Thursday, March 6, 2008

What a wonderful noisy world it is out there!

The last appointment I had with Dr. Schnapp, bless his heart, I had asked him to repeat things so much, and had to lean forward to hear him so often, that when we got ready to leave, he said, "Billie, get you some hearing aids!" Yeah, sure, and I can afford to fly to Brazil every Christmas, doctor! He's another one of my buddies; been with him for more than fifteen years, my pain specialist. We just laugh. We are always giving each other a hard time.

Jim mentioned before Christmas that he wanted for us to get me some hearing aids this year. Well, this year is a very looong year, 366 days to be exact (hehe, thought I'd forget didn't you?), so I had not even begun to even give them a thought. Goodness my hearing has been bad for a looong time, wearing aids back in the early 1990s until swelling from Prednisone caused them to no longer fit correctly. My doctor at that time said the cause was familial, with other family members similarly affected.

I had an appointment with Dr. Naidu, the ENT doctor, concerning the blisters in my mouth; he had been a consultant during my hospital admission a couple of months ago. Bankie was there visiting when he came by. A really nice doctor. Having already met him took some of the *new doctor* tension out of preparation for the visit. When in the patient examination room Jim asked his nurse if they could give us some information about how to go about getting hearing aids. She told us they had an audiologist we could see right there, and in fact we could see her while we waited for Dr. Naidu. Jim told her we would like to do that. Me? What about me? I sat there stunned!! Hey, Jim! What happened to procrastination? I think I'm liking this. Keep it up.

Well, he did!!

Thanks to Firefox or Blogger, I am not sure at this point, but one or the other ate my description of my hearing test. I will try to put it back in here, but if I am not able to, just know that the audiologist cheated on me. During the test, which was llike being in the booth of "The $64,000 Question," she covered her mouth so that I could not read her lips. I didn't think that was a very fair game, and not nice at all. If I could have had my camera in there, I would have taken her picture (NO ONE is safe from my camera!) to prove she did not play the game fairly at all! Oh, well, I guess she did a pretty fair job, as you can determine for yourself if you'll just continue reading. Please do. I had to work really, really, very, very hard to get those pictures all lined up. They just did not want to cooperate. ;-) You can leave a comment, too, if you feel so inclined to do so.

We receive the call from Wanda sooner than expected. Guess we are just so used to things taking so long to take place, that we, or at least I did put it towards the back of my mind. Off we went on the 7th to get my new ears. I have to tell you, it was a little scary approaching this appointment. What if they didn't fit? What if I couldn't hear clearly? What if hearing was strange? Oh, I had some other "what if" questions. I could not come up with any surefire positive thoughts. I was nervous. It was a nice building down around midtown; impressive. Big waiting room, but not busy. Soon I find my wheel chair being drawn toward toward the open door where Wanda stood waiting for me. Now was the time. What would they feel like? I have forgotten those earlier ones. Eeeeek! Wanda goes through an office door. I follow her. She takes a place at her desk, and I roll up beside her. My personal photographer joins right in with me (he's just getting so good!).

Her desk is covered with all kinds of goodies that look like they will go into a cute little white bag. Like a present. Yeah, a present I bought myself.

It is getting warm; I take off my jacket as she gets started for I sense it is going to be a long while. It is, but she is so efficiient that I did not notice the time passing..

She puts something connected to the computer into each ear. In everything she did with my ears, she was very gentle, and had a very light touch.

Next Wanda performs her computer magic and we watch as the monitor gives the results. The technology is a far cry from when I got my hearing aids before.

** Now comes the real thing. My new ears!**

The big test. Can I put them in myself? And I just *thought* I had the tremors. First try. In the ear, but not snug. Then she gave me a hint of giving it any upward turn. Second try. In the ear, AND snug as a bug in a rug! Hooray!

Now to remove the one in the right ear that she had put in earlier (I know. I didn't write about it, but I really didn't think you would mind. Right?), and then put it back in. Success!!

First impression? WOW!!

I could hear my own voice. Yes, everything else as well, but it was so strange to hear my own voice. I do not recall there being that big of a difference before. She said I would get used to it.

Wanda gathered all my goodies for my present that I (we) had bought myself, together, and me and my ears went astrolling out of her office, out of the clinic, out of the building . . . outside. What about the outdoors? Birds. Breeze blowing. You may call it wind, but to me, the gentleness of it deserved a sweeter name, for it was a sweet moment. Then the NOISE! Where did all the noise come from? Had it been there for all these years, and I had not heard it. No, I cannot believe it. Astounding! Really and truly astounding! Something else that these ears have given me. I am able to talk on the telephone a bit better now. As much of the fear disipates, I am sure that in time I will be able to function more normally. One day at a time.

It has been a month now, and I am still amazed at being able to be a part of the world surrounding and involoving me, and the *noise* is not quite so noisy any more. Even when it is too load, it is still beautiful. I have not been able to get back for my adjustments when she will need to dampen them just a tad, but not too much.

There are two muscles in the ears, and they feel that the Myasthenia Gravis has affected my hearing via these muscles, which may also explain why my hearing loss would not always be the same. It was interesting that this came from doctors independently, none knowing the others had made that determination. Dr. Saeed told Jim and me this back months ago when we quized him on it, as we were asking question after MG question. But with the audiologist and neurologist, I feel pretty certain that the MG at least contributed to it significantly since it worsened when the MG worsened. What doe Myasthenia Gravis NOT touch in some form or fashion?

What a blessing to be able to hear again. Next will be to get the MG under control so that I can see clearly again.

First Great-Grandson
Matthew James Gilliam

"If I can help somebody as I pass along,
Then my living will not be in vain."

Striving for a world without Myasthenia Gravis

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Billie,

Glad you got your ears! I have had 3 audiology tests and for each one I was facing a wall with my back to the audiologist. No way to tell even when she was talking.

I have a moderate hearing loss in both ears but only use one hearing (half the price) and I can use the cell phone and my land line which is amplified on the other ear.

Glad your new ears work. I love mine.