I think I’m on a health plan which dictates that every year I must suffer from a completely unexpected medical issue. Last year it was a neck injury which resulted in surgery; this year, it’s sudden hearing loss (SHL) in my left ear.
It all started on my first flight to Denver to meet the folks at NewsGator. I had a really bad cold, and when the flight ended I noticed that my left ear felt “clogged.” I figured it was just cold-related so I ignored it at first, but I started to get concerned when it didn’t resolve itself over the next week.
My first doctor said it was caused by fluid in the ear, and prescribed something to help clear it up. But over the next few weeks it didn’t get any better.
So last week I went to a specialist, and he discovered a pretty significant hearing loss in my left ear. I have trouble hearing higher frequencies, so it’s kind of like my own personal Dolby noise reduction system. Apparently, SHL isn’t uncommon, and many times the cause is viral.
Now I’m taking two different medicines, one of which makes me feel like I’ve drank three pots of coffee (great in the morning, not so great at night). The other is a drug commonly prescribed for herpes – a fact I wish I would’ve known before I picked up the prescription! My eyes bugged out when I saw the drug’s description in the printout that accompanied it (hey, how many guys do you know who would want a herpes drug on their shelves?). Of course I immediately called my doctor, asking what the deal was and whether there was something he forgot to tell me, but he said not to worry – the drug had several other uses (whew).
Side note: don’t you hate doctors who fail to tell you the side effects of the medicine they prescribe? One of the possible side effects of the first drug is that it “may cause vomiting that looks like coffee grounds.” Wow. You’d think they’d write that in big letters on the side of the pill bottle (“Warning: this medicine may have some really disgusting side effects. Wear old clothes before taking this prescription.”)
Anyway, now it’s just a “wait and see” and hope that the medicine clears up the problem. In the meantime, it’s not too bad having poor hearing in just one ear, but it is a little awkward. For example, whenever I talked with someone at Syndicate last month I’d have to turn my right ear towards them, which felt a little odd, like I was saying, “hello, do you like my right ear? isn’t it the sexy one?” to complete strangers.
I joked with a friend of mine about how I keep falling apart despite the fact that I have a healthy lifestyle. We figure that by the time I’m 80, I’ll basically be a brain in a jar with a wireless connection to my computer (what, you think I’m ever going to stop coding?). Hmmm…actually, some days I’m already like that, so perhaps old age will suit me just fine?