[bct] Re: hearing loss

  • From: "Rose Combs" <rosecombs@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 18 Nov 2005 07:10:33 -0700

When I had a glomus tumor in my left ear for some time I was hearing a
constant noise in that ear something like waves.  Eventually they figured
out what was wrong and did a twelve hour surgery.  Normally they do not do
reconstruction on the ear after these but my surgeon realized that I would
need at least some hearing in that ear so he spent time rebuilding the ear.
However, he forgot to tell me that the healing process would take time and
that hearing would not be instantaneous.  So for the first couple of weeks I
was very depressed because I could hear nothing from that ear, then he
removed the packing and I thought that would make it all OK.  It did not,
and I started to cry in his office.  He told me that the process to see just
how much hearing I would gain would take months.  
I found myself lost in my own house a lot during those months, knocked over
drinks, had to buy a new answering machine because I dumped coke in mine,
bought three computer keyboards in as many weeks and that was using covered
mugs.  I remember that about six weeks after the surgery I turned on the
stereo and happened to get just the tiniest glimmer that there were actually
two speakers, I called my doctor, my boss, my husband, my parents.  They
mostly thought I had gone crazy but my doctor and my husband at least
understood my excitement.  
It took about four months to get really usable hearing on that side, and
during that time I had a lot of weird mishaps because the hearing changed
daily.  I don't have facial vision on the left, or it is not good, so I had
a very sore shoulder from whacking walls for a while.  
One embarrassing experience for me was about two months after the surgery I
was at work and went next door to the rest room, a matter of about three
feet, so I did not take my cane, as I don't use it much inside buildings
unless they are totally unfamiliar to me.  When I came back to the office I
thought the door was shut and I reached for the door knob and got an
unexpected surprise in that my hand was on a man's privates, (he did have
pants on) but he was standing in the door leaving and I heard a door so I
reached.  This is, one large tall guy by the way.  I wanted to fall through
the floor, but all I could do was laugh and laugh until I cried.  Thank
goodness he worked at the hospital and had been in and out of our office
enough to know something about my recent surgery but still.  
I have about a 40% loss on the left now and am missing some of the highs and
lows, and I hear a constant sort of ringing that never goes away.  Nothing
can be done about that.  For months if I picked up the phone in the normal
left-handed way and put to my left ear as habit, I could not even hear the
voice on the other end, and if I answered in the middle of the night I'd
hang up thinking no one was there and then after doing so wonder who had
called and why I did not switch ears.  I can hear on the phone now, but it
sounds more like a tin can than it should so I have gotten into the habit of
using the right but since I am an extremely right-handed person this can be
a problem at times.  I have learned to push the buttons left-handed, but
sometimes I cross hands and hold the receiver in my left hand to my right
ear so I can have the right hand for something else.  

Rose Combs

-----Original Message-----
From: blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Mary Emerson
Sent: Thursday, November 17, 2005 10:02 AM
To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [bct] hearing loss

Wow! 90 percent in both ears is a lot, but apparently your inner ears are
still receptive to sound which is very fortunate for you. I don't cross busy
streets at all. After getting knocked down by moving vehicles a few times, I
decided it's better to be safe than sorry. Residential streets are quite
easy if you do it logically, line up in what ever way you can and if the sun
is shining, just keep it in the same place as you go and you generally can
go straight across. Unfortunately our corners aren't square, they are
rounded, so it's tricky to line up properly. Can you tell if you're near a
wall or did you lose that facial vision as they call it? I still have it on
the left but not at all on the right. I can be right next to a wall, on the
right, and then my right hand can run right into it and I don't even know
it's there. Can you tell room sizes? I can sort of do it but it's a
one-sided deal. I miss being able to do it because it was really handy to
hear both sides and know how big a room was.

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