Sunday, July 29, 2007

Newbie here.

Let me make a long story, short but sweet.

Let’s take it back to 1983 when I was discovered I had moderate severe bilateral hearing loss which graduated to severe/profound. I was fitted with hearing aids in both ears. I have done very well since I was mainstreamed orally. When I hit about 11-12, I stopped wearing a hearing aid in my left ear as my hearing loss progressed to profoundly deaf. It started as a Darth Vader voice and then just went down hill from there. I still wear a hearing aid in my right. I never had the chance to befriend someone else that had a hearing problem. I was surrounded by hearing people all my life. I felt embarrassed that I had a hearing problem. I would never talk about it. I tried to hide it at all cost, as if I had leprosy.

A couple of years ago,I started having these episodes of sound appeared to be muffled. I felt like that I had water in my ears. I had numerous tests done revealing no water at all, or nothing wrong at all. Since I felt fine the next morning, I felt it was no big deal. As time went on, the recovery time ranged from overnight to a week and as long as a month. Looking back I see a pattern that I started losing my speech discrimination. I was to the point where I was afraid that one of these episodes it won't clear up.

Lets fast forward to the present, for some strange reason, I thought that my problem with my ears might have been with a deviated septum that I had. I put the surgery off for years until this past February. I had the nose job done. When I woke up in recovery, I was completely deaf. Absolutely nothing, just vibrations of my own hanging ball thing in the back of my throat. I will not lie; I was scared speechless which doesn't happen often. I was told that it was my Eustachian tubes were swollen from the surgery. Maybe that was the case because my hearing did eventually come back to the point where I can hear some environmental sounds with my hearing aid, a month and a half later. In exchange for me breathing and sleeping better, I lose hearing.

Remember I was saying that it was no big deal, no big deal became a very big deal after I found out my hearing in my right dropped an additional 10db. I have officially been classified as profoundly deaf in my right ear. The idea of becoming totally deaf dawned on me at that moment. Never once in my twenty-seven years walking on this earth did I ever cope with the idea of going deaf as a doorknob. Whew, talk about being oblivious to the obvious because it was present day reality. Proof positive was that I now can no longer talk on the phone which I have done quite well for the past 15 years.

After the initial mourning, I started researching the hell out of alternatives. My alternative is a cochlear implant. After I spent every resting moment I had online, researching forums, websites, blogs, and white papers, I decided to go ahead and get evaluated. After the hearing test, the CAT scan, the MRI, a more intense hearing test, balance test, water in my ears and a couple meetings with the surgeon, I am a candidate :) I have decided to get my left ear implanted since I have no hearing in it. I have nothing to lose and everything to gain if I get something back. It would be nice if it did more then just hold my glasses up. I decided to go with Advanced Bionics and the Harmony 120 processor. My surgery date is set for August 27th!!

I feel as if I have done a complete 180. I do not have the same outlook on being deaf as I use to. I do not feel as I suffer from leprosy. I have become very open about it and even adapted a sense of humor about it. The point of why I started this blog is that I want to share my experiences hoping that it will help someone else down the line.

So I lied, it wasn’t so short but border lining sweet.

2 comments:

heather said...

just want to let you know im here with you. muahhhh.

heather said...

wow my love. i had no idea. i am so proud of how strong you are and how far youve come in life. good things will come to you somehow!! muahhhh