Tuesday, June 29, 2004

I have some good news, and I have some bad news... if I could only decide which is which...

Saw the audiologist, "Alain", this morning. He is a great guy, really goes above and beyond the call of duty. In fact, we spent about thirty minutes doing some internet research together on autoimmune hearing loss. (I mentioned Dr. Henderson's musing to him.) It would be fair to say that my situation is a textbook case if there is such a thing. The symptoms and progression described on this page might be my case study. Although, knowing the why doesn't help awfully at this point.

We did - or tried to do - hearing tests but there was no result, so my new chart just shows a series of arrows pointing downward at the y axis (did not respond, did not respond, did not respond). While the audiologist can graph this, it's Dr. H. who must interpret it and the next course of action. However, Alain did strongly recommend I speak to Dr. H. about an immediate referral for an evaluation for a cochlear implant (CI). From his experience it seems my type and experience of deafness mean it's an option for me.

I don't know whether this is good news or bad. I am going to be honest here and say that I've always thought cochlear implants creepy. This from a person who has really never been particularly 'creeped out' by any physical disability or oddity. I feel guilty saying so and I know it's a bad, stupid and entirely unacceptable prejudice on my part but it's the truth. Now, ladies and gentlemen, live on this very stage, Instant Karma!

My reaction to Alain the audiologist as I left his office with a stack of literature about CIs under my arm was that this was a 'big decision' that I had to do a 'lot of thinking about'. You have to understand, when you've been through as many surgeries as I have (thinking on it this morning I realized I have literally lost count, particularly of the abdominal surgeries in the 90s), deciding to undergo that experience again is something pretty much every cell in your body and brain scream "NO!" to. Especially if it's going to involve messing about in my skull. Yet, as I sit here at home and read the literature, and after talking lunchtime with husband, what other choice do I have if I am a candidate? We must pursue the options that are open to us, was husband's advice, and he is right. You can't imagine how heavy it weighs on the heart to think of things you will never hear again.

Tomorrow, of course, Dr. H. may have an entirely different opinion of the point of testing for CI potential, so we shall see.



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