The reason I take us down this path of memory lane is that Stephen found this story on the BBC news website Deaf boy's cotton wool bud 'cure'. What is so super freaky is that the boy had this cotton stuck in his ear for nine years and the doctors said it was probably just wax. There is no report of them investigating - they concluded wax and said, "sorry son, live with it." Of course this is not an exact quote, it is my take on the situation. Even the parents thought there was something lodged in the ear.
The poor kid was quoted as saying, "I think I'll be much happier at school now my ear does not ache all the time." I feel for you. I know what you're going through.
This is what scares me most about the National Health Service in the UK which seems to be run like a third world country. In the States this could would have had some kind of x-ray or probe put into his ear to see what the heck was going on. In the UK with their assembly-line health service they just say oh well.