I have an odd reaction to distressing events sometimes, I think. It’s like once they pass a certain threshold, my psyche just doesn’t know what to do with them anymore. Someone could tell me that my faucet was leaking, and I’d be like “Gaaaaaaah! Why me?? Why today???” Someone could tell me my whole house had burnt down, and I’d be like “Oh. …Do you have any Fritos?” Some things are just too big and too unchangeable not to just be accepted more or less.
I got Fritos-grade news a couple of days ago. I spent about a week a few months ago with this intense ringing in my ears, and I’ve had the sneaking suspicion since then that my hearing might be worse. Or maybe not so much a sneaking suspicion as a very large and slightly drunk suspicion with geese on its feet. There has been a lot of “huh?” and “what?” and “can you repeat that once I’m off the toilet?” around these parts.
Anyway, I went to see an audiologist on Tuesday, prepared to hear that there had been a slight drop in my hearing, and motivated to jump all over finding out what caused it. To be honest, I was sort of hoping to hear something to that effect, as I was certain enough that it had to be either my hearing or my mind that I was losing. And I still use my mind now and then. What I was not prepared to hear was that I had around forty percent hearing loss, and lets talk about hearing aids, and look they come in pretty colours like Fuchsia and Bread Mold Green.
Forty percent??! And I can still communicate relatively normally? Did I have some extra unnecessary hearing I was carrying around? Was I born with the window seat of hearing? The freshly grated parmesan? The little bow on the front of a bra in the world of listening to things? Admittedly, I have a heck of a time watching TV these days. I get the drift, but half the time when something funny or dramatic seems to happen I have to ask my husband what it was. But still… You’d barely notice if you met me. It’s not something it would occur to you to comment on.
Or you might, but I wouldn’t hear the comment anyway, so it hardly counts, now does it?
So…yes. I have Moderate Hearing Loss. Basically the parts of my ear that perceive volume and vowel sounds are perfectly fine, but some of the parts for distinguishing consonants are a bit lacking now. …Which means I can’t tell you the lyrics to a song to save my life, but damned if I can’t do a good rendition like someone with their tongue removed.
Good points: Apparently not all hearing aids look like those giant beige extra ears that I remember grandmothers wearing.
Low points: My step-father now wants to ship up the giant beige extra ear that his now-deceased mother “almost never wore.” Ummm…
(I tried to explain that ew, and that also she may not have needed the same kind of corrections I do. He’s determined, though. It was an easier-to-just-say-thank-you moment)
And as a nice little cherry on the fluffy badness, hearing aids to compensate for my problem should set me back around $2000-$5000 or more out of pocket. ?!?? I should check the fine print on our insurance. I’m sure there’s got to be something in there. If I do end up getting some eventually, I bet it will totally be like those “there are leaves on trees??” moments that people who got glasses talk about. I’m sure that my brain has learned to adjust and compensate in a lot of ways, but there’s got to be a lot out there that I’m not taking in fully. Loudly, but not fully.
So I ate a lot of questionable McDonalds food products on Tuesday (which were kind of gross, by the way. Damned improved eating habits have ruined my ability to gorge for comfort), and have since slipped into a sense of false apathy about the whole thing. I can tell that it’s bothering me, as I’ve been extra grumpy, and extra bored, and extra apathetic about any number of other unrelated things. I’m not quite ready to deal with it head on, though, I think. I need some time to wrap my head around it. And to try not to think about the fact that since they don’t know what caused it, there’s nothing really saying it couldn’t happen again. I feel low, and kind of numb, and I don’t really want to do anything at all (which is why I kind of sort of haven’t written here yet this week. …Sorry).
Oh, and as the syrupy red nasty sugar goo around the cherry on the fluffy badness, my husband is going to be working crazy late hours for the next week or so (including the weekend), so I’m sort of on my own in working through all this.
In good news, I got my doctor to agree to refer me to a different psychiatrist. On the down side, she said I need to keep seeing Dr. Douche until the new one pans out. …And I’m not 100% sure that doesn’t mean that I now have to take the over-the-top medications he was insisting on or risk being reported as “non-compliant with recommended treatment” to my insurance. Ugh. I’m not sure how much diplomacy I have left in me either. Do you think it would hurt my case for not needing sedatives if I sank my teeth into his nose?
And if so, how much?
Because if there’s a chance that I could get away with it, I may have to consider…
As a plus to all of this, I spent the remainder of Tuesday reading the Harry Potter book that was a prize from the lovely Sarah P. No, I hadn’t read them yet. Yes, I’m from Earth. No, not a cave-like part. I just…hadn’t gotten around to them. It was fun. I think I may pick up the others to devour over the coming days. Many, many thanks to Sarah (who by the way drew a very appropriate and not at all penis-related stick figure drawing on the card). Now that’s the kind of restraint I need.