I’ve had a rough month. When I returned from Agile 2009, my right ear didn’t unblock from the plane. I couldn’t hear out of it, and it was blocked. I didn’t think much of it–I went to the doctor who said, “yup, you’ve got fluid. Take decongestants.” I did, and the vertigo got worse. Finally, I went to see an ENT doctor for what I thought was going to be a myringotomy. However, by then, I had no extra fluid in my ear. With a hearing test, we discovered, I am close to completely deaf in my right ear.
When you have “idiopathic idiopathic sensorineural hearing loss” (we don’t know why, it’s from the nerve, and you can’t hear), you get an MRI. I did. I have an unusual MRI now–some hemorrhage in my right ear, and a meningioma. Meningiomas are benign brain tumors. They do need to be watched to make sure they don’t screw your brain up. As the doctor said, “You don’t have MS or brain cancer.” Well, that’s a relief. (An aside: now that relatively healthy people are getting MRIs, they find things. I suspect I will die from something quite different 🙂 We don’t know about the hemorrhage, and my doctor is talking with other docs who know about these things.
I have to learn to adapt. I’ll be buying a new alarm clock, both for home and travel (anyone use one with a light to wake you up?) I have to learn to be around people where there is lots of noise all around. It’s difficult to know where the noise is coming from and to filter the noise correctly. I have to be extra alert around my right side, because I can’t hear anything there. It’s amazing how many people walk next to me talking, and have no idea I can’t hear them. Oh, and don’t get me started on people who cover their mouths when they talk. Argh! I start on physical therapy for the vertigo in a couple of weeks.
I could have done without this 🙂 And, I am ecstatic to be alive with no deadly disease. I would prefer to have not lost my hearing (there’s now about a 20% chance I can regain it or part of it), but as things go, that’s a small problem. It’s taken me a while to find my equilibrium. I don’t quite have it physically yet, but I’m a lot better emotionally. I can work, fly, drive, do almost everything except dance (for now), and work out too hard. The vertigo comes back with a vengeance if I push myself at the gym.
When I facilitate the Reinventing Yourself Bof this year at AYE, I’ll be thinking about my work. Am I doing work that gives me joy? That helps other people? That leaves me in a state of grace?
None of us know how life will unfold. We can only keep working on our equilibrium and grace. I’ll be back to normal blogging and tweeting soon.