Saturday, May 16, 2009

Life's Lesson #78521

You know .. there are some lessons that you learn in life that seem to repeat. There are other lessons that you really wish you didn't have to learn. Lessons that you aren't sure what to do with... but you know that they happen because you are supposed to learn .. something. Even if you aren't sure what... Isn't that what life is?? Lessons to learn.. to help us to be better people. Or something like that.

This past week was hell. There is no other way to describe it. Actually it would be the past 2 weeks. I have issues with my stress level.. I'm not always very good at managing it, and there are life events that complicate things even more.

About 2 weeks ago, well actually about a month ago, near Easter time (April) I started having trouble with my ears. I started to hear things different than what I am used to. It seemed to come and go. The best way to describe it is that when I heard music it was ...wrong. Especially piano music. It seemed like it was.. off. Out of tune, off by half a tone.. something like that. This would go on and off for the past few weeks. Until this last week. I went to the GP, and was told it was likely earwax and that she would flush my ears. This is good, as I'm sure this is something that hadn't been done for years. It seemed to help. 2 days later, it came back. The piano still sounded off.. the Ipod played wonky music. And of course it was the weekend. So I waited for my ENT appointment that I requested. My mother had suggested that I get an ENT considering my history with my hearing.

I went to the appointment. The doctor looked in my ears and told me they were fine. And at the time, I had no symptoms. My response was that this was like going to the mechanic.. you have a problem but take the car to the expert and it doesn't act up. So he told me to come back when I had the symptom. That was Thursday. So I missed choir practice because I didn't trust my ears. And lo and behold, my ears were bad 2 days later. On a Saturday. When the clinic is not open. When the doctor doesn't work. Then Monday rolled around and I decided that I would likely not be very functional on Monday, and stayed home from work. I decided to bite the bullet and go back to work on Tuesday. On Thursday, was the worst day EVER when it comes to issues with my ears.

I woke up after 6 when my husband poked me to say that the alarm was going off. I set my alarm for 2 different times. The first is 5: 45 a.m., the second for 6:15. I turn off the first one and sleep some more, getting up a bit after alarm #2. When my husband told me that the alarm was going off, I was worried. #1 It was 6:09, meaning it had been going for 25 minutes and I hadn't heard it. And still didn't hear it, even when I reached to turn it off. #2 I couldn't hear anything. Not even my husband's voice.. well the fact that he was 2 inches from my face .. yes I did. But barely, because I was hearing a ringing/static/mechanical noise that I had gone to sleep with, hoping, as with other times, that when I woke up, that it would be gone. It wasn't. I got scared. (
No it is not the hearing aid. You don't sleep with them in...)

Realizing that I could not hear much, I knew that I should call in to work. But knowing that I couldn't hear, I decided to email it instead. The departmental secretary would be in before 7 a.m. so I knew the message would be received. I decided to turn on the TV to see what I did hear. It was the morning news. Usually you hear the calm, bright, "way too sunny for this time of morning" voices, but what I heard was bits and pieces of diction. It sounded robotic. I went back upstairs and woke my husband, apologizing for doing so when I could think/speak clearer. His response was "an hour of sleep, or holding my wife .. I think it was more important to be there for the wife."

The whole time, my ears are hearing .. something. The sound is constant, a humming, a static.. something. It's so loud that I couldn't really hear my husband. He goes to work, and I manage to fall asleep again. I wake up at 9:30 a.m. and the sound is not there anymore. I go downstairs to the couch and think. I email work and say that I won't be in at all. I wasn't sure what the day would bring, but no point in tempting fate. I decide to phone the ENT clinic and tell them I'm having the symptoms again.. please please please let me come in so we figure out WHAT this is. The doctor is away. (Annoying but okay as his bedside manner leaves something to be desired. This was confirmed by reviewers of a "rate my doctor" type website that I found while looking for the number to phone. A lot of people do not really care for his demeanor.) So he is away, but the residents might be able to see me. Unfortunately, not until the next morning. Not really helpful for my schedule as I had a meeting for the day that I had to be at. Luckily it was a 2 minute walk from the meeting to my appointment. The resident looked at my ears and heard my history and goes you look fine. I have no idea what this is. Let's wait for the audiologist's verdict next week. UGH!!

So I go back to my meeting where they are playing a piano as part of the intro, and it sounded normal!!! and it did the night before too. So now I have no symptoms. And still have no idea why this happened, if it will happen again, or what to do to prevent it.

Right so, life's lesson. What .. on .. earth... am I expected to learn from this experience? I hate when my ears go weird. I know that I have no control over things that happen. That is what "suffering" is. So is the lesson .. count your blessings, every little thing counts? or is it "suffer the consequences of recklessness (Ipod use)? or is it ... you never realize what you have until you don't have it? What kind of twisted lesson can I learned from this frustration? The reality that I might go deaf and not have any say in it? That my world will change drastically and I won't be able to adjust to the stress of such a radical change?

And then the rational part of my brain says... just go to bed, girl .. think about this some more .. oh and tell your hubby it is time to stop whatever computer thing he is doing and go to bed too.

I know that the answers don't always come right away, but that they will come. I just hope that I recognize what it is when it comes and that it makes sense.

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