The saying, “It is what it is” has held a particular place in my heart for the past few years. Sometimes it is all you can say. During the couple of years that my family was hit with one health crisis after another, and my brother and I would spend endless hours sitting in one hospital or another, it was often the only response we could have. It was one of my brother, Mike’s, favorite sayings and has now become one of our family mottos.
While there are often options out there and things one can do in situations, sometimes there just isn’t. In those instances you learn to accept and move on.
I had one of those today. I’ve mentioned before that I have Meniere’s Disease. It is in my right ear and some of the symptoms are fullness in the ear, tinnitus and often bouts of vertigo. I used to have tinnitus that would come and go. Unfortunately for me, two years ago it hit and decided to stay permanently. Now I have a constant roaring, squeaking and static in my right ear 24/7. It’s pretty annoying, but not really worth complaining about as there isn’t anything to do about it. If you are unfamiliar with Meniere’s or know someone who has it, here is a pretty comprehensive explanation of Meniere’s, its casuses, symptoms and ways of management. Two people out of 1000 will have Meniere’s, so you never know. (In fact, I ran into one of my group fitness clients the other day and she was saying she had been missing coming to class because of vertigo. Her doctor thought she also might have Meniere’s.)
Recently, along with the constant ringing and roaring in my ear, I’ve gotten the feeling of having water in the ear. Since I’m not always a good patient and hate the thought of taking medication every single day, I had stopped taking anything to manage the Meniere’s. Wanting to avoid a full blown attack with vertigo I decided it was time to see my doctor.
I think one reason I’ve also put off going to the doctor was because I didn’t want to hear about any changes to my ear and hearing. I knew I would likely be told I’d had some hearing loss. I knew this because sitting in the gym at the Third Son’s Eight Grade graduation recently, I felt as if I was sitting in a drum. Each time The Husband tried to say something to me I would look at him like some crazy person because I could not hear a single thing coming from his mouth.
So, here’s how it went down today. I started off with the audiologist in a sound proof booth. They put these ear buds in your ears and give you a clicker. Each time you hear a sound you are to click the clicker. They switch the sounds up and the ear receiving the sound. You also have to repeat words back. All of this is accompanied by added sounds to your ears. (And remember I already have sounds of my own in my right ear!) Based on some amounts of dead time between hearing sounds and clicking my clicker, I knew there must be some sounds that I just wasn’t hearing.
The audiologist’s precise words to me afterwards were “mild sloping and severe hearing loss”. What does that even mean? So, I asked my doctor that very thing. She basically stated that I have had sudden and severe loss of hearing in my right ear. She sat by me and was very serious in her delivery. “Well, should I be upset? Should this make me cry?” I asked. She nodded and said she would shed a few tears for me. I thought that was very sweet of her.
However, I just thought, it is what it is. I mean, what good would it do to get upset? I couldn’t change anything. It was just one ear. I do have two ears, thank goodness. And they tell me my left ear is awesome! Besides, I watched my mom lose her eyesight suddenly and quickly. That, my friend, would be worth getting upset over. I think of any of the senses to lose, eyesight would be the worst. Thinking about that, and the fact that I do have an awesome left ear, as well as an overall healthy body, completely stopped me from allowing myself to get down.
I was telling The Husband about the appointment and even told him I was proud of myself for not getting upset. I can keep this in perspective. Maybe a few years ago my reaction would have been different. Life can do that to you. I think looking around at our world and things that are happening to those we don’t know, as well as to those close to us, we can look at things differently. Thankfully.
If you or someone you know has or thinks they may have Meniere’s, check our the links above for some tips on how to manage it and keep the bouts away or at a minimum. And if you see me and are trying to tell me some deep, dark secret, make sure you do it in my left ear!
What is your favorite saying? Family motto?
Enjoy Your Day!