glad and sad

I went with Hubby to see the ear specialist that the audiologist sent him to. She (audiologist) mainly wants to be sure that there’s absolutely nothing going on that can be treated with his left (deaf) ear.

I won’t go into the whole long story, but the background is that after getting Hubby into some hearing aids about 5 years ago, he began to complain that the left one was messing up.

He’d call the place he got them from and have to take off work to go to the next town over just to have them look at and check his hearing aids and tell him they were fine. It was maddening and of course, I couldn’t tell anything about them.

He finally got sick of the aggravation of them and stopped fooling with it, and subsequently stopped wearing either of the hearing aids at all. About a year later, after my mom repeatedly insisting that he go see the place where she and dad got their hearing aids, he went and the guy there told him he was basically deaf on his left side, but he wanted to send him for an MRI to be sure nothing was up.

We went to Lexington to see a specialist there, who then sent him to have the MRI done here in our town, then back to Lexington to have this doctor very rudely tell Hubby that yeah, he was as good as deaf in his left side and there was nothing that could be done for it. There was nothing odd on the MRI, thank you & goodbye. Except this guy didn’t even say thank you. Seriously, he’s apparently supposed to be one of the top in the field but his bedside manner is ZILCH!!! *grrr*

So we just went along with life as best we could til a few weeks ago when Hubby got a letter from the audiology place he’d first went to with an offer for a free test. He went in just to see if there had been any changes. There was a new PA there this time, but the same gal who dealt with taking care of (fitting, repairing, cleaning) the hearing aids. She knew Hubby from a brother-in-law who used to work with him or something, but anyhow, she remembered him and the situation with his “messed up” hearing aid.

Throughout the testing, the PA was struck by how quickly and how dramatically Hubby’s hearing had declined. Then the other lady came in and we all got to talking about how things had happened all those years ago. She apologized repeatedly telling us that back then, there was no protocol for that kind of situation where someone who had so recently been fitted with devices, who then experienced marked hearing loss OR, as in Hubby’s case, complained of a faulty device that seemed to work, for going back to retest his hearing.

In other words, none of us had a clue what was happening with him. If he hadn’t just got the hearing aids, it wouldn’t have been so confusing for him to suddenly not hear as well. It really is a sad and regrettable situation.

But today, we had it confirmed that more than likely, Hubby developed a nerve-specific virus that attacked his left ear and destroyed what little hearing he had over there. This doctor said it has become a big concern for him because he’s seen it many times. The medical community does’t know how to treat it or deal with this when it happens and thus, they don’t warn patients.

Let me take this opportunity to say, IF YOU EXPERIENCE A-N-Y HEARING LOSS< GET TO A DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY!! This doctor says if people would just do that, a round of steroids could potentially save some if not all of their hearing. But he said it seldom happens that way. Since there's usually little to no pain, people chalk it up to allergies or a sinus infection, etc. and they don't seek medical advice. By the time they realize there's a problem, it's too late and they have lost a substantial amount, if not all, of their hearing.


So, it got me to thinking about the fact that I've had tinnitus for DECADES!! Since I was 16! I have dealt with it well enough, although sometimes it’s really loud and drives me insane. Most of the time, it’s tolerable or rather, ignore-able. I know that over the last few years, I don’t hear as well as I used to and added to the past year to year-and-a-half that I’ve had multiple bilateral ear infections that don’t cause a lot of pain, I got concerned about my own hearing.

My former GP sent me to see an ENT about it, but I was put in with the ARNP and she told me to use a neti pot and to do this weird thing that doesn’t have a name (to my knowledge)…hold your nose, shut your mouth and “blow” causing the ear drums to “pop” or move. She said my Eustachian tubes were stopped up and if I could just keep them clear, I would stop getting the ear infections.

So, that seemed to help SOME but it has not stopped me from getting the infections. I haven’t had one diagnosed in awhile, but I am certain I have one now. I’ll find out in a few hours because…
SURPRISE!! I actually DID make an appointment to see someone for this crud I’ve had for a couple months now!!

Yeah, I know right? Go me!!

So this is also a female doctor. My mom’s been recommending her for weeks now. It just so happened that when I called, they’d had a cancellation for this afternoon.

This makes me have to miss Reunion Group meeting, but I think it’s best that I just go on and get this done. I told the receptionist when she asked what was wrong that I thought I’d probably had the flu several weeks ago, but I just couldn’t get rid of the cough and that I was pretty sure I have an ear infection. She didn’t make any comment…I always wonder if they think I’m a hypochondriac or do they appreciate that I can tell them detailed information. Ha ha!!

It was good to finally get what we feel like is “the final word” on Hubby’s hearing situation. But it is so sad that this could have possibly been prevented. The doctor DID say he was a perfect candidate for the “bi-cross” hearing aids that the audiologist was recommending and is requesting for him. They’re also ordering him a couple of accessories that will help him hear better in crowds. Roger Pen RemoteMic I’m so excited for him to get some help with this after suffering for so long feeling like no one understood what happened to him!

I’m so thankful that God communicates with us in a multitude of ways. I’m thankful that my poor Hubby didn’t go completely deaf, that there are ways to help improve what hearing ability he has and that we qualify for the program that will allow us to get them. He is just so good to us!!

Numbers 12:6 — “And he said, “Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord make myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream.”


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