For What It’s Worth
The other day, Paige asked me if I could hear my heartbeat. I told her no; with my CIs off, I don’t hear anything…my own voice, the sound of food being chewed, my heartbeat/pulse, etc. I just realized, though, that I don’t hear my heartbeat when I’m wearing CIs either. I’m not sure anyone really hears their own heart beating, do they?!
Anyway, she was reading a book about beauty queens stranded on a desert island (or something like that) and one of the girls was deaf. I guess there must have been a reference to her hearing her heart beating, which made Paige ask me about it. I think it’s hard to really imagine what it’s like to not hear things like your own voice (although, again, I don’t think we hear our heartbeat anyway) and it’s hard to imagine what it’s like to be deaf. I thought I knew fairly well, since my hearing loss was pretty advanced before I went deaf, and that was nothing compared to profound bilateral deafness. But I explained to Paige that it wasn’t silent…I was assaulted with noise all the time, noise that I couldn’t escape from, in the form of tinnitus. That’s another thing you just can’t explain to someone…and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone just so they could experience having tinnitus.
* Am I the only one who remembers this song by the DeFranco Family? I think the full title was ‘Heartbeat, It’s a Lovebeat’. It came out in 1973, when I was all of 9 years old.
I’m completely alone in the house right now, which is weird. Paige is at the library, volunteering at a Harry Potter party to celebrate the final movie coming out today. Dave is at the VA hospital, returning his Bravo PH monitor. It is really rare for me to be alone because Dave and I spend pretty much every hour of the day together. I used to think I was a loner, because I do prefer to be alone and used to really crave time by myself. Since I met Dave, though, that’s not the case…I can spend every moment with him and feel perfectly content. It’s good to know that when we have an empty nest someday, we will enjoy each other just as much. :)
Don’t Do Me Like That
We were trying to remember when Dave had that big panel of blood tests, the 15 tubes of blood, so I was looking back through my blog for the date. I realized it has been over six months since he’s been trying to move forward with his fundoplication (the surgery for his hiatal hernia and GERD). He had an endoscopy back in January or so, and just had another one two days ago. This one included a PH study, which I talked about back in January as well – they lodged a capsule in his esophagus to register his PH levels and see how often he had acid reflux. It took 6 months to get this test! Now he has another endoscopy plus a manometry test (to check the muscle function of his esophagus) on August 11. Then he sees the GI doctor on my birthday at the end of August. (It was supposed to be the end of July, but she canceled the appointment, which is the second time she’s done that.) It’s really frustrating to me because he can’t start on his Hepatitis C treatment until he’s healed from this surgery, and he obviously won’t have the surgery until September at the soonest, with all the testing they keep putting him through. We assumed he would be starting his Hepatitis C treatment in early spring, March or April. Now it looks like he’ll be lucky to be starting treatment before Christmas 2011.
On the other hand, we can’t complain about the fact that he gets free, very good healthcare from the VA here. It just takes soooo long to get anything done!
Enjoy the Silence
One final observation…I had two instances this week when it was just so convenient to be deaf (not something I often say). First, we were in the grocery store, just meandering and taking our time (we love shopping in this store) when some kind of horribly piercing alarm system went off. I think it was a fire alarm – there were little strobe light things flashing and intermittent extremely high pitched tones, but (thankfully) the sprinkler system didn’t activate. I had to stop and grab onto the shopping cart because the extreme high pitched tones, although dampened down by the AGC in my CIs, made me so dizzy that I couldn’t walk. We kind of looked around to see what was going on, if an announcement was going to be made or if people were leaving the store or what. I left my CIs on so I could try to hear any instructions we might be given. After a minute or so, I couldn’t stand it and just took the magnets off and let them dangle. My God, the relief!! It felt so good to just hear nothing. Everyone else was grimacing and covering their ears. I told Dave to let me know when it stopped, and we kept on shopping. It went on for probably 10 minutes and finally we saw some firemen heading to the back of the store (no smoke or anything – who knows what set it off). A few minutes after we saw them, the alarm stopped and I was able to put my CIs back on. Very convenient!
And this morning, a guy came by to bury the cable for our internet/cable service. It’s been lying across the whole backyard for seven months now, and Dave finally called and got a bit nasty with them to get them to come out and bury it. (It was his second phone call about this; they did this back in December when they came out to do some cable stuff and claimed back then that they would be out in a few days to bury the cable. They also gave us strict instructions not to bury it ourselves…they must know Dave well, because he was tempted!) We were having breakfast and suddenly heard this tremendous racket, like a jackhammer, coming from the open windows. I could barely speak over the noise, and I asked Dave if it was the cable guy. He laughed and said, “What? How could that be, unless he has a bulldoz….oh yeah, he’s got a bulldozer in the back yard.” (!!) So once again, I took off my CIs and told Dave to tell me when he was gone. What a terrible sound!
…okay, this blog entry is just a bunch of unrelated thoughts and experiences, but there they are, for what it’s worth. :)