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July 15, 2012

Swimmer's Ear

People who care FOR you 

What it is


Swimmer's Ear is a bacterial infection of the ear canal.  Excessive swimming can wash away the protective coating of earwax creating perfect conditions for a doctor visit.

Why it's Important

The important part isn’t Swimmer’s Ear, though my son, Jack, might disagree; it’s very painful.  What’s important is a distinction about treatment:

Treatment of a person


Treatment for a person

The Problem

Symptoms are the tip of the iceberg.  Focusing on symptoms creates repeat customers.

Wake-Up Call

The idea for this tip was sparked by Dr. Douglas Krohn, MD, one of several pediatricians in our family’s medical group.  After diagnosing Jack’s Swimmer’s Ear and prescribing ear drops to alleviate swelling and pain, he noticed that Jack had been treated for this condition twice before within the past 3 years.  Then he surprised me.  He said, “I don’t ever want to see Jack again for Swimmer’s Ear,” and wrote out a preventive home remedy to be used once Jack’s current bout was fixed.


Prevent Swimmer's Ear


1 part white vinegar as anti-bacterial agent

1 part rubbing alcohol as drying agent


Mix ingredients as 50/50 solution and label bottle to prevent accidental ingestion--rubbing alcohol is poisonous.

2 drops in each ear after a day of swimming


That’s it.  No more pain, co-pays, prescriptions, or missed summer opportunities. 

Dr. Krohn woke me from my stupor by giving care.  Until then, I had been accepting treatment of vs. eliciting treatment for. 

The Tip

Elicit Caregiving

Step 1

Ask For It

Ask questions that elicit the treatment you deserve.

How can we prevent (blank)?

What am I doing that creates (blank)?

Step 2

Thank For It

Specifically thank people for caring more for you than about your problem.  A specific thank you reinforces and encourages more.

  Dr. Douglas Krohn, MD - Caregiver

Dr. Krohn, thank you for caring more for Jack than our co-pay.



Underneath every symptom is an underlying cause.  Wellness is found in zapping the cause.


Gratitude + Appreciation, gifts in themselves


By eliciting care for you as a person you allow deeper connections with others.


Watching you elicit care, your kids begin to see themselves as people deserving consideration that extends beyond the present symptom or situation.  It plants seeds of worth that will off-set the pervasive attitude of, “What have you done for me lately.”

Related Articles:  Good-Deed Frustration,

Related Tip of the Week: Powerful Listening II, Articulate,


Prevent Swimmer's Ear, Jack at Age 3

 Chime in >> What do you think?

  Email Lorraine with your question


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