Thursday, November 17, 2011

All I can say is "WOW"!

This might be a long post, but I have something to share with you. Many years ago, in 1952, I had either the chickenpox or measles. I don't recall which, but I was in school and missed a lot of school that winter. It was then that I began losing my hearing. I guess that was not uncommon then. Then, at age 9 or 10, I had a tumor on my left eardrum. I didn't understand why Mom and Dad were so upset about that, because at the time the word "malignant" meant nothing to me. I just remember Mom shedding tears, Dad being worried, and them taking me to a ENT who treated my ear with some stuff called "radium" on a thin stick. I had to go twice a week. I remember Mom talking to me about a "growth" about the size of a pencil eraser, and that Doc. Seward was treating it to make it go away.
After that, I could not hear well in the left ear, but the right one compensated for the loss, and life went on. At age 20, I was having drainage from the left ear, so I went to another ENT Dr. He said that infection was eroding my mastoid cavity on the left side, so I had what was called a "modified-radical mastoidectomy" which robbed me of even more hearing. But it also made my left ear "safe." I always wore earplugs in swimming and whenever water might come in contact with that ear. Many years later, I had to have another mastoid surgery and the Dr. that did that one said that I had scar tissue built up that caused my ear to be infection prone. Then he tried a cochlea implant. he hoped that would improve my hearing. Alas, my body rejected it and it had to removed. I have worn a high powered hearing aid in that ear since 2001. It helped, but since so much of the inner ear was damaged through the years, there isn't a whole lot to work with.
Now, I am losing the hearing in my right ear just due to old age, I guess. I have had some problems with that ear, too. But nothing super major. I have allergies and stuff and my internal drainage tubes (I can't spell them) don't work any more. That all works to make the hearing loss. BUT, I have new hearing aids. They were a gift from my dear brother. I went to the Beltone office and had them programmed just Tuesday and all I can say about this experience is "WOW!" I am hearing things that I don't think I ever have heard, or at least not for a very long time. I can hear the fridge running, clocks ticking, and the furnace. Birds were chirping this morning and I was marveling at how much noise traffic makes. Even the mouse on my computer makes a clicking sound that I have never heard.
Last night at choir practice I was astounded by how good we sound. I knew we were good, but I never realized that we were wonderful!
And you know that little dial on the TV that has numbers from 0 to infinity for volume? Well, usually I watch TV on about 28 to 32. Last night we watch a show and the volume was set on 17. And the commercials were too loud. How great is that!! It's like getting a new lease on life. I am gonna like this a whole lot!


Terry said...

Congratulations, JE. I know just what you mean by Wow!. I got my hearing aids in March - too many sirens and too much artillery took their toll. Now I can hear better than ever. They even came with blue tooth so I can talk through my ears on my cell phone (oh, I get a few raised eyebrows when it looks like I'm talking to myself - but who cares). Ahhhh, life is good.

Curley said...

That is great. Now you can be like the rest of us and use the mute button on the t.v. remote when the commercials come on.