The past few days I’ve been in some kind of a funk. I can’t concentrate, I’m tired all the time and when I’m not sleeping, it feels as though I’m walking through a waist-high stream of molasses wearing snowshoes.
Saturday night my right ear started to hurt. By the middle of the night I was convinced that a spider had taken up residence in my auditory canal. I’d conked out on the patio that afternoon, there are lots of spiders around on the patio, it could happen.
Vince woke up when I turned on my bedside light, as I knew he would. He obligingly looked into both my ears, pronounced them spider-free, turned over and went back to sleep. I dosed myself with some generic eardrops, but I was far from being reassured.
Yesterday, they tell me I was difficult to be around. Both my ears were sore and it was impossible to wear my hearing aids. I am 60% deaf. The eardrops were not helping, I was sick and tired of asking people to repeat themselves because I couldn’t hear, I was still not convinced that there wasn’t a spider living in my ears and I figured maybe I should call the GP to take a look. As it wasn’t a real emergency, I decided to wait until this morning to call.
My GP is on vacation, naturally. He is always on vacation when I need to see him, so I had to go to the locum. This time it was Dr. V. I’d never met Dr. V. but any port in storm. Dr. V., it turns out, is Iranian and looks like he could be one of my cousins. I liked him for that. More importantly, he didn’t laugh too much about my spider theory, which made me like him more. He pulled out his otoscope, took a look inside my ears, and pronounced them officially spider-free but infected. I came away with a prescription for antibiotic eardrops and an admonition not to wear my hearing aids for a week, Hey, I was relieved there were no spiders!
I’ve been going gradually deaf most of my life so I never noticed it happening. It wasn’t until 3 years ago that I percieved a problem. It had become impossible to follow conversations in a crowd, if people weren’t looking at me while speaking, I really didn’t hear them and no matter how far I cranked up the volume on the TV, people on TV always sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher.
In June 2009, I got my hearing aids. My silent world was turned on its head. Where I could occasionally hear a single bird chirping in the morning, the hearing aids tuned me in to the full dawn chorus. The world is noisy! I never knew. My house makes noises, my car has a sexy little growl when it starts and it’s true, you really can hear the wind.
For the time being, I am returned to my almost silent world once again. It has been a crazy few months:
Vince changed jobs,
Joe College left for College
my dad died…
Maybe this enforced period of semi-silence is a gift; a time where I can hear myself think, undistracted.