I welcomed the new year in with double ear infections – both sides, inner and outer. First, in defense of infants the world over, I have only felt that intensity of pain once before when my appendix was about to rupture. The ear pain had me curled in a ball on my living room rug at 2:00am begging the universe to make it stop. Sobbing. Loudly. Babies, in my opinion, should scream louder.
Along with the pain, I lost significant amounts of my ability to hear. I could hear someone on the other end of the phone, but not someone standing next to me. I stopped being able to perceive the noise of my fridge for about three weeks. I was unable to walk in a straight line inside my own home. I couldn’t hear if the pot of water on the stove was boiling or not.
As you might imagine, this was a life complication. Once the pain was under control, it took about 48 hours for my brain to say, “Hey, we can navigate the outside world. Camille’s good at her job. You should be able to hear audible crosswalks. AS long as you only go to places you know…..” Around then, I stood up and the room started spinning. “Okay, maybe not if I’m experiencing vertigo.”
Once the dizziness passed, that’s exactly what I did – went out and navigated familiar places while my hearing was limited. I’m still stunned at myself. Not amazed. Stunned.
What attitude or approach achieved this … result? This is a new adventure. Wonder what it will be like. Wonder what I’ll learn.
I credit this mindset to my December reading of Crashing Through written by Robert Kurson telling the real life story of Mike May’s adventures in going from totally to legally blind. Perfectly content as a blind man, he was presented with the unexpected possibility of regaining vision with a new medical procedure. The book chronicles his decision and subsequent experiences.
To boil it all down, he did it to – excuse the pun – see what it would be like. I was presented with a perceptual change and decided to embrace it as an experience. It went well.
two months later, I have most of my hearing back, but they aren’t sure everything will return. The nuanced auditory input I use for things like “Where did that thing land when I dropped it?” is effected along with trouble discerning traffic patterns, identifying the location of an open doorway and a few other things.
I’m pretty much done sucking all the learning and experiencing out of this adventure. Fingers crossed that the steroids work.