Friday, December 10, 2010

Have You Heard?

Because I haven't! And in case you haven't heard either, on a random Thursday afternoon in September and over the course of ten minutes I lost all the hearing in my right ear.

One would think I'd be distressed, but I carried on with the sudden disability for nearly 24 hours acting as if nothing had happened before my roommate rightly suggested that I just might be insane for not seeking immediate medical attention. But two ear cleanings, an upswing in my zinc intake, a three-week dose of steroids, four doctor's appointments, and almost as many months later, and I am no closer to finding a cure for this sudden hearing loss.

The specialist said it's probably inner ear nerve damage, possibly caused by a non-malignant tumor. So, no, it's not earwax. I'd be thrilled if it were.

How has this affected my life? Not too much actually. I've long since grown accostumed to the tinnitus, though it did give me headaches the first week or so. I'm getting used to sitting on the right side of the person with whom I want to speak. And if it's particularly noisy in my house late at night I can just bury my good ear in my pillow and sleep blissfully.

My major discomfort is at big parties. I smile and nod. I'm thrilled to see everyone, but engaging in conversation amdist a lot of background noise is like trying to tune into a radio station by turning a tiny dial with oven mitts on.

Still, it's made me thankful for the hearing I do have. I'm also very grateful to all those who have prayed and fasted on my behalf, to my audiologist friend who looked at my ears for free, to a certain someone who drove me to doctor's appointments even though I nearly made her miss one of her best friends' wedding, and God for giving me my hearing in the first place and leaving all my other senses intact. I mean, I would've prefered he taken half my sense of smell instead, but thank goodness it wasn't an eye!