Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Honest Truth: I Can't Hear You

I have been avoiding this post like the plague.
I don't know why really, 
but it seems like once I put all of this in writing 
I will be forced to come to terms with it
or confront it in a way,
and to be quite honest, 
I am just not quite there yet.

So here it is: I can't hear.
Not like nothing at all, but not a whole lot either.
I always knew my hearing wasn't my best sense of the five,
but I had no idea it was as bad as it was/is.

I guess I should have realized something was up
when students started gathering in front of my desk on a daily basis
 waiting for a response to their questions.
And since I hadn't realize they were even standing there because my head was down or turned,
once I did, I would wait for them to ask me a question.
And then we would have a very awkward mini blank-staring contest.

Apparently, if I can't see them, I can't hear them.
It's been frustrating and embarrassing.

In the past, I have chalked it up to my superb ability to focus
(which is rather delirious thinking on my part
since I suspect I am also a strong candidate for ADHD).
But now I have to face the facts.
I can't hear.

It was confirmed by two hearing tests (one in August and one in September)
that I have moderate to severe hearing loss.

The ENT doctor asked if I grew up on a gun range
or if I had been around an explosion recently.
I laughed.
No, I did not and no, I had not.
But then I was sort of freaked out.
If I didn't and hadn't, then what was causing me to lose my hearing?

He ordered an MRI.

I freaked out a little more.

I had the MRI.

I freaked out a lot more.

I met with my doctor post-MRI,
and he informed me nothing abnormal showed up in the images from my MRI.

I finally breathed and my freak out level went from an EXTREME 10 (!!) to 
a more moderate 7 or 8 (mind you my normal level of freakoutness resides around a 5 or 6,
so there isn't much wiggle room between 
day-to-day anxiety and full-blown-can't-handle-life anxiety for me.)
But Praise Jesus, I do not have a brain tumor.


The good news. There is nothing that has caused my hearing loss.
The bad news. There is nothing that has caused my hearing loss.

The ENT concluded genetics have played a part
and that I must protect my ears as to not cause further damage.
Good-bye close seats at concerts. And if I am really honest, good-bye concerts.
This will be a lifelong slippery slope of continual hearing loss
and he expressed the importance of taking preventative measures now
to preserve the hearing I currently have.

We also concluded that hearing aids are necessary.
I am not really sure how I feel about that.
I mean, I am 28 years old and self-concious as is.
Hearing aids?!? Really!?!
But at least I don't have a brain tumor, right!?
That's what I keep reminding myself when vanity prevents a healthy perspective.

This is really just a minor bump in the road
that will be fixed with two little (and very expensive) devices
that sit (practically hidden) in my ears and are often associated with the geriatric.
It's really not that big of a deal.


I am scheduled to be fitted for hearing aids next week.
Wish me luck and if I find enough courage,
I will post a picture with my newest accessories.


Alli said...

I'm so sorry you're going through this, but I have no doubt that you will ROCK those aids like no other!! You are beautiful inside and out no matter what :)

Amanda said...

Oh Tay, I just hate this for you. But I absolutely know you will look smashing with those aids- and you shouldn't think twice about it! Maybe we can bedazzle them.. it'll be the newest trend.