Thursday, October 18, 2007

What kind of day off is this?

It was nice to have today off. I still went into work briefly this morning, but it was nice to sleep in a little bit. I had a doctor's appointment today that I have been dreading. Growing up I have had a lot of ear aches and tubes in my ears and so forth, which has been a partial reason for some significant hearing loss. This appointment was scheduled due to the fact that a doctor of mine noticed that I still had a tube in my right ear... from 8 years ago. Those usually fall out on their own. It needed to be removed. In order to see this ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat Doctor), I had to have an appointment with an Audiologist. I don't know what I dread worse. I hate going in that little dark room, putting on those head phones, and raising my hand every time I hear that beep. I can't tell you how many times I have gone through this! But now, time has changed, and instead of raising my stupid hand, I get to press a button on a little clicker. After listing to all the beeps, which caused some repetitive ringing/beeping in my right ear (which has happened in the past), I had to repeat words given to me back to the audiologist... at different decibels in each ear. Then I had to do it again, all at the same decibel....to see if I could hear specific sounds.

After the fun activities, he showed me the results and it wasn't a shock to me. I guess it was to him. Basically both ears were similar. I used to think my left was worse, but it was the same pic in both ears. If you refer to the chart below, my hearing was at about the low normal range for intensity (about 20-30) until you got to into the higher frequency ranges (2000-8000), when it would drop to about 35-50 of 60.... basically I have mild to moderate loss in both ears when it comes to hear sounds such as ch, sh, f, s, k, th, and g. Basically he told me that it would be highlly recommended that I get hearing aids in both ears. I got one for my left ear 8 years ago when I was heading to college and where I spent most of my time in lecture rooms, but it doesn't work anymore. And it was too sensitive to all sounds, which drove me crazy and I stopped wearing it.

I can hear and understand better if I am facing the person and not too far from them. The second they are across the room, turn their back to me or mumble, I am lost. Sometimes I get most of the words and can fill in the blank. Imagine how tiring that can be on the ears. I have been really noticing this when working with some students and when sitting in meetings and my co-workers will turn to me and whisper. Don't whisper to me, because chances are I won't hear ya! Even if I can read lips (most of the time)!

from there, I met with the ENT to remove the tube in the right ear. That was disgusting. You wouldn't believe how much "junk" was wrapped around that thing. The worse part was the doctor asked if I wanted to take it home and put it in my scrapbook. Yuck. Then he did some other test to check on the flexibility of my eustachian tube and everything else. Nose looked good, mouth and throat was perfect, and there was extreme scarring on the left ear canal (probably due to chronic ear infections and tubes starting at a very young age, he said), nothing new to me. He plugged my nose and made me try to pop my ears all while he was looking in my ear. We all know that doesn't feel that great, why would I want to do that? But he said I should do that every day. ... I said "really?" and I think he could see the shock in my face. "11-12 times, if you can" he responded. What a joke. Supposedly my ear canal is so scarred that fluid gets built up easily and this could help to keep it from building up in the eustachian tube. lovely. Just another thing to add to my morning routine! At the end of the appointment he recommended hearing aids. Supposedly he only tells 1-2 patients a year to get hearing aids. I am a lucky one. Now, if I could only afford to fork over a near 5 grand. Geez. But, there are resources out there that I am going to look into.. .. you know, since I am a rich teacher and all!

I was able to sneek in a really quick workout. A boring ride on an indoor bike. Blah. I couldn't handle being on there so I stopped after 6 miles.

Tomorrow morning my youngest sister, the parent units, and I will be heading to the cities to help my sister and her hubby move into their first home! I am pumped for us all to be together.... even if it is a lot of manual labor! I will be back Sunday. Until then, y'all have a great weekend!

16 comments:

Ms. Math said...

So sorry to hear about your ears.

Have a great time with your family this weekend!

Annette said...

Sorry about all the ear stuff - ugh!

Enjoy your weekend with the fam - even if it is moving!

Allison said...

Ear drama sucks!

There's something about an indoor workout that just isn't the same. But a short workout is better than no workout, right? At least that's what I told myself after 2 miles on the treadmill. :)

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

I just learned a lot about ears and hearing and stuff from reading this post!

Now that the ear appts are over...you can go off and enjoy your weekend!!

Wes said...

They are your ears, your life... You make the decision that is best for you!!

L*I*S*A said...

WOW...that's a bummer about your ears. Glad they got the tube out, though.

As a nursing student, I would have loved a photo of it, though! LOL...

Makita said...

I am so sorry. A friend's little guy (he's 3) has had a lot of trouble as well (tubes). He is always yelling, even when he just wants to show me something or say hello. She is a little frustrated, I suggested he might need his hearing checked. What do you think?

Jess said...

Wow, I had no idea you had all this ear stuff going on -- that sucks! I haven't had to do that headphone test since elementary school when they would test our hearing and eyesight.

Enjoy your weekend! Why is it long? MEA?

J~mom said...

I have had ear stuff all of my life as well. I haven't had the hearing loss part though. I had tubes twice, once plastic and then metal? I can't even remember now. Anyway, my ENT told me the same thing about popping your ears and once you start doing it you will do it almost like a nervous habit. (I just realized this might be tmi-LOL) Anyway, I usually do it in the car when I am waiting for a light or something. My DH and I go to the same ENT so he does it as well.

(((HUGS)))

Nat said...

Sorry about your ears. Hope you have a good time with your family in the cities this weekend!

robtherunner said...

Good luck with the move. I hope you're able to find some resources to help you out with the cost of hearing aids. You're your own advocate:)

Dying Water Buffalo said...

As always, digging the tunes you are rocking on here :)

Sorry to hear about your ear.. I've had my share of problemos in that area due to skiing injuries.

Firefly's Running said...

Oh damn! I have some hearing loss - same situation with frequent ear infection. I did not get tubes - thank goodness. I hope you can find a way to get $$$ for the hearing aids. That's gotta be the hard part.

Anne said...

My hearing loss has increased in recent years, and I always wondered if it was from listening to concerts as a young adult or using the iPod since then. Thanks for reminding us to cherish what we have while we have it.

And belated congrats on the PR. Oh, and I love love love your opening photo of the sunset. It's gorgeous.

Neese said...

sorry about your ears, I have some loss as well, my dad has bad hearing and hearing aids he won't wear either. I "hear" (no pun intended) tht the new models of aids aren't so bad, good luck I hope you can get help paying for what you need.

Danielle said...

Sucks about the hearing stuff. My dad finally got hearing aids after having tried some years ago and not liking them. Not sure how he feels about these either, but it was so hard for him to hear in almost any situation that for quality of life he really needed to do something.