My Hearing Loss Journey: Part Two
I hope these musings find you and your loved ones healthy and safe as we continue our journey through these challenging times. Again, I ask your forgiveness for my absence from the blogosphere. I’m certainly thankful to be in a better space both physically and mentally as we move through this fall of 2021, but I also know I’m not alone in my ongoing struggle to find a steady routine. I also haven’t felt compelled to write about anything, as life has felt pretty uneventful – until now. Tomorrow, I’ll undergo surgery for the first time in my life.
My repeat readers may recall a “big reveal” on this site not long before life as we once knew it changed forever. In January of 2020, I started wearing a hearing aid. This was the non-invasive path available to address the conductive hearing loss that came on suddenly in 2018 because of a rare condition called otosclerosis.
WebMD offers the simplest definition of this condition that affects a little more than three million Americans:
“Otosclerosis is a condition that causes hearing loss. It happens when a small bone in your middle ear — usually the one called the stapes — gets stuck in place. Your stapes bone has to vibrate for you to hear well. When it can’t do that, sound can’t travel from your middle ear to your inner ear. That makes it hard for you to hear.”
In everyday life, this condition makes it extremely hard to hear and follow conversations in crowded places or anywhere with ambient sound, like restaurants or gyms. While the hearing aid did improve my hearing somewhat, the device never felt truly comfortable and I found there were too many circumstances where wearing it wasn’t an option. That included high-intensity workouts including running or kickboxing. Since I couldn’t risk getting the device wet, it also never accompanied me on days at the beach – my go-to destination for solace during the last two summers.
The bottom line: after extensive research and another visit with the ENT who first presented me with my options, I decided to move forward with a surgical procedure called a stapedectomy. During the short procedure, I’ll be under general anesthesia while Dr. Neil Sperling removes the non-working stapes bone in my right ear and replaces it with a titanium micro prosthesis.
I am sharing my story as an example of when plan A doesn’t work, it’s up to you and you alone to determine if and when you’re ready to move on to plan B, if one exists. Am I nervous? To be completely honest, yes. But I’m also excited to see what the aftermath will sound like. I’ll be sure to write about how it goes and what the recovery is like. I do know I’ll be resting for a few days after the surgery and facing about two weeks of downtime from my running routine. I’ll also be having monthly audiograms until next spring to track improvements in my hearing.
I credit my journalism background with helping in the information gathering process throughout this journey to date. I’m also extremely grateful for the guidance from a dear family friend who happens to be a retired ENT and performed countless stapedectomies during his career. Finally, I thank everyone who has reached out since I first wrote about my hearing loss with so many kind words of support. These are the times you realize how a little encouragement can go a long, long way when it comes to getting back on track with your plans to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!
Posted on October 6, 2021, in Health and tagged Dr. Neil Sperling, General Anesthesia, Hearing Aids, Hearing Loss, Otosclerosis, Outpatient Surgery, Stapedectomy, Workout Wednesday. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.
Will say a prayer & all should go well, be strong.
Thank you so much, Gloria! I appreciate your concern and care.
My prayers are always with you Laura.. I hope it’s a big favorable outcome for you! You got this!! Xoxo Alan..
Thank you for the ongoing prayers and support, Alan! Really appreciate the concern.
What a brave decision you have made! God bless you and the surgeons hands as you take care of this small bump in the road ! Love you
My dear Maria! Thank you for the prayers and all your love!
Laura, Matt had a similar situation, ent said he could get a hearing aid, but referred us to a wonderful ent surgeon. This was in 2004. He put a platinum pin in his ear. Worked well for a long time, seeing around 2019, problem straining to hear. Hopefully, your surgery will give you many clear years of hearing that Matt got. You probably will be dizzy for a few days, nauseous and may leak blood from you ear. Make sure you get all the bad issues you may experience so you know everything is normal you are experiencing. Praying for you. M
Hello Marie. So great to know Matt had a favorable outcome and I appreciate you alerting me to how things may be for the days following the surgery. Happy to say I’ve asked tons of questions and am prepared for whatever comes along…and looking forward to hearing again! Thank you for your prayers!
I am so happy you have found this solution. I am proud of your braveness and determination. We are wising you a successful surgery and a quick recovery. Sending you love and prayers always♥️🥰
Maria! So sorry for the late reply, but as you know I’ve been recovering and just getting back up to speed. Thank you so much for your lovely message and kind words of support. xo
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