Monday, August 31, 2015

It's Something When Just A Few Days Ago There Was Nothing

I can't recall a longer two weeks in my life. It's somewhat surreal at times. I began to lose my hearing in my left ear two weeks ago this afternoon but it seems like so much more time has passed than that. I've been writing in my blog more now than I typically do because it's therapeutic in helping me sort through my thoughts. For whatever reason, writing this stuff down works for me. Plus, I have some extra time on my hands now with my career in the rearview mirror.

Up until a few days ago I was having moments, awake moments where for a few seconds I would imagine that all of this was just a bad dream and that there was nothing wrong with my hearing. There was a sinking in my heart when I would snap out of it in less than 5 seconds and realize that this was no dream. Or I would think of things I could've done or should've done that may have so easily changed this outcome for me but that's such a cruel game to play with one's mind. I can't go back so why bother even if it's only just to imagine. Still, I go there.

But then there's this other thing I do to try and help my ear to hear. I passed my FAA physical with no problems whatsoever 3 days before my hearing failed. Part of the physical is a hearing test given in a soundproof booth. Headphones are placed over your ears and you're to listen for a series of faint tones and click a clicker when you hear them. I can still hear the beeps from that exam in my imagination when I close my eyes and think of it. I try and imagine my left ear hearing the tones again as I concentrate. It's almost as if I'm willing the synapses in my brain to try and continue to make those connections they used to make. I know. Crazy. But it's how I'm coping.

I was invited out to a friend's home in Wisconsin for a get-together Saturday night. Rick lives out in the country just north of Prescott. My Garmin was encouraging me to take the freeway but I opted for a little slower route on roads I bike on. It had been a busy day and I needed this quiet time before arriving at the party.

Turning on to County Rd F with Jason Isbell filling the cab in my mono, spiritless new-normal I could sense some distortion coming through my left ear. I stuck my finger in my ear to see if the distortion stopped and it did. My finger found some moisture from the shower and I could hear it as it suctioned against my eardrum. I wondered, is there actually something getting through yet? It was encouraging if only that it meant my ear wasn't completely dead.

The party was a nice time as many people from work were there. I missed them. I struggled to hear in some of the noisier situations, mostly inside. It was difficult and made me really miss being able to hear as I could so clearly just a very short time ago. Outdoors I was fine for the most part.

I left the party around 11:00 under an awesome orange moon. I pulled over a couple of times to try and photograph it while taking advantage of being far removed from city lights. I kept thinking about the distortion I had heard on the drive there and what it meant. Maybe it's nothing.

I was out mowing yesterday with a new set of safety ear muffs I purchased to help protect my right ear. Still wondering about the small amount of sound or crackling I was occasionally hearing in my bad ear I took out my mp3 player and snugged up an earbud into my left ear and placed my ear muffs over it so I could block out any ambient noise. I pressed 'play' but heard only some very faint sounds. I turned the volume up and I could definitely make out the song. I ran inside to tell Tammy. I handed her the player and asked her to shuffle through some songs to see if I could tell her what they were. I could but it had to be loud. My ear was still working! There is still something there and this fight is not over!

I was out on a ride this morning and I could actually hear the wind buffeting against the eardrum of my left ear. It's all so promising to me and I have a difficult time not getting too excited about this but it's something when just a few days ago there was nothing. Maybe we can build off of this. Maybe this is as good as it gets. I don't know.

I've got a call in to my doctor's office at Mayo Clinic to see if I can be seen in the next couple days to have another Dexamethasone injection into my inner ear. My doctor is out of town so any response is lagging and I'm more anxious by the hour.

I thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers. Please don't stop.


Brett Holzschuh said...

I know they feeling, Kevin: Why, What could, shoulda, woulda?

This worked for me, but maybe not for others: Shit happens, even to good people for no good reason. Now, how do I do as close to what I did before. It's the challenge: How can I make it effect me as little as possible. Maybe that helps. Maybe I am full of hot air. Best wishes and thoughts, Brett

Kevin Gilmore said...

Yes, you've definitely been through all of these emotions. That's good advice. I'm still in the mode of trying to salvage whatever I can. When it appears that time has passed I'm hopeful I'll be able to move on.