With so many people coming here desparate for answers and searching for help, I thought it might be a good time for me to post something positive. This week marks 10 years for me suddenly losing my hearing. All I was doing was sitting in a Dairy Queen drive through waiting for my ice cream. My ear started ringing, the world turned sideways and I puked like crazy. My wife had to drive us home and life has never been the same. 100% hearing loss in right ear and non-stop tinnitus.
Not so much.
In the last 10 years my wife and I have had two beautiful daughters. I’ve received promotions at work. I’ve traveled to many countries. I’ve got new hobbies and I’m listening to some great music. All with one ear working.
What I’m trying to say is that life doesn’t stop when this crap happens.
Of course my friends, family and coworkers can’t remember which ear is the bad one. Sure, I have to sit at the corner of a table in a restaurant to hear everyone. And yes, the tinnitus can be relentless, but there are ways to cope (including not reading the tinnitus forums too much!)
What my hearing loss has done for me is not all negative. It’s forced me to focus on conversations. It’s made me more aware of my surroundings and oddly my lip reading is somehow good enough now to be able to tell what a baseball coach says to a pitcher on TV. I’ve even tried a few hearing aids but none of them seem to work that good, but I’m willing to try.
When this first happened to me, I saw one Dr who told me I could claim disability, prescribed me a bunch of Valium and told me to go sit on my couch for a few weeks (years?) Instead I went home and got on my mountain bike. Yeah, I fell over a few times due to the dizzys, but soon I had fought that off and was back to riding my favorite trails.
Sure it sucks. It’s normal to feel depressed. Have a good cry and then get back to living…and realize that now you get half-price ear plugs!