Sunday, February 9, 2014

There is no CURE, only TREATMENT

I'm sorry I have been MIA.  I wish it could be blamed on my busy life but that issue is really only secondary.  The primary reason for not blogging is that talking about my specialist appointment has been hard.

I know that in my last post I wrote that I was "getting it" with regards to there being no cure or fix for my issue but, it seems that simply wasn't true.

There is no CURE, only TREATMENT.

The specialist visit was far worse than all of the hearing aid appointments combined.  Not simply because of the identical apathy that was shown to me by the staff and doctors but more because the indifference was coming from the ones who are at the top of their field.  And if there was no hope at the top then....

I am still trying to fully understand what that means.

The office visit went a little something like this:   

"Yep, it looks like there has been some change."  The Doctor nodded as he read my chart, his eyes finding mine.  Silence ensued.

I wait in the awkwardness hoping that he will give some answer, some treatment plan or medicine prescription but no words were spoken.

Finally I cracked.  "So, this is it then?  It is and will continue to get worse and I just need to live with it?"

That was when it all started sinking in.  Gosh, I can be hard-headed.   How many times does it need to be repeated before I understand, realize and more importantly believe that

there is no CURE, only TREATMENT.

Was this what it felt like when people first started losing their sight?    I mean I have mentioned before that hearing aids are the "glasses" for our ears.  With only one small difference being that while glasses correct us back to perfect sight, the hearing aids only grant a bit more sound.  

The specialist did actually go on to say that I am not a candidate for cochlear implants at this time. But that I will have yearly appointments with him so that when my hearing does get that bad he will let me know. I was surprised to learn that his office is on the cutting edge of some very innovative new techniques with cochlear implants.  They are starting to fine tune them much like the hearing aids have been modified to help those who only lose part of their hearing and not all.

Take my loss for example, I have only lost the high pitched sounds and so my hearing aids allow my ear to hear the lower sounds without amplification while simultaneously turning up the high pitched noises.  Soon the cochlear implants will be able to do the same thing.  This is great news for me as it will be easier to adapt to the new way of hearing with some of my old lower tones remaining the same.  

I left feeling indifferent. I was neither upset nor happy. Instead I felt like I was wandering. It is simply hard to deal with something that feels so beyond my control.

There is no CURE, only TREATMENT.

Since that day I have started to become more bold about my ears. Now when I don't hear something that is said I make it clear to the person that I am at a loss. It really doesn't matter who it is I simply shrug my shoulders and respond, "I'm sorry, I don't hear so well."

When I say those words out loud I use a very pleasant voice but inside of my head that little admission is laced with attitude. Not towards the people I am talking to but towards myself.  It is a challenging and provoking tone prodding me to simultaneously move beyond my internal comfort zone and push others to accept me for who I am.

You see, I no longer wish to move throughout a conversation without being able to navigate the waters.  I have too much fight in me for that.  I want to contribute and participate and be a part of what is said.  Socially, my lack of hearing has influenced me to avoid certain events and gatherings.  I will not allow that any longer.  I have never been the type of person who is content on the outside or the fringe merely observing.  I want to live my life to the fullest in every area.

My new treatment is to force you and I to deal with my hearing, head on.  I will shove it into the conversation with daring bravado and then wait to see who turns to run.  I feel as though this must happen and is part of the emotional healing process. It allows me to see this as a long term, ongoing issue that must be addressed and dealt with.

This feels like me. 

There is no CURE, only TREATMENT.

I have spent most of these past few months being grateful that it is not cancer or one of my children suffering.  Rather something that I, by the grace of God seem to be equipped to handle.