Ear passions

This article is about a brilliant ENT whose love for his profession, inspires others. It reminded me of a quote of Ralph Waldo Emerson:
Every great and commanding movement in the annals of the world is due to the triumph of enthusiasm. Nothing great was ever achieved without it.

Giving out an earful and loving it

I don’t know much about Dr. Reardon, my ear, nose and throat specialist, except that the man is in love with ears. After all the decades he’s been looking at them, you’d think he’d be done. Seen one, seen ’em all. Bring on some toes and elbows, please.

But every time he walks into the examining room where I sit with my clogged up ear, he is almost whistling, eager to get to his chart and his very realistic “you can take it apart and move it around” facsimile of an ear and explain to me how the middle ear is a hollow chamber in the bone of the skull.

 He is as earnest as a sonnet. And not just to me. Every day his office is packed with people, but no one seems to mind waiting because when he gets to you he is totally tuned into you.

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Chronic otitis media is the result of long-term damage to the middle ear brought about by infection and inflammation, he serenades. Mastoiditis is an infection of the mastoid bone of the skull. See here. This is called cholesteatoma and it usually results from repeated middle-ear infections.

He is like Adam giving a private tour of the Garden of Eden. And he doesn’t just recite the names of things. He explains. And extols.

He makes me think of my friend Antonio, who always beamed when he was sharing the secrets of his perfect marinara sauce. Some cream. Some tomatoes. But not just any tomatoes. “You see this one? Not good enough. You see this? Here, feel it. Smell it. Fresh. Everything has to be fresh. And carrots. Carrots are key.”

And then there’s Paul, a landscaper, who knocked on my door just the other day holding in his hand what appeared to be a dead branch from a dead tree in my yard and declaring the tree alive. “There’s still some green here, see? Give it a chance. Water it. Feed it. Don’t cut it down yet.”

It’s amazing that some people fall in love not just with the obvious beauties, things that everyone loves – other people and babies and dogs and birds and sunsets and lakes and snow-peaked mountains – but with ears and red sauces and even scraggly half-dead trees. And that every day in so many ways, this love changes everything.

You don’t think much about ears and how they work and what life would be like if they didn’t. Or about knees and hearts and lungs and eyes and all the things our bodies do until one day they don’t. You don’t think about a specialist until you need one. Until you have something a pill can’t cure.

We can fix that ear, my specialist told me for the zillionth time three weeks ago. All we have to do is. . . And there he was at the chart again, at his computer pulling up my CAT scan showing me in detail how my ear is supposed to work. And why, exactly, it wasn’t. As confident as Jesus with the fish and the loaves. Fix that ear? Feed the throngs? Not a problem.

Me? I was a disciple still, thinking this is going to take a miracle.

Dr. Reardon wouldn’t call it a miracle. He performed a procedure he’s done a thousand times. But the truth of it is he acts as though it’s all a miracle. The way the ear works. The technology that allows him to see if it’s working. The ear’s structure. The way it heals. And the way he is allowed to participate in the healing.

I have a feeling God is looking down on this man and thinking, “You know, you get it. You appreciate my design. You respect my creation. You’re helping people. And you’re doing a good job.”

Under the radar. Out of the news. Away from the spotlight. Where so much of the good that people do takes place.

Source: http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2009/05/17/giving_out_an_earful_and_loving_it/

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