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Show Highlights

The format for this episode is a little different this time.

Graham and Ashkahn received an anecdote about someone who floated with ear tubes in. The float ends with extreme discomfort and pain when the floater gets epsom salt water in their ears.

The guys highlight this issue as a warning to the industry that this is something that can happen with floating.

Listen to Just the Audio

Transcription of this episode… (in case you prefer reading)

Graham: Alright  Hey everybody-

Ashkahn: Hi there

Graham: I’m Graham and-

Ashkahn: And-

Graham: That is actually shockingly close to how we make intros.   Funny part We do say ship it at every time at the ending too. That was a little-

Ashkahn: Yeah

Graham: Your in our world now.

Ashkahn: Yep

Graham: You can use that at home too-

Ashkahn: Sometimes lick it and stick it.

Graham: That’s what’s written on our checks.   That is what’s written on our checks-

Ashkahn: Yeah

Graham: But that’s not what we say at the end of sentences.

Ashkahn: I made Jake put that as a little tagline on our checks.  

Graham: Every step of the way everyone was like “are you sure you really want that written on your checks?”

Ashkahn: Yes

Graham: The banker, Jake  –

Ashkahn: Yes lick it and stick it.

Graham: Alright so we don’t have a question today. Instead we have a really long statement that felt like an answer to a question we’d ask. So I figured we’d ask the question and then-

Ashkahn: Turn the tables

Graham: And then maybe let the form submission answer it this time. So today’s question from us   after the fact. Is, “is it okay to let someone if they have tubes in their ears and they want to float?”

Ashkahn: What’s the answer?

Graham: The answer is-

Ashkahn: I’m just gonna sit then.

Graham: Story time  “I went for my first float this past Saturday and I didn’t think about the tube in my ear.” Ew, already off to a bad start. “A few months ago I lost all hearing in my right ear. After oral steroids didn’t do anything we moved on to steroid injections straight into my middle ear. After the improvement plateaued the ENT decided to put a tube in my ear. So I could continue with the steroids at home. He gave me an RX eye drop that had roughly the same solution as the steroid that he was injecting. We never got the hearing back to enough to use a regular hearing aid.

But we left the tube just because there was no reason to go in and get it. So fast forward to float. I had been really looking forward to it. I practiced my meditations beforehand so I could get right into it. When I first got in the tub I was very tense trying to keep afloat. Once I realized I could float with no work I relaxed. I put my hands on my chest and crossed my feet at the ankles. I was just getting into it. My breathing was calm and I had the perfected position to open up my airway. Then I felt something in my ear. I reached up to feel my ear, when I discovered that the ear plug that they had provided had come out.

I sat up and the pain hit me like a truck. My ear and the entire sinus cavity was flaring up with pain. It took almost thirty minutes for the pain to subside. The poor guy working nearly had a heart attack. He called a paramedic at my request and by the time they got there I was still in extreme pain. But I could tell that it was going to go away. But it was going to take some time. The next day I woke up sleeping on the ear in question and felt salt crystal had formed in my ear.”

Yeah, so first of all I think they mistakenly sent this to us instead of an actual medical website   or something. But that was just the straight question form submission that we got and it did seem worth sharing.

Ashkahn: Yeah, I mean this you know there are people out there that through whatever reason or another. Like this person is talking about end up with these tubes in their ear canal. And I really haven’t heard of a good float story as a result of something. And then you know honestly something just like this has happened at our float center many years ago-

Graham: Yeah

Ashkahn: Someone came in and they floated and the salt water got in there and the exact same thing. And they even tried to put vinegar in there afterwards and that just stung-

Graham: Even worse

Ashkahn: Even worse

Graham: Oh my god

Ashkahn: Its a huge mess and I personally have never met an earplug that is flawless.

Graham: Yeah.

Ashkahn: You know? Like those foam earplugs-

Graham: At least like the water side of things. You mean like actually being able to keep water out of your ears?

Ashkahn: Yeah, yeah  Like the foam ones, I don’t think any float center personally should be using those foam ear plugs. Those just fall out of people’s ears so easily.

Graham: And they just let water in.

Ashkahn: Yeah  So, like if your using those definitely at least upgrade to something that’s meant to be in a wet environment. But even those silicon ones like the Macs or there’s little Christmas tree shaped ones or there’s other ones like.

Graham: Or there that third variety.

Ashkahn: They work, you know I float with earplugs in because for some reason its like-

Graham: You’re a freak?

Ashkahn: Yeah  I’m a freak. Yeah Its my independent streak, you know? I gotta have my own-

Graham: Yeah let it fly man fly that ear plug flag.

Ashkahn: And I’m pretty good at putting the ones we have, the Macs silicon ones in. And I’m pretty good at molding them and getting a nice seal in my ear. And really it does work most of the time. But even after years of this I still every once in a while just don’t quite get it and it just a little bit in one ear has a tiny gap and that’s enough for a little bit of water to get in. Its not like my whole ear is getting flooded but sometimes it gets uncomfortable to the point that I just take it out. Or once some water gets in there it kind of breaks the seal enough to pop the whole thing out after 5-10 minutes. You know these things just aren’t flawless and when the consequences are something like this. Like in this story that you hear and when its someones first time and their just learning how to put ear plugs in. It took me a while to learn how to get these ear plugs in so they would fit right and be good. It’s kind of risky. It’s kind of risky to get in there with ear plugs and think that it will be fine when this could potentially happen.

Graham: And yeah, when the by product is excruciating pain it just. It sounds like a risk you don’t want to take.

Ashkahn: Yeah

Graham: And especially pain that doesn’t go away immediately. In our case it was almost weirder because the person didn’t even know they had ear tubes-

Ashkahn: Yeah.

Graham: So there is no scenario we could have put in place really to prevent that. You know its like even screening people ahead of time. You know which we’ve kind of started to do as well. Like its one of those weird things where if you can put it in an email or something ahead of time as just a little footnote on contraindications of floating. Its one of the few conditions where I would recommend you not hop in a float tank at least until you get the okay from your doctor. Or flat out just get your ear tubes removed.

Ashkahn: Yeah, I mean, I could almost see it being an actual medical concern. Or at the very least a sanitation concern. You know that’s probably gonna be a very vulnerable spot. In terms of where the salt water is gonna go too and how its gonna interact with your body. To potentially give you like an ear infection or something like that.

Graham: Yeah and I guess were, I have no idea if there’s even different kinds of ear tubes or ones-

Ashkahn: Yeah there, I don’t know much about the specifics of them.

Graham: I mean I’ve heard horror stories from at least one other center. Besides this one and us too, of someone coming in with ear tubes and having exactly the same reaction-

Ashkahn: Yeah

Graham: So at least every time I’ve heard it in conjunction with float tanks this has been the story.   And its been awful for everyone involved-

Ashkahn: Yeah.

Graham: So-

Ashkahn: So don’t be a newb reject the tube. I think is, that’s a saying you hear around a lot in the float industry and it’s justified.

Graham: Classic, yeah. Alright if you have your own statements you’d like to provide us or you’d like us to provide a question for head on over to floattanksolutions.com/podcast and well answer them or read them.

Ashkahn: Or whatever

Graham: Or just read them out loud.

Ashkahn: Yeah  

Graham: Yeah  We’re here for you guys.

Ashkahn: Were pretty much just sitting around waiting for you-

Graham: We’re easy

Ashkahn: So

Graham: Yeah

Ashkahn: Okay, well we’ll just be here until tomorrow so talk to you guys then.

Graham: Write in soon.

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