Nine days ago, on the 11th, I woke up to find that my left hearing aid was not functional. This incited a major freak-out on my part and pretty much destroyed any chance of a normal work week. This is how I shared it with my inner circles on Facebook:
I ask for prayers a lot (it seems) but this one is an unusual one - one of my hearing aids just died and this is an extremely FREAKY thing for me to deal with, being not only Deaf but also an Aspie. There are pretty much NO resources to help over the weekend, so I'm stuck until Monday at the very earliest.
I can't even begin to explain how tremendously nasty this situation is. It's not just physical, it's intensely emotional and disorienting and scary. And Nathan has never dealt with me in this situation before and it is HIS BIRTHDAY this weekend.
This is one of those situations where everything converges into a perfect storm of awfulness and one of the only times you will ever hear me say that I hate being deaf.
Later I added:
It's hard because there is only so much you can do when your whole world is off-kilter. It's not just emotion, it's a physical disturbance, like an itch you can't scratch. I can't quite explain how it affects everything, but it really does. Like we rely on our hearing for balance and orientation and taking away half of that totally messes with your brain. It's not just the normal "breath in, breath out" coping, because any time you move everything seems wrong. Which makes it that much harder to deal with the emotional side, of course, because all of my patience is going into just not freaking out every second, much less coping with anything else that comes into the picture.
Two brighter spots... it is my left (non-dominent) ear, which has a sore in it so it will appreciate a chance to heal up a bit. And a friend with similar health issues totally understood the situation and send me a new kindle book to read right away, since reading is something I prefer to do without hearing aids anyhow.
The good news is that we DO have another pair of hearing aids, but they are not programmed yet, and even when that happens (no idea how long it will take to get an appointment) I'll have to adjust to a totally new way of hearing, which is my least favorite thing to do and I've been putting it off as long as possible because I hate it so much. And now I don't have a choice, I just have to face an unexpectedly bad couple of weeks now (and just when I was feeling healthier too.)
I hate talking about all of this, but I feel like if I don't talk about it, I'm just perpetuating the bubble of ignorance about handicaps and deafness in particular. A hearing aid isn't like a car - you can't function without it - but it's also not like pacemaker, you /can/ live without it. So it's not something you can get fixed at an emergency room, but it ought to be because it is so critical. You can't borrow someone else's aid if yours breaks. Basically I can't drive or really go out in public or see people until this is resolved. And even things like sewing are hard because of the spacial stuff I mentioned in my last post. It's just frustration all the same, and not for an easily quantifyable reason, so you feel like you're going insane.
The weekend was the hardest. Both the adjustment and the not knowing what was going to happen. I did freak out a lot, and Nathan had to cope with that. A couple of friends sent me Kindle books because reading is one thing I prefer to do without my aids in anyhow.
By Monday my brain had settled into the new information intake pattern so I was less stressed, and we found that my old aid could be repaired, and thanks to an awesome tax refund, we could afford it! It'd be less than two weeks to repair. (It ended up just being one!)
THEN the allergies hit. And other health stuff. It was confusing and painful and my health care provider was out of town so we just kind of had to cope and do our best. I basically couldn't do anything except read and (sometimes) knit. I had a bit of a respite on Friday, which was good because my friend and mentor Regina Doman was in town and we had her, her husband and their newest little baby over for dinner and to see our apartment. I hadn't seen them for two years, which is the longest we've gone since we first met (and this is the family I lived with for 3 months back in 2011!). So that was great.
But Saturday and Sunday were REALLY rough. I was hardly on Facebook at all and pretty much didn't get out of bed. Just read and slept and felt miserable and frustrated.
Today my hearing aid came in and we were able to get in to see my health care professional so we got some answers and solutions there. I still feel miserable, but at least I have a plan now.
Anyhow, that's all a very long way of explaining why I haven't blogged this week, despite more OUAT revelations and Daredevil getting released and a new Star Wars trailer and all that.