Monday, 2 June 2008

Sorry - what did you say?

It’s not often I long for the weekend to be over, but this one I was counting down the hours till 10 past 4 this afternoon.

I’ve gone deaf – sorry, hard of hearing - you see. This happens on a regular occurrence because I have narrow entrances to my ears and when too much wax builds up, my ears need to be syringed. This isn’t as bad as it sounds, but in order for it to happen, I have to put oil in my ears for 5 days before hand. This means that the wax tends to clog up my ears, I feel a huge pressure round my sinuses and inside my head, and frankly Monday afternoon cannot come round soon enough.

As luck would have it, on Friday morning I had to do a phone interview with a consultant. Tricky when you can’t hear the other person well. So I had to start off by saying, “I’M REALLY SORRY BUT I’VE GOT BLOCKED UP EARS AND CAN’T HEAR VERY WELL.”

“THAT’S ALL RIGHT,” he said. “I’LL SHOUT!”

Which he did. And in fact it was fascinating – and I was taping it in case I missed anything - but that’s another story.

Being deaf is a strange experience. Other worldly. Isolating. Removed. All these things. I’m not entirely deaf, of course, but the little I can hear comes from the end of a very long tunnel. If one of my ears pops, I jump, realising how incredibly noisy the radio is, or Mollie’s bark.

Everyday things that I’ve taken for granted suddenly become impossible, or at best far reaching. I start to try and work out what people are saying by watching their mouths. It makes me miserable and weepy. I feel like a little girl, wanting someone to sort it all out for me.

I often think how terrible it must be to lose your sight, but being deaf would run a close second.

Meanwhile roll on 10 past 4 this afternoon…

17 comments:

Aoj & The Lurchers said...

Not nice. Himself has the same problem, although not nearly as bad, and I know he finds it frustrating too.

lindsay said...

Sorry about ears - I have exactly same problem! About 3 weeks ago there was an article in the Daily Telegraph - you can now buy "Master Blaster" and clean your own ears out safely. Go to www.clearear.com. I have had huge success with mine.

Flowerpot said...

AOJ - sorry your other half has teh same problem. must be a lot of us stumbling round, deaf!

Lindsay - thanks for that. I'll take a look.

rosiero said...

Have stumbled on your blog via Crystal Jigsaw. You sum it up so well. I am hard of hearing - part hereditary and part tinnitus. Unbelievably, though my ears feel blocked, I have never had to have them syringed, so that it not my problem. But the way it makes you feel equates to your experiences. It does cut you off. I am now afraid to use the telephone as, even when you ask someone to speak up, they still get quieter as the sentence goes on. I find everyone mumbles and, even if I wear a hearing aid, which I try not to do, they just mumble more loudly. Which is why I don't wear the hearing aid. In a crowd, I find it impossible to keep up with the conversation and feel put to one side. And watching TV can be frustrating, as so many conversations or commentaries take place with background music playing over them. Grrr. Your little girl lost image is spot-on. Anyway. hope the syringing does the trick and you are back to normal soon. Nice to meet you.

Flowerpot said...

roserio - I'm so sorry to hear about your problems. Have you been to see a specialist or someone that can offer you better help? It sounds like life is really tough for you and I wish I could help. Tinnitus sounds really horrible.

JJ said...

Horrid, Flowerpot, sorry to hear how uncomfortable that is. I had a middle ear infection once that made me deaf and I was surprised how isolated it made me feel among my friends.

Flowerpot said...

JJ - not pleasant is it? But having had my ears done an hour ago I am astonished by how noisy everything is. Oh joys!!

Rebecca Taunton said...

Having temporarily lost my hearing a couple of weeks ago, I can truly sympathise. I hope the appointment went well and that you can now hear how noisey the seagulls have become now that the babies have hatched ;@)

Akelamalu said...

My eldest is congenitally deaf in his right ear but he was really frightened when his other ear blocked up with wax and he couldn't hear a thing! I can sympathise with you honey. Hope it's sorted now.

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

That's a really good description, I know it is, because I get this too. Ooh, must check out the masterblaster!

Flowerpot said...

RT - glad your hearing has been restored and yes I can hear the seagulls - arent those babies wonderful?!

Ak - yes thanks I can hear again which is bliss!

Zinnia - not another sufferer? I've also been told about ear candles.... not sure about those though they sound less invasive.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

You have my sympathy. Amy's nana is profoundly deaf. She lip reads but it's hard work. She's in her 80's and was born completely deaf in one ear, as the years have passed she has gone deaf in the other. She does have an aid but unless she's looking at you she hasn't a clue what you're saying. We do sometimes laugh because she laughs too, but I understand how frustrating and upsetting it must be. Hope you will be okay.

CJ xx

Lindsay said...

Glad ears are better. Regarding Master Blaster - I am very happy with it. I swim a lot and despite earplugs and headbands I still get water and wax (not a pleasant mixture). I now use one drop of olive oil in each ear at night and then once a week use the Master Blaster. Can now get on enjoying the swimming.

Flowerpot said...

Crystal - thanks for that. I now have hearing so am much improved thanks! Sorry to hear about Amy's nana, must be so difficult to have it all the time.

Lindsay - thanks for the further info. I shall investigate!

Scroblene said...

Flowers - interesting and common too!

When I got this problem in the US, they sold me a rubber syringe about the same size as a green fig (true...), and after a few drops of Otex the night before, the thing can squirt everything away in minutes!

Strangely satisfying experience too!

Yuccchhh...

Flowerpot said...

scroblene - good to meet you and thanks for that info - sounds worth investigating.

Maggie May said...

I seem to share this problem. Narrow ear canals etc. I find that using Otex ear drops regularly breaks up the earwx & stops me having to have the syringing.