Episode LXXXV - (speak into my ear)
A quick reminder: I began having bilateral hearing loss six months before I was diagnosed with cancer.
I have pretty much refused to wear my hearing aids during cancer treatment. There were many reason why. First, the cancer cap covered up the hearing aid made the sound crackle. But primarily, it was the general discomfort and not wanting to deal with anything else like hearing aids. Honestly, all of the sounds only amplified my discomfort. It was nice to not wear them... even if it meant I did not always hear what people were saying to me.
I was supposed to go to the ENT months ago, but had delayed the appointment. It was past time to get a current look at my hearing and adjust my hearing aids. I had been to so many doctors that I really did not want to go back to another. I mean how many issues can a girl get... right?!?! You hear me (I had to say that)!!!
Since I finished with treatment I knew it was time. Also, I was asking my husband and kids to repeat themselves more often than not. I had lost the ability to really understand certain things they said unless I was looks directly at their well-lit faces. No dark conversations allowed or I will ask you "what" more than you like.
The appointment is painless. I mean I go in, I repeat a few words, I listen for some beeps, I meet the doctor. Seriously, it requires very little effort on my part. Hearing tests are EASY, except that I have to close my eyes when I listen for the beeps or I might not hear them. What is up with that? I think I hear with my eyes closed!
Press the button when you hear a beep? If you hear the beep.
The appointment went as expected. The doctor and I discussed my previous neck lymph node swelling. That seems to be under control currently. The ringing in my ears (Tinnitus) was still annoying. Not much I can do for that (light background or white noise is helpful). As for my hearing, I had some minor additional hearing loss - click here to learn what bilateral hearing loss is.
Thank goodness I only lost a small amount more. Hard to believe but chemotherapy can actually cause hearing loss - however it is usually more common with chemo's Cisplatin or Carboplatin. I did not use those, but I did have some loss since chemotherapy. Let's just assume it was the chemo!
I am still in the mild/moderate range... I am somewhere near 50... in general I miss words in conversations and usually try to figure it out by context. Often I am wrong and usually I think I heard a curse words instead of what was said. People really need stop saying the word sh++ to me - cause that is really what I hear a lot!
Hearing loss is measured in decibels hearing loss (dB HL). It can be graded as follows:
- 20-40 dB HL: mild, cannot hear whispers.
- 41-70 dB HL: moderate, cannot hear conversational speech.
- 71-95 dB HL: severe, cannot hear shouting.
- >95 dB HL: profound, cannot hear sounds that would be painful to listen to for a hearing person.
So my hearing aids got adjusted and I was told I need to wear them so that I do not lose the ability to process sounds in the future. I know. I know. I should wear them... but sometimes they only create so much additional sound that I cannot process all of that and my own discomforts. I will begin to wear them when I need them or when I am around people. When I am at home... I will just keep reading the words on my TV and
pretend to not hear my family!!!
In my head...
Another thing that I can check off my To Do List! check. I do not have to go back in another six months. Basically it will be just to make sure I am not losing any additional hearing or having any enlarged lymph nodes in my neck. For now, it seems to be as expected.
As I go to all these appointment I have one goal - for the doctors to tell me that I am "Unremarkable". In the medical world it means that you are pretty much normal, nothing to remark about. So every doctor I see, I tell them that I am unremarkable! And that is all I want to hear from my doctors. I am unremarkable!
“There is no normal life that is free of pain.
It's the very wrestling with our problems that can be the impetus for our growth.”
- Fred Rogers, The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember
Episode Reference: Two Old Men, Goya painting
Black Paintings from the Quinta del Sordo (Deaf Man's Villa)
Goya was deafened at age 47 believed from an illness.
This figure (rt) seems to be speaking into the ear of his companion,
assumed to be about Goya's deafness.