I’m mostly deaf in one ear right now.
We won’t get into the nitty-gritty about why (it’s nothing permanent, it’s just one of those things that happens sometimes, I have full confidence in my future hearing) but it’s really throwing off my groove. I hadn’t realized how difficult it is to hear things anyway around here. I get on the CTA and it’s a wonder I can hear the person next to me with all the deci-bells ringing tinnitus into my cochlea.
This happened to my friend Alex once, in both ears. Except he was in Berlin and ended up in the equivalent of a rusty 1950s hospital room with a mad doctor and the biggest syringe of his life who literally inflated his face. Get him to tell the story some time. It’s fascinating. And absolutely horrifying.
The weird part of my brain starts wondering if this was what it was like for Beethoven. That was my first thought when I realized just how little I could hear in that ear. I blame Trans-Siberian Orchestra for their rock opera about Beethoven’s Last Night. It’s a scary thought. As someone to whom music means so much, who hopes to continue to write music and to enjoy it, the prospect of deafness is akin to the prospect of losing a limb. Maybe if I actually lost my left arm I wouldn’t agree, but my hearing is definitely more important to me than, say, the ability to clap.
(I thought for five minutes and besides typing that was actually the most useful thing I could think of doing with my left arm, so really I should just cut the thing off already, it’s obviously not pulling its weight.)
So what do I do about this? I’ve been dealing with it and just muddling on for over a month now, and I’m pretty much done with it. I know I can just go into the doctor’s to get them do something much, much, oh God please much gentler than what they did to Alex, but as you’ve probably noticed, doctors tend to be open when other people are also working, and I’ve taken a lot of time for dentist appointments and other tidbits and oddments lately. But Laura, you argue. Wouldn’t having hearing help you do your job? Huh? I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you.
There is one alternative, and I’m actually a big fan of it. But it does depend on one thing.
Anybody got an ear trumpet?