Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Moving Into Acceptance

It's good news!  My hearing has not changed since last month!  And as I expected the MRI showed no structural issues. 

The Doctor basically told me that this was good but that it only means that the loss is occurring more gradually.  Once again in an effort to find out just what that rate was I am scheduled to go back in three months. 

I was happy though because with each test that comes back the same it stretches out time.  It relieves me to know that it won't have all deteriorated by this time next year. 

After checking out my ears he said they both look good.  So why then was I having issues with my left ear I wondered and then it hit me.  The hearing aid.  It never occurred to me that there might be an issue with that and not my ear.

When I got home I had Chris listen to each one and sure enough my left side wasn't working properly.  What a relief, what an eye opening revelation.  You see last week with both hearing aids out I told you that it felt relatively normal aside from the loud ringing that is always present.  But with one working hearing aid and one non working device the difference was profound.  The hearing deficit became crystal clear to me then.  They are and forever will be needed.  No more backsliding or denial. 

Everyone can hold me to that.  This is my new life and I think I finally moved into acceptance. 

From The Hearing Test Room Floor

Here I am again back in this cube...my ears filled with pressure from the instruments.  Prior to putting in the hardware she asks if I notice a change and I admitted yes.  Then leaving the room the test begins. 


The voice comes blaring into my ear pieces and I repeat the words back to her.  I think to myself about the two words I missed and realize that if she would have been standing in front of me I would have understood.  But in the absence of lips to read and a logical pattern my mind could not identify what she said. 

Reading lips must have become a common practice for me over the past year.  I even felt my head turn slightly to the side out of instinct as if I could possibly see her.
Then she notifies me that the beeps are starting.  Here we go...

Pre-One Month Check

I am hours away from my appointment and the nerves are starting to set in.  I have to wonder if it will be like this every time?  Will I always start to nervously shake a bit while I try my best to go about my day? 

It's hard to say what time will erase and what it won't. 

At today's appointment I will be taking in my MRI results as well as getting a one month hearing check.  The MRI was from three years ago when the ENT ordered it for vertigo.  Whatever they were looking for at the time came back normal.  I would assume that this Dr. will be reviewing the results for quite similar items and I don't expect any news from that.  The purpose of the MRI is to see if there is a structural issue that would have been present since birth and that would/should have been noticed back then. 

No, the anxiety doesn't come from that.  All worries stem from my hearing test... 

This past week has been amazing!  My nanny was sick (sorry Amy) and because of that I got the pleasure of staying home with Chase.  Oh, what fun we had!  It turned cold outside and so we hunkered down together cleaning house and making homemade meals.  I got to do one of my favorite things which is just to lay on the floor and be with him at his level.  He would get such a kick out of seeing me lying there.  Every five minutes or so he would stop what he was doing to look over at me, as if to confirm it was actually me, and then take a running jump onto my belly.    It took me back to my days at home with Carter which are by far some of my most precious memories in this life.  I felt privileged to share the same feeling over having some one on one time with Chase. 

There were a couple of days that I decided not to wear my hearing aids since I was just going to be around the house.  Once again I started telling myself that this was all just a big mistake and that they were unnecessary.  Of course it was easy to convince myself as I was getting around just fine at home with Chase, a non talking kid. 

Sometimes we all need a good slap of reality. 

Apparently in this case I will be needing it on a regular basis. 

Que Carter's arrival home and subsequent requests from me to "stop mumbling, please say it again and slower, speak up, look at me when you are talking please", gosh I can be so stupid.  So up I went to my bedside to retrieve the two things that I now need to understand my oldest son.  I didn't feel anger but I was definitely annoyed.  "Whatever" I remember thinking in my head defiantly. 

I didn't let it ruin my week but I definitely put them in after that. 

Friday night the hubs and I went out to the American Royal BBQ here in Kansas City.  Wow that is some BBQ!  The amount of people and noise was staggering but surprisingly I felt like my hearing was good.  Chris checked in with me several times to see if I was having any issues but to my surprise I was not.  Of course there was the occasional lean in and "what?" being yelled but that was normal to me now.

At some point during this week I realized that I am no longer worried about people seeing the hearing aids like I had in the beginning.  Initially I know it made me nervous to admit that I needed help in that form and I dreaded explaining the particulars to people.  I realize now that even if people do notice they don't bring it up and in fact sometimes I bring it up just to get it out of the way.  One other thing has has arisen from their addition,  I call it a nervous tick.  When I am unsure or don't know what to say my hand immediately goes to my ear to feel the hearing aid. Oddly enough it comforts me, strange I know.  

I enjoy the clarity that they bring to my world not only in verbal sounds but through awareness.  I find that I am always looking at everyone's ears and I am constantly surprised by how many hearing aids I actually see.  Upon recognizing them I immediately feel a kindred spirit with the person.  Old, young, male or female I just immediately feel united.  If it happens while I am working then I go out of my way to make them feel comfortable.  It's sort of like playing favorites I guess.  Don't misunderstand me when I say that because it is not born out of pity or concern more out of commodore and a shared understanding. 

I wonder if my husband feels that for other soldiers that he doesn't know when he sees them in uniform.  I would imagine it is would be sort of the same, a mutual respect. 

So why after such a great week of rest, relaxation and realization do I still have nerves?  Well just about two days ago I started to have a cotton ball feeling in my left ear.  Sounds were definitely getting quieter and I struggled once again with TV watching (maybe I watch too much TV)  ha!  

Do you remember before in one of my earlier posts how I explained that when a button is pushed on the back of the hearing aids a voice says, "One!"  in each ear?  Well to test my left ear out I pushed the button and the left ear said, "one."  and the right ear said, "ONE!".  It was a distinct difference.  So I know that there is some sort of change.

And now it's time.