By: Sara Lundquist
I thought I would share the weekend/week that I lost hearing. I haven’t talked about this to very many people but I have met some great people in real life and on the computer, SWC, that I see that it isn’t something to hide or pretend it isn’t there it is who I am and that means it is ok.
I was at a TaeKwonDo tournament in Southern MN with my family. I felt fine that day and had a great time. That night we went to my in-laws house and we watched a movie on TV. No big deal just hanging out in the living room. Well I couldn’t hear the words on the TV. I could hear an occasional song or loud noises but not dialog from the movie. I grabbed the remote and turned it up and everyone complained how loud it was and turned it back down. I just couldn’t understand what was happening so I went to bed thinking I was getting an ear infection and my ears were probably filled with fluid. Next day was church and again I noticed I really couldn’t hear well at all. But I didn’t want to say anything to anyone. I smiled and tried to answer questions but I was more then ready to go home when the service was done. That night my husband asked me to sit down at the table. He looked right at me and asked if I could hear ok. I played dumb and asked why. He said I answered questions wrong at church like I hadn’t heard what the person had said to me. I just said that maybe and I was probably getting sick. Well the next day Monday is what freaked me out. This is not typical behavior for me, I am not one to freak out. I was to substitute teach for just a quick 30 minute job at the school. I just had to read to some young kids. I love to read so thought this will be fun and will be quick. I went in and started reading and it was going good till all the kids wanted to ask questions at once. I couldn’t make out what they were saying and I think I started having a panic attack. I was able to leave right about that time. I went out to the vehicle and just sat and couldn’t do anything. I was in shock. I grabbed my phone and made a call for the doctor to get my hearing checked.
Next day I got in and had my hearing checked. It showed a mild/moderate mixed loss. It was a pretty basic test, think elementary school hearing and vision tests. Mixed meaning I have so much scar tissue in my ear from countless surgeries, infections, burst ear drums that I have a conductive loss. I also have a sensorineural loss which is what I am guessing came on very sudden. I go home with really no answers but get a call to go to an audiologist a couple days later in a neighboring town. I went and had more tests then the first time in fact over an hour I was in the booth having test after test. I was found to have a mixed loss that was down into moderate hearing loss in the frequencies where speech is most important. I wasn’t getting sick, or crazy I had entered a club of Hard of Hearing.
The audiologist was very nice and explained how hearing aids can’t bring that hearing back to perfect but it would make a big difference. So I ordered my Phonak hearing aid (only 1 needed to save up for number 2). I laid pretty low the next week or so. I didn’t work at the school or really see anyone. I got the hearing aid and the first thing I noticed was I heard the clock on the wall. I hadn’t heard that when I went into the office. I have had to have the hearing tweaked a few times and the levels upped a few times also. My biggest difficulty is in a large group understanding someone talking to me or someone talking soft to me. I need to work on lip reading for those situations. I have just received the second hearing aid for my left ear. I hopefully can feel a little more balanced now. I didn’t notice as much as a big WOW moment with this second aid. It will need to be upped I have an appt in a couple weeks. My left ear isn’t as bad as my right so maybe that factored into it also. Just glad to have both.
Everyday I feel a little bit better about the situation. It was another thing in life you don’t plan for and don’t anticipate. I have learned so much from the Say What Club. I am glad to be able to share my start of a new chapter in my life.
Everyone has a story we just have to let go of our fear of the unknown and let it be known. You will be surprised how many people have the same one.