I recently saw a Neuro-Otologist due to my experiencing dizziness. I am deaf in one ear and wear an aid on my good ear. I was relieved to find out that there’s a difference between dizziness and spinning and therefore, a diagnosis of Menieres was able to be ruled out. However, the Doctor was quick to note that my Otosclerosis might be spreading and deteriorating the temporal bone in my good ear.
It’s sort of humorous that I’ve known since I’m 19 years old, that I have Otosclerosis and that its a progressive disease. However, when the Doctor at that time told me I would be deaf by the time I was 30 and did not go deaf, I ruled that the Doctor had no idea what I truly had. And so, years have gone by and only recently, have I noticed my tinnitus had become incredibly loud along with dizzy spells.
The current Doctor explained that my audiogram looked as if I had Otosclerosis and that I would need to have a cat scan on my good ear. He was concerned that the Otosclerosis may be spreading, possibly causing me to lose hearing and feel dizzy. Though I had a hearing evaluation 8 months ago, he asked that I get a more recent one done.
Well, yesterday I did just that and the results were that my hearing went from mild to severe to moderate and profound. Shock and disbelief almost gave way to denial, but being in the field of working with deaf and hearing impaired, I knew I had to deal with this and be as realistic and prepared as possible. I was now very close to the severe range in my low frequencies when I was once on the upper mild range.
In two weeks I’ll have a cat scan and hopefully some news as to how much bone deterioration there is and if I am too lose more hearing, what time frame am I looking at.
What are my fears? Well, first off, that I’ll never hear music again, that I’ll never hear my friends voices and worse, I won’t hear myself or my breathing. I’m not running scared but I need to know what I’m dealing with or what I will be dealt. The fear of being alienated and islolated from people is very real and though my girlfriends quickly responded with, “we’ll learn sign language,” I know that girls night out won’t be the same.
For now, I want to feel that I have choices, that my options to wear a hearing aid successfully will be realistic and that control of my own life won’t be lost to dependence.