Ok well, when this first happened, it pissed me off a lot. But it had a good outcome. So..
Saturday morning, in the car to college, my right HA decides to rebel and starts whistling, a lot. It's sort of like a high pitched squeal, and everyone can hear it. Well, everyone, bar me. My hearings that crappy I can't hear the damn thing squealing when it's directly in my ear. Which I'll admit is a bit stupid cos I can hear with earphones at a perfectly normal volume (and yeah, this both freaks me out but I find it epically cool at the same time, even if every things still muffled and unclear). It's a frequency thing apparently.
I have to rely on other people's reactions (unless I ask them to directly tell me) when wearing my HAs to see if they notice my HAs randomly whistling. Which meant on the entire journey to college I was probably really bugging my Mum with randomly switching on my HA to see if it was still being a bastard. I gave up, and just left it in the car when I got to college. Which meant going through the day with one functioning HA. B/c nerve damage is complex, it's not just like putting my HAs in instantly fixes everything. People seem to think, you're deaf, you get HAs, you can hear. That's total bullshit b/c hearing is something you have to learn. When you loose it you have to learn it all over again and that's fucking difficult when you can't understand a word someone is saying - nerve damage kinda wrecks the ability to clearly understand someone. So basically, for me, I just hear noise, and really genuinely struggle to understand what people are saying.
I'm so shit at explaining this but hopefully you get the gist.
College with one HA was... difficult. I can lip read but I'm not that good at it. Silly, cos after 8 years of crap hearing, having to make sure you can see someones face in an effort to understand them, you'd think that I'd be quite the skillful little lipreader. B/c I have probably less than 20% of hearing without my HAs, I can't hear a thing without them. I gave up listening at college and just put my ipod on instead. Which had a hilarious outcome when the tutor asked me a question based on photos we were looking at and I managed to blag my way through a random (but surprisingly accurate) answer.
I might be rubbish at lip reading but I'm apparently skilled at bullshit answers to a question I barely heard in the first place.
I got home and attempted to get my HA working again. Failed royally and now it's sitting on the mantel piece like a dutiful little broken piece of crap. We went to Hexham ENT on Mon to see if they could get it working. My theory was that it was the ear mould bits being knackered which was setting off the feedback. So we sat in the waiting room of old people (it's stupid that both the ENT and the chest clinic is full of old people - can't I have something wrong with me that surrounds me with people my age that I can actually meet!?) which to be honest should be called 'the waiting room of death' seeing as everyone else was 70+. We finally get called, and we wander into the technician's room. They're stupidly blaming my ear for the HA rebelling, but that honestly can't be the reason it's knackered b/c if it was, why does it whistle when I switch it on but it's not in my ear?! Basically, despite whatever the ENT people say, I'm sticking with my diagnosis:
I left the tech's room basically as I started - with a knackered HA and no obvious way to fix it or give me the other half of my hearing back. I got pissed off a lot at this, I was angry and sarky to people, and to be honest, on the verge of bursting into tears b/c they didn't seem to be helping me and just saying my ear was the problem when it blatantly wasn't. The fact that this almost made me cry when I never cry really confuses me though.
I thought that I'd at least be able to pick up my new ear mould things seeing as I swear the woman told me they'd post them out to me but they never did. Turns out that the new moulds were gonna be for my new HAs, and they were just gonna leave me with the old falling to bits ones until I got them. The ball dropping part of this was the fact that there's a waiting list for new HAs, and I was at the bottom, so it'd take months. There's genuinely no way these ear pieces would have lasted that long - the list was so long I didn't have an actual, or even vague, date for my new HAs.
B/c of my right HA fucking up and refusing to work at all, I've been bumped to the top of the list - earliest appt was next Tues, for which I'll hoof my way over to the Freeman in Newcastle. I'm uber pleased at getting new ones though - I asked my dr for new HAs, basically of any kind, b/c my current ones were a) the size of fecking bricks, and b) 5 years old and the sound hadn't been adjusted for my hearing since I got them and c) were supposed to help me hear things better, being digital and all, but never did. She point blank said no to this, and said my only other option was a cochlea implant. I don't want one. At all. B/c whilst they may work for other people, I have enough going on without basically having brain surgery too. Plus, they only work for one ear, and have a massive ear piece round your ear (which is what I hate about HAs too) so I'd still have to wear a HA on the other ear. So it might be awesome for some people, but it's not the be all magical fix - I'd still probably have difficulty understanding people, not being able to talk on the phone b/c that's not face to face communication. Stuff like that.
When I saw a different ENT dr at Hexham, I asked basically straight away (I figured, ask now and find out, rather than sitting on the question and building up a rapport with the dr or something). He said yes, and they're apparently going to be Naida hearing aids. Never heard of that brand before but apparently they're really good. So mucho excitement.
Unfortunately that means I have basically one ear for week. Kind of annoying seeing as I'm meant to be going out on Saturday. Bright sides are that I don't do anything all week - it's not like I go to school where having even more crap hearing than usual would be an incredibly annoying and unhelpful thing. And the fact that going out on Sat, even just with one HA, probably won't affect me at all - we'll be in the pub, and even people who can hear well can barely hear in there. It usually gets so loud I switch them off anyway. I'm adjusting to having one HA, which is odd. The plus side to it being my right one that broke, is that my left ear is kind of clearer and hears *slightly* better than my right. So if I had to loose one HA, it'd be the right one. At least it's only for a week. My tinnitus in my left ear is being ridiculously loud at the moment. No idea why. Hopefully it'll bugger off, b/c it's incredibly loud, off putting and distracting. I know people cope with it, but mine is beyond loud - I'm pretty sure I'd gain at least a tiny bit of hearing or the ability to understand people better if I didn't have tinnitus.
So yeah, it sucks that I can only half hear with what shitty hearing I have left at the moment, but the win is that I got bumped to the top of the list for new HAs when I otherwise had no idea when I would be getting them. Good things can come out of the bad. Sometimes it's not that obvious to see it, but dammit, it'll be there somewhere.
Wow that was a ramble and a half. If you got this far, congrats, and reward yourself with a cookie :)
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