I know, I know it should be a kick in the a**. But that isn’t where I got kicked. Well, not exactly. I feel like I got my a** kicked. I saw the Audiologist on Tuesday and while I was expecting the news that she gave me, it still sucked. I’ve lost more of my hearing. Again, this wasn’t unexpected. Most of my hearing loss is in the voice frequencies, but Dr. Baker expected that I would start to lose some of my hearing in the higher frequencies as well. And sure enough, that is what is happening. My right ear is worse than my left, but both aren’t doing so hot. Dr. Baker wants me to see an ENT to check things out, now that there is a pattern of increasing loss. So, off I will go in a few days.
Here’s the thing. I don’t want to be deaf. It may be vain, but there is so much out there that I want to hear. Like when my little nieces call me, “Aunt Robin.” I want to hear them call David’s and Michael’s names at High School and College Graduation. I want to hear them say, “I do!” when they find the love of their life. I want to hear my grandchildren.
When I first saw Dr. Baker and she told me that I had a significant hearing loss in both ears, I sat and cried in her office. I was embarrassed and felt somehow “less.” It took about six months for me to feel comfortable with my hearing aids and my hearing loss. Most days I put my hearing aids in and don’t think about them again. Most days it doesn’t have any noticeable impact on my life. That is, as long as my hearing aids are in. When they aren’t, the world is quiet (not that I am complaining – often times everything seems so loud). But I can’t hear things like the timer on the microwave beeping at me. I actually wonder how long it will be before I can’t hear people talking without having my hearing aids in.
Chris and I talked about what Dr. Baker said about the increasing loss of my hearing. And I told him that I didn’t want to be deaf. And then I wanted to take back the words. Not because I want to be deaf, but because he doesn’t want to have cancer. And he doesn’t want it to kill him. And here I am complaining about my hearing. Something that is “fixable.” Hearing aids work for now, cochlear implants will work later.
It is crappy. Really crappy. I have every right to be upset and mourn my loss. It is a huge loss. But somehow it seems less because of Chris’ cancer; it seems like I should just suck it up and deal. That isn’t fair. I know that life isn’t fair and I shouldn’t expect it to be. Although, I do think that life owes us a break as it has already sent so many icky things our way.
But the thing that people don’t get is that Chris’ cancer colors our whole lives. I don’t feel that I have the same right to complain to him about my hearing because I think that in his book, he would take the hearing loss in a second, if it meant that the cancer was gone. I get that. But my loss is a huge loss and if we weren’t dealing with the cancer, we would be able to really feel the impact of the loss for what it is. Huge.