But alas, while in Mazamari, water finally entered into my ear. At first it wasn't a problem but for over a week now I've had liquid running out of my ear, walked around in a daze and asked Hannah to repeat everything she's said (she's been a good sport about it and we kinda see it as good practice for old age).
Despite my avoid-doctors-at-all-cost attitude and pure fear of the Peruvian medical system, I went to an ear, nose and throat specialist last night. After ten minutes of vacuuming out my ear canal, he looked in and kept repeating feo, feo, feo...(ugly or probably nasty would be a better translation). So it looks like I have a very large hole in my left eardrum (about 1/4 of the eardrum) and it's currently infected.
tympanoplasty, which is a skin graft onto the eardrum.
It turns out that the time of the discovery couldn't have been better. Every year a short-term ear, nose, and throat team comes to Pucallpa with SAM to do surgeries (they bring doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, etc). This year they'll becoming the first week of November which gives just enough time for the infection to clear up in order to have the surgery. I've already been put on the list for a surgery, and it looks like it will be free with the exception of some minor lab work I'll have to have done at the hospital here (I suspect it will cost $30-$50).