Sunday, May 30, 2010

Adapting to Sensorineural Hearing Loss

I had a rough time at church this morning.  As I listened to the music the thought, "This isn't the way it's supposed to sound," came to mind.  Only hearing from one ear doesn't give the music the fullness I'm used to.  My voice sounds different to me when I sing and I can't hear the others around me as well.  Along with that, the vibrations of the music and the tinnitus (ringing in my ears) were difficult for me this morning.

As we sang, "Oh how he loves us," I know that is true.  He knows I'm going through a difficult time with this.  He cares for me and will carry me through this, no matter what the answer is.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Vintage Post #5 - The Democrats are Calling

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Current mood:  tired
Category: News and Politics
The phone rings.
Mikayla answers and says hello and then hangs up.  I asked who it was.
She replys, "It was about the election.  He said something about Democrats, so I hung up."

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sudden Deafness - Week 4

Sunday, May 16 - Wednesday, May 19 - Most of the week, I was pretty grossed out about the idea of having a hole in my eardrum.  At the same time, I was praying that it wouldn't close up so that the doctor would not need to numb and re-lance my eardrum.  As the week wore on, it didn't gross me out as much... or I just got busy and didn't think about it as much.

Thursday, May 20 - Since Jason worked this Thursday, my friend said that she would drive me to my  appointment and then take me to a geocache event afterwards.  The hole was still in my eardrum, so the doctor just need to remove the scar tissue and inject the steroids.  He said everything went as it should.  I will go back in 4-6 weeks to have a check-up and a hearing test.  I missed most of the geocache event, but got there in enough time to say hi to everybody.  Mikayla, my friend, and I still enjoyed a good meal at Beef O'Brady's.

Friday, May 21 and Saturday, May 22 - Jason, Mikayla, and I did a "Missions Marathon" at church.  Not being able to hear from one ear has made listening and communication more difficult.  It brings up a lot of questions like... How many times should I have someone repeat themselves when I don't understand them?  When should I just smile and pretend I heard them?  Should I mention my hearing loss?  Is a hearing loss a big deal, or am I making too much of this?  What can I be doing to make all this easier?

Because my next appointment will not be for a month, I won't be doing weekly updates on my hearing loss.  In the meantime, if I am so inspired to blog about my hearing loss, I will.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sudden Deafness - Week 3

This is a summary of what happened this week.

Monday, May 10 - The nurse from the medical center scheduled my appointment for the audiologist and specialist.  I was able to get in Monday evening!  Wouldn't you know there was a wreck, making me half an hour late for my appointment.  My hearing test came back that I have a 60-70 decibel hearing loss in my left ear.  I scored 100% on my word recognition test for my right ear and only 36% for my left ear.  The quality and quantity of hearing is not good, so at this point I am not a good candidate for a hearing aid.  It was confirmed that I have a 50/50 chance of getting my hearing back.  I was told I could continue oral steroids or get steroid injections into my ear.  I opted for the injections.  The specialist said that having been on oral steroids already and the amount of my hearing loss, that he thought that would be the best as well.  The injection was scheduled for Thursday at 6:00.

Tuesday, May 11 and Wednesday, May 12 - Waiting and praying.  Went to the church Wednesday evening to talk over all that was happening with one of our preachers.

Thursday, May 13 - Jason took me to the hospital for the injection.  The first thing I had to do was have numbing gel applied to my eardrum.  I wasn't really expecting the application of the numbing gel to hurt at all, but then I've never had my eardrum touched before.  Learned something new I guess.  After it had time to numb, the doctor began the procedure where he lanced my eardrum and inserted the steroids through a needle into my ear.  Because of the numbing gel, I felt very little.  I concentrated on being very still, so that things would go exactly as they should.  The steroids were cooler than body temperature and I could feel that, but it was not really that uncomfortable.  After the injection, I had to stay very still and not swallow for about 20 minutes, so the steroids would go where they were supposed to.  When I was able to get up, I felt a bit dizzy, but nothing too major.  This next week, if my eardrum does NOT heal, they will be able to go in through the same hole as this week and I will be able to skip the numbing step.

Friday, May 14 and Saturday, May 15 - My next injection was scheduled for Thursday, May 20th at 5:00.  I can honestly say that I'm still kind of grossed out by the injection.  The whole idea of having a hole in my eardrum freaks me out, although I'm definitely praying that it does NOT heal by this coming Thursday. 

Thank you to those of you who have been praying for me!

Sudden Deafness - Week 1 and 2

This week, I was diagnosed with sudden deafness in my left ear.  I have a 50/50 chance of getting my hearing back.  I think it is interesting to read other people's experiences, to see how things happened for them.  There are not many accounts of people with sudden deafness out there, so I've decided to write about my experiences - in case someone who's dealing with the same thing is wondering how things have gone for me.  I'm just going to throw it in with the blog I'm already writing, because who has time to keep up with two blogs!

Sunday, April 25 - My ear is plugged up again!  Oh well, I'll go to bed and wake up hearing like I did a couple weeks ago!

Monday, April 26 - Oops!  Hearing didn't come back.  I'll go to work and make an afternoon appointment.  A few antibiotics should knock this out of me.  (Saw nurse practitioner and she prescribed antibiotics.)

Tuesday, April 27 and Wednesday, April 28 - I'll stay home from work.  I can get some rest and be ready to go when my hearing comes back.

Thursday, April 29 - My hearing isn't back.  Not sure when it's coming back.  I better get back to work.

Friday, April 30 - Still no hearing.  I'll call the doctor's office and see what they say.  (Low dose steroids were prescribed, along with a new antibiotic.)

Saturday, May 1 and Sunday, May 2 - This is annoying.  Hope my hearing comes back soon.

Monday, May 3 - Still no hearing.  I'll make one of those afternoon appointments again.  (Doctor prescribed 40 mg of steroids a day and said to call Wednesday if my hearing was still not back, to have an MRI scheduled.)  Monday night, I did it.  I googled my symptoms.  Yep.  That made me nervous.

Tuesday, May 4 - Called the doctor's office in the morning and said I wanted the MRI scheduled sooner.  Hospital called later in the day and said, "Thursday."  I asked for "Wednesday."  They said yes.

Wednesday, May 5 - MRI - Not claustrophobic, but Ouch!  Contrast was shot between my vein and skin.

Thursday, May 6 - Waiting.

Friday, May 7 - Day 12 without hearing in left ear.  Called doctor's office.  I still have no hearing.  If the MRI shows something, I need to see a SPECIALIST!  If the MRI is clear, I need to see a SPECIALIST!  Do you hear me?  Nurse tried to schedule the specialist appointment, with the result of June 4th.  Doctor said it was unacceptable.  Nurse promised to get an earlier appointment first thing Monday morning.  (MRI came back clear!)

Saturday, May 8 and Sunday, May 9 - Waiting.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Vintage Post #4 - Official Gas Information

Current mood:  amused
Category: Life
So, we're sitting in the living room watching some tv.  Mikayla has the Magna Doodle out and I look down at it.  She has divided it into four sections labeled - Mom (farts), Moe (farts), Mikayla (burps), Dad (farts).  Beneath each label is tallies of the gas released this evening.

What's my next move?  Enter her into counseling or contact the government to let them know our family may be the answer to the gas shortage?

May Mini-Goals

About half way through the month... time to post some goals, huh?  I truly wasn't sure what to make my goals until yesterday.  May is always a busy month, with the end of school at hand.  This May started out with a strange glitch though.  Several days before May started, I woke up not being able to hear from my left ear.

I quickly made an appointment with the nurse practitioner and started antibiotics.  A few days later, she called in a prescription for an antihistamine and a couple days after that a new antibiotic and a steroid.  A week later... still no hearing.  I saw my family doctor and he prescribed a higher dose of steroids and said if my hearing wasn't back, I should call them to schedule and MRI.  MRI was scheduled and came back clear.  Exactly two weeks from my initial hearing loss, the ear specialist was wonderful and scheduled and appointment for me QUICKLY!

The audiologist gave me a hearing test and it showed that I had a severe loss of hearing in my left ear.  The specialist said that I have "Sudden Deafness" and I have a 50/50 chance of getting my hearing back.  Yep.  Just like that.  I could hear from my left ear and then not the next.

I'm doing pretty well right now, since I know the immediate course of action, which is a steroid injection in my ear on Thursday.  But at times it can be emotional.  So, back to my goals for the month...

I want to strengthen myself against attacks of depression and negative thoughts.  Hopefully my goals will help me with that.

Goal #1 - Instead of a status on Facebook each day, I would like to post a Bible verse through the month of May (starting on the 11th).  Anything else I want to say, I can add a comment BELOW the verse.

Goal #2 - Write out and post 31 verses around the house.

There it is -  May goals!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

April Mini-Goals Report

Mini-Goal 1 already had a bit done when I made the goal.  If I'm honest, I will say that not much more got done than that.  Another way to put it is that my house is a wreck right now.  With that being said, I'm going to count this goal as only half complete.  (The first half of the month, I did some.  The second half of the month, I was a total slacker.)

Mini-Goal 2 is complete... both parts!  I took a trip to Kohl's and managed to buy 2 spring tops, 2 pairs of khakis, and a pair of jeans.  At Wal-Mart, I found 2 pairs of shoes!  One pair of my same old, same old that I like to wear and a pair of sandals that could be worn to work, if I wanted.

Part 2 of the mini-goal was to make a doctor's appointment I didn't want to make.  Well, I'm happy to say that on April 30th around 4:20 pm (10 minutes before the office closed), I called to make my appointment!

It's hard to believe four months of 2010 has already past!  On to month five!