The ear draining didn't happen. Apparently Christa doesn't have an ear infection, she has TMJ, and the pressure was caused by swollen cartiledge in her jaw. At least they didn't have to stick a needle in her eardrum.
Also, I would just like to say that, while my reading choices are mine to make- they even seem a little dumb to me. Dean Koontz can sometimes be insightful, but more often than not he is just a fantasy writer. As C.S. Lewis said, there are two kinds of books- the kind that you use to escape into and the kind that allows you to learn and stretch. i think the reason my choices have been somewhat disappointing to me is because i realize that Dean Koontz is more of the escapist type, not the "learn and stretch" type.
Stephen King does not (I think) fall into the escapism category because, while I do often feel myself drawn into the story in an escapist way, there is a strong connection to theme and (though I cringe saying this) a "moral." King is an excellent author because he understands story structure and the archetypal "Heroes Journey" that allows a person to "learn and stretch" while they truly enjoy themselves.
Enough of me yakking- I'm going to go read more of The Stand- I'm on page 244 of 1153. Frannie just realized that she is about the only person left in town except for the freaky brother of her childhood friend. It's getting good...
Okay- an addendum to my assertion that Dean Koontz is only an "escapist writer":
I may be wrong about this (gasp! wrong???) I was looking through my small collection and LIfe Expectancy caught my eye. This was definately not an escapist book- definite theme etc. I would reccommend it to anyone. Perhaps I only feel guilty about enjoying such strange fiction? I wil have to reconsider...