Friday, October 21, 2011

this is what's been going on...

it has been awhile, i know. once school starts up things get a little crazy! i also have started a new blog with my good friend katie at i am going to continue writing here about my house, family, life....just minus the running updates (some of you are thinking, "finally, who cares how much she ran today!!!!). that is not quite all that has been going on.
this blog has always served as a great outlet to record life's events, so i've decided this too can be recorded.

here's the story:
after i had mackenzie i was having some dizzy spells. in fact, i fainted at powell's bookstore shortly after she was born. i spent a few hours in the er, but they saw nothing going on in my heart or with my blood pressure that would cause my me to faint.

the symptoms went away and life went on. i got pregnant with addison and started teaching first grade. i was having a hard time hearing some of my students. at times there was a ringing in my ears. and at other times my ears would feel completely plugged. i mentioned these things to justin and he was worried about me, i guess because he was worried i chose not to worry. it seemed suddenly the tv was not loud enough, something seemed to be wrong with the volume on my phone, car stereo and alarm clock.

we had addison, a beautiful healthy baby girl. i melted my teapot because i didn't hear the kettle whistling. addison was tear streaked and red faced, i hadn't heard her crying. i started to be afraid. this summer i went in to my regular doc to see if it was allergies, ear wax...something easy that i could fix with a pill or potion. he did a few hearing tests (rubbing his fingers together behind my head to see if i could hear it). he referred me to an ent for more tests. the ent was kind, he explained that it was probably nothing, maybe i ground my teeth at night... i did an official hearing test.

i was in a sound proof booth with a little window. the woman administering the test was on the other side. i was to push a button when i heard a sound in my earphones. i heard some and pushed away at the button, relieved...and then i couldn't hear anymore sounds, i studied the woman's face. i saw her knit her brows together and frown slightly. i knew i wasn't hearing the small ringing sounds. i heard nothing. i heard the sound of my heart beat in my ears, the ringing that was now a constant thing was not from the test, but i didn't hear any more beeps from the earphones. a knot formed in my stomach and my heart beat faster.

the examiner didn't say anything when she walked me back to the exam room. i felt like a high schooler with her first F, i knew i had failed that test. the doctor looked over my results. he was clearly surprised. he cleared his throat and said he would like to perform a few more tests, including a ct scan. he also confirmed that i had severe hearing loss in my right ear, and my left ear was better but still less than "optimal". 

i called and told my family. they panicked a little, but tried not to show it. we were all scared of the ct scan. of what they could find. two days later i had the scan, the result were normal. praise God.

so what the heck was happening?? they performed another hearing test just to make sure, same results. the doctor said i probably had otosclerosis, a bone growth in my middle ear. pregnancy usually speeds up the bone growth.

the doctor said i had three options. i could wait. it would get worse, and quickly...but if i wanted to i could do nothing. i could get a hearing aid. i could get surgery. i asked him if i was going deaf. he said untreated,  yes. i cried on the way home.

i left his office and started researching. i had never known anyone who had otosclerosis, it is often genitic but there is no history of hearing loss (other than old age) in my family. it looked like surgery would cure it, or almost restore my hearing. a good friend recommended a ear surgeon at ohsu. i met with him a few weeks ago. he did a few tests and agreed with the diagnosis. i asked him what he would do if it were his ear, without blinking or waiting a tick, he responded "surgery".

i have a surgery date set for december 19th. i would love your prayers. i am so aware that in the scope of life, this is small. but in the scope of my life, it feels really big.

here are some links to websites with more information: