

That was my most expensive visit to a doctor ever.  That will be the first and last time I visit Dr Zul in Pantai Mutiara Hospital. No wonder there were no patients around. No wonder he wanted to admit me…if I had agreed, the bill would have been even higher, I reckon! I doubt my health insurance would even be able to cover it then.

Ah well…. at least I got to see my ears and nose…up close and personal. Today, my ear still feels slightly stuck and I can’t hear very well yet using my right ear, but I can sense there is some improvement.  Eh?  What’s that you said?  Get well soon?  Okay, thanks… 🙂 And oh yeah, please let me know if I am talking way too loudly, okay?

This entry was posted in Thoughts & Scribblings. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Let’s Hear it for My Ear

  1. may says:


    get well soon!


    well, nevermind about the fees. the most important thing is that your ear is on the way to recovery, yea? money can always be obtained. we only have one pair of ears… *grin*

    The Giddy Tiger says: Thanks for whispering, May! 😀

  2. rinnah says:

    Aiyo! I hope de ear’s better today? *pats GT on the shoulder*

    That sounds pretty expensive! I remember I went to KLCC medical centre for x-rays after I was knocked down by a car last time and it wasn’t that expensive either! But specialist treatment for my ezcema cost between RM200 – 300 per visit monthly, so I guess specialists make the big bucks…

    Get well soon! *blows trumpet and horn just in case GT can’t hear*


    The Giddy Tiger says: Wah…so loud your trumpet! My ear’s definitely better today 🙂

  3. keeyit says:

    Agree with May. $$ can earn back soon… Write more sponsored post. 😛 The most important thing is “Get well soon !”

    The Giddy Tiger says: Thanks 🙂

  4. ehon says:

    wah wah wah!! RM 600 for a specialist ok lar. Provided the med works. I mean, it’s the ear ler.. One of your senses ler. Don’t play play..

    The Giddy Tiger says: I know but it is still exorbitant, don’t you think so?

  5. michelle says:

    Hey if you are admitted, company covers all. I hope you have a speedy recovery. My hubby seen Dr Zul before and he is a nice doc.

    The Giddy Tiger says: I thought there is also a limit, e.g. room rate, etc?

  6. Sue says:

    Wow..so expensive..it’s a good thing you don’t have to pay for it..but it’s worth it..for your health..get well soon! Take care!

    The Giddy Tiger says: Oh, I did have to fork out the excess after the limit allowed by my company. 🙁

  7. misti says:

    expensive but good, okay la hor? better than many rounds of cheaper ones with wrong diagnosis. *talks in normal tone to GT* (unlike the rest who whisper and shout and honk here, hahahaa)

    The Giddy Tiger says: Thank you for talking in a normal tone 🙂

  8. jazzmint says:

    wow mahal betul!!! get well soon

    The Giddy Tiger says: Thanks!

  9. shooi says:

    You have definitely been extremely overcharged! But glad to hear that u are ok.

    The Giddy Tiger says: I’m in the midst of filing a complaint. 😛

  10. Pinkelle says:

    Oh no! Hope you get better soon! Sometimes, we have no choice but to pay for reassurance and medication since we aren’t doctors ourselves!

    Hope you could claim it!

    The Giddy Tiger says: Thanks… I’m feeling much better today.

  11. Bart says:

    Get well soon. I can understand your shock of being charged RM600. I’m already mumbling in my head when we take Julian to see the doctor.

    The Giddy Tiger says: Yup, babies come with a high cost, but parents only get hit with the reality after the baby is born 🙂 …. well, some parents, anyway.

  12. Angie says:

    Hope you get better. No wonder you looked so tired yesterday. Din read your blog yet ma..

    The Giddy Tiger says: Ha, now you know loh…

  13. Glad that you’re ok now. I was worried too when I read that it was perforated.

    The specialists in Penang charge really high fees. I thought it was because I was a foreigner when I saw one for my injured foot. They charge local residents that high too!

    The Giddy Tiger says: I have only been to one ENT so far, so I can’t tell for sure if he overcharged me, but I am definitely not happy about it.

  14. ParisB says:

    Super duper ex but i hope it helps you hear after the shock of paying for for the consultation!

    The Giddy Tiger says: Well, I can certainly hear better today, not as muted as before 🙂

  15. Leah says:

    Get well soon!

    *whisper* that’s very expensive, good thing your company pays majority of it hor…

    The Giddy Tiger says: It would have been better had my company paid ALL of it 🙁

  16. ablogaway says:

    Take care, and hope the medicine really helps. Maybe it’s a blessing that there’s a price to pay for, because that means there’s a cure for it. God bless you, dear.

    The Giddy Tiger says: Thanks for that perspective 🙂

  17. WS says:

    talk to our inhouse clinic as you can seperate the x-ray from the total outpatient entitlement.

    The Giddy Tiger says: That’s the thing: there wasn’t even an x-ray done…

  18. huisia says:

    ya, i am going to say “get well soon”.
    luckily your ear not perforated, btw, what is the real culprit to cause it?

    a tag for you, do it when you free, just love your English, so i think this tag will be very nice to read 🙂

    The Giddy Tiger says: Up till now, I don’t know what really caused it, even the specialist is not sure. Thanks for the compliment and for the tag…I’ll put that on my to-do list 🙂

  19. huisia says:

    oh, ya, i know i still owe you a tag 🙂

    The Giddy Tiger says: Yes, I was gonna remind you too.

  20. Jacelyn says:

    i agree with huisia, ur English is very good…..
    well, usual old things to say, “Hope You Are Better Now.”
    Take care.

    while u rest, u can still do this, right?
    Tag again lo…

    The Giddy Tiger says: Thanks! Will get on this tag really soon, ok?

  21. sasha says:



    but at least u’re ears are fine now…right?

    The Giddy Tiger says: More than RM600 wor… my ear is better now, thanks.

  22. Finally, some one I can hear quite clearly. haha

    Imagine what the eye loctor would have charged for looking at your ear!!! Hope the meds work. Bet they will if it is all coming from a flu or such. Will remember you in my prayers.

    The Giddy Tiger says: I completed my antibiotics today. I’m on the nasal sprays only now. Thanks for keeping me in your prayers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *