I printed out the paperwork before I left for the ENT so I could bring it with me. When I got on their website, I discovered that the ENT, Dr. William Dickey, went to Rush Medical School in Chicago. My brother, Jeff, went to Rush as well. Jeff graduated in 1998. I remember this because I was quite pregnant with David when I went to Jeff’s graduation. Dr. Dickey graduated from Rush in 1998 as well. Weird? I thought so. Both Jeff and Dr. Dickey did their Residency at Rush.
So, when Dr. Dickey came in, I told him that I thought he might know my brother. He started looking at my chart to see if he could figure out who my brother is. Of course, since I’m married, it isn’t in there – James wouldn’t help him at all. I told him that my brother is Jeff Horowitz. He looked really surprised when he realized he did know my brother. Apparently, Dr. Dickey grew up in the Parker, Colorado area and went to Chicago for medical school. Then he returned to Parker. We chatted for a few more minutes about Jeff (What is he doing? Pulmonology. Where is he? U of MI., etc).
Then he examined my ears, asked me a number of questions and settled in to talk with me. It seems that my ears are not showing any structural issues; there is nothing that he can see that is wrong with them. He believes that the loss is hereditary. The thing about hereditary hearing loss is that it looks different for each family member. One may lose their hearing slowly and another might lose their hearing quickly. There is no way to tell. So, there is no way to predict how my hearing loss will progress.
There is some good news. Since I got my hearing aids “early,” before my hearing loss progressed to an extreme point, the outlook is good. It seems that the part of your brain that controls hearing is a “use it or lose it” part. So, since I have my hearing aids and am stimulating the part of the brain that is for hearing, I probably won’t go completely deaf. In fact, Dr. Dickey thinks that it is highly probable that my hearing loss will progress slowly. That is the best we can hope for.