Friday, December 09, 2011
Most of yesterday was given over to finally getting my hearing tested and confirming what I suspected - that I am hearing less than half of what is said and have worked out a complex of methods to work around the loss. I really didn't realize how much I was depending on visual cues in face to face conversations.
The phone is another big issue. My job entails listening to incident reports over the phone and I depend a great deal on the fact that nothing much new and strange happens on a daily basis...repetition and anticipation, sort of human predicative spelling. I have reports typed out before people even finish dictating them. How many stupid ass ways can one slip and fall or burn oneself in a commercial kitchen anyway?
The doctor couldn't say if the tinnitus was a separate issue from the hearing loss but it certainly compounds the problem. I really miss stone cold silence. My range of hearing is narrow and odd and hearing aids are called for as soon as possible to prevent further loss/damage. They may or may not help the tinnitus. When it's at it's lowest level, I can pretend it's only cicadas partying hearty on midsummer's eve. At it's worst, a jet's engines revving up just before take off...only it never does. A new element cropped up the other day -- a mercifully short low toned hum, not unlike the reverberations of a really big bell ..it came creeping in my left ear like a fat fuzzy brown caterpillar, and then thankfully slunk away. Sometimes it's hard to hear my own thoughts.