Audio inputs kaput or silence is golden

man with hearing aidThroughout the fall, I keep writing about sickness – human or feline. It’s just been that kind of year. Here is a new twist.

The ear infection that the beloved husband had has resulted in a profound hearing loss in both ears. I have started accompanying him on his various doctor trips to act as an interpreter. I am a master of language skills! He can’t always hear what they are saying. It’s frustrating for him and interesting for me.

I am so much better at being a champion for someone else than I am for myself. Once I take my clothes off in a doctor’s office, I can’t remember anything that he says or tells me to do. I think there is a diagnostic code for that.

The beloved husband can’t always hear what I am saying but by lip-reading or body language (or charade skills in a pinch – sounds like, one syllable) he gets the drift. Today was a big important appointment. We met with the ear, nose and throat specialist on a quest for a quick and painless solution.

When we walked in, the first thing I noticed was that everyone who worked at the practice talked loud. Then I noticed that we brought the average age down to 85 – several of the patients were on walkers. Most did not hear when their name was called the first time or even the second time. Some took a long time to get up and start moving. This was a very scary omen.

Past the big doors, things went a lot smoother. Everyone continued to talk loud and he did pretty well by himself. Occasionally I would put things into perspective like suggesting they use RotoRooter tools or asking if they have margaritas for the caregivers.

We had a wonderful, young physician’s assistant. What I liked best about her (besides her wonderful red patent shoes) is that she explained a lot. I had spent considerable time with Mr. Google on all things ear and I concluded he must have fluid in his inner ear which is rare in adults. Drum roll please — I was right!

First he had a hearing test. He went into a sound proof room with earphones and pressed buttons when he heard something, which wasn’t often. Her response to the test results was, “Wow, you really can’t hear!” Perhaps that’s not what you would like to have your doctor say but it is validating.

Next they put a scope up his nose. Think of it as a northern colonoscopy without the wonderful drugs or the exhausting poopathon the night before. The scope had a neat light on it and was fascinating. No polyps or tumors – yay!

The good news is that the loss is reversible. The bad news is that it may take up to six weeks to get his hearing back but it may happen sooner. He is on a form of prednisolone and a nasal spray. If that doesn’t work, he may need to get tubes in his ears. We are hoping for the best.

I did beg for caretaker drugs but didn’t get anywhere. I suggested that they seriously considered them as most people who can’t hear are pretty cranky.

Clipart courtesy of

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18 thoughts on “Audio inputs kaput or silence is golden

  1. Oh you poor things…both of you! The good news is that it’s reversible of course, but in the meantime this has to be very hard. When we were still in our thirties my husband woke up one morning blind in one eye. It was very scary, and we went through a battery of tests with doctors not finding the problem. Finally a specialist called it out as an allergy! Of all things. Some of the same drugs you’re describing and a few weeks time and it reversed never to come again. It was simply odd. Our bodies do strange, unexplained things sometimes. And yes, I agree with you, you have had a lot of illness, animal and otherwise, this year. Here’s to an uneventful 2013. 🙂


  2. OMG . . . this is exactly like the office where I took my mom to have her hearing evaluated. The age, the voices, the name calling with no response, the booth.

    And, guess what, they also did NOT serve margaritas or offer caretaker drugs. 😦

    Hope your hubby’s hearing returns poste haste . . . we don’t want him to feel cranky during this festive season.


  3. Kate, so sorry to hear that Beloved Husband is still having hearing difficulties. I’m glad that it is reversible.

    I’ve suffered from ear infections for most of my adult life. Acupuncture has actually helped to drain my ears when they were severely blocked. If that doesn’t work, keep drinking those margaritas. Good luck to you both!


  4. Margarita’s and drugs for the caregivers!!!!! Living with a permanently ill husband, I so understand the need for that. Truly, I think we should stage a protest – we’ll drink our margarita’s whilst doing so.
    I do hope your hubby’s hearing comes right soon. Very glad it is reversible.


  5. Hang in there care-giver. “This too shall pass,” and your wonderful sense of humor will serve you and the beloved husband better than any prescription drug. This was such a funny post even though I know ’tis a trying time. 🙂


  6. It is frustrating – for the caregiver, and for the one needing the care – to not be able to communicate what you want or need. I hope he quickly regains his hearing. (I have tinnitus, constant ringing in my ears. So I feel for anyone who has any type of hearing problems.)


  7. I wonder if they talk loud all the time or just at work? And when they are interviewed for their jobs are they given points for being loud and lose them if they talk softly?
    Maybe you could work as a Mr.Google person…people could hire you to find stuff for them.


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