By the end of the next week I just couldn’t cope without a hearing aid and decided it wasn’t an option to wait a minute longer for the NHS to provide me one. Over the last few weeks I’d gone for free consultations with a few private hearing aid centres in my area and had already gathered info on packages and prices. They all seemed to give money back guarantees so I decided to go for it and spend £3,500ish to help me with this new experience of isolating deaf-tinnitus. I was fitted with my new pair of Phonak Q90’s from Boots and was absolutely delighted Continue reading
By now I had got myself a Sonido Listener to get by in the world. This is a handheld electronic device which amplifies sound. It has an inbuilt microphone at one end which you point at people to make them feel important, and a headphone connection the other end which you hear them through. Whilst it no way makes up for lost hearing, it definitely improved my ability to hear others in a one-on-one situation; saving them from having to shout. The downside is that you are constantly connected to a machine and wires so its not a long-term solution. I can Continue reading
I don’t know how to describe the feelings you have as you begin to notice all the ways in which you can’t hear; all the ways in which you’re now excluded from life which is lived interdependently with others. It’s like permanently being the one who didn’t get the joke whilst everyone else is laughing. It’s isolating and if you are going through that, I feel for you and I understand. I’m sorry for your loss.
This week I found out that any sudden, noticeable reduction in hearing should be treated urgently as a medical emergency. It should be treated with the same importance that sudden blindness would be. So how come this is not the case in the UK’s NHS? In order to have a reasonable chance of saving someones hearing, high dose corticosteroids (either tablet or injection) need to be given ideally within 72 hours (but also can be effective up to 1 month). Why do I observe that this is happens for people abroad but not for us in the UK?
The second bout of Labs was so horrible I didn’t care as much about being medicine-free and I pretty much begged for the anti-dizzy pills. Only I couldn’t hold them down this time. I was desperate for help but since my GP had told me there was nothing anyone could do, I didn’t think there would be any point going to A&E.. The truth is, that if I had gone, they most likely would have treated my hearing loss and saved my hearing. They may have taken my condition seriously and got me seen by a specialist sooner. So many what if’s.
For the next few days I carried on laying horizontal . I slept a lot, researched a lot and found innovative ways of functioning without moving my head from the pillow. Those days that I had to make a bathroom visit, were traumatic because I’d get myself there with my boyfriends help, but then get so disgustingly dizzy that I’d fall to the floor and not be able to move again for hours. I remember him wrapping me up in blankets and sliding me into the kitchen so I could catch some of the sun rays coming in through the window. I must have looked pretty scary laying there half dead and I know it really shook him up to see me like that. But we both had faith in my healing and knew it was a blip that would pass soon.
On Fri Feb 13th 2015, exactly 3 months ago, I was busy finishing off things at work and eagerly looking forward to spending Valentines weekend with my boyfriend. I was feeling a bit tired and run down and so we had decided to try and arrange a last minute spa getaway as a relaxing and romantic treat. I was looking forward to finishing work, packing my bags and driving away for the weekend. My left ear had been feeling a bit funny since the day before and I was slightly concerned about swimming with it but wasn’t paying much attention to it.
I left the office to meet a friend for lunch and BOOM!! – suddenly something was seriously wrong with me. The cafe was spinning and rocking and I felt like I was going to fall over and throw up. I felt like I’d been given some super-dodgy class-A’s. I made my swift apologies, grabbed my things from the office and tried to get myself home as fast as I could. The walk home was a whole new experience as the ground seemed to be shifting and everything was looking strangely surreal. I didn’t have a clue what was happening to me.
This is my very first forum post ever! I’m glad I finally got round to doing this and getting my head round WordPress.
I’ve been recovering (or not) from bilateral (bloody unlucky) Labyrinthitus for 3 months now. I’ve learnt so much whilst travelling the tedious, process-driven, time-consuming NHS path and I want to share this with you in the hope that by doing so I will spare you some of the cr4p I went through and you will get the support you need quicker than I did. .