…since my surgery last year. On 05/12/11 I went to Mass Eye and Ear to attempt to recover some of the hearing I lost in my left ear due to head trauma. The surgery yielded very little improvement. It wasn’t a complete waste of time, it did correct one of the issues I was having. The incoming sounds, especially voices, were like Donald Duck was talking. Very garbled, very hard to pick out words.
I do still have the “kazoo” when I speak. My own voice sounds like a kazoo playing in my left ear when I’m talking. The softer I speak, the less I hear the kazoo. If I whisper there is no kazoo sounds at all, but I don’t really hear my voice on the left side at all at that point either.
The volume is obviously not good in my left ear. Voices coming in to that ear are higher pitched than they are on the right side. I can use that ear to talk on the phone, but the voices coming in sound a little like the person speaking inhaled helium. I’ll put the phone up to that ear when I need a chuckle.
Louder sounds coming in to the left ear are like listening to music through a blown speaker. The louder the sound, the more the distortion is noticeable. Sounds are more “flat” in that ear too. It’s hard to describe, but it’s almost like something is loose in that ear. If I tap on my neck anywhere, I hear something in my left ear almost rattle.
So, I don’t really know where to go from here. My next appointment with my otologist is in January. I do have to say that I seem to be adapting more. My son’s birthday is May 5th and we have a favorite restaurant we go to on or around his birthday. The place in in an old mill building and the sounds just echo off the extremely high ceilings and stone walls. Last year it was awful, I couldn’t follow the conversations at all, had trouble communicating with the wait staff, it was just a tough night. We went there over the weekend and it didn’t seem that bad. Yes, I still had some difficulty but not anywhere near what it was last year. I actually enjoyed myself this year.
The depression of last year connected to losing my hearing seems to have gone too. I was so upset last year over the hearing loss, and the fact that it was self inflicted made it even worse. For those of you who don’t know the story, I fell New Year’s after coming home intoxicated. I was out with friends who are heavier drinkers than I am and I apparently kept up with their drinking pace. No one to blame but myself, I should know better. Came home, lost my balance going up the stairs on my porch, pitched forward and put my hand out to stop the fall. No go, my hand went through the balusters and my head connected with the handrail knocking me unconscious. Then unconscious I fell to the stairs landing on the left side of my head. I proceeded to then slide down a stair or two on the left side of my face/head.
I came to and barely remember being helped in to the house. All my drunken brain knew was I was hurt and wanted to go to bed. My husband, also intoxicated, didn’t stop me. Yes, we got a ride home that night! We were dropped off in our driveway. It wasn’t until the next morning that I knew the full extent of my injuries. Massive bump on the head, scrapes, cuts and bruises on my face and head, a concussion, and my hearing damage. Not my proudest moment by any stretch of the imagination.
When you’re drunk and you do something stupid, people like to keep reminding you of just how stupid you’ve been. The jokes about my being drunk and losing my hearing went on, and on, and on. That sure didn’t do anything to help me. When I needed support the most, I got ridicule instead. This board was the only place that I felt “safe” discussing my hearing issues. When mentioned to anyone else all I got was jokes in return about my drunken stumble.
So here I am, 16 months after the fall and 12 months post op, doing better in many ways. As I said I’m adapting better and my brain is adjusting to my new hearing more and more. I flew for the first time since my accident and surgery last month. When the pressure built in my ears I found I heard absolutely nothing out of my left ear. Once my ear popped my now normal hearing returned. Sometimes when I drive my hearing “flutters”, its almost as if I can feel my eardrum fluttering along with it.
Ok, I’ve rambled enough so there is my update.