I am on the verge of a major step because of Meniere's disease and I am a bit introspective.
April 8th I undergo my second Cochlear implant surgery. Hard to believe that just 2 short years ago I didn't even really know what one was, or think I would ever have or need one, and now I will have two. I keep finding myself asking the 3 questions in the title of this post.
It is still a bit surreal.
Yes, it came on a bit more slowly than just the last two years, but they have been the ones with the most dramatic effect on my life. It has been a time of major change due to how the disease affected me, and how I handled those effects. It has been 2 years of soul searching I never thought I would need.
You may have read some of the other posts and my discussion of my hearing loss. The fact is, for 18 years I was deaf, stone cold deaf, in my left ear, and at the same time, had perfectly normal hearing in the other. I am not diminishing what people with hearing loss go through, but in reality, during those 18 years I did not have any hearing disability, just a minor inconvenience of not hearing in one. Then one day it all changes. I have been through this before. It's part of the disease. It will come back, it always has before! But it didn't. Except for a temporary reprieve of four months following a steroid injection that even shocked my ENT. Instead it just started a downward trajectory that could not be reversed. It seemed as though every time I had a hearing test it was down more. You just don't know how much it can affect you, until it's gone. I hated, yes hated, trying to talk to people. I just felt stupid. All I could do was stare blankly. Worse, I felt there was no upside. A life of silence, except for the constant ringing, was all there was for me.
I knew it could happen, it wasn't a total surprise, yet I still find myself in a bit of a state of denial. I will wake up from this dream and my hearing will be back. They have to find a cure soon, don't they? This isn't really happening, is it? But it is.
The why question is one that I will never know the true reason in this life. I can only trust that in God's infinite wisdom, it is for my best. I still find myself looking back to search for the cause. What did I change? What changed around me? How could I have prevented it? Truth is, the answer may very well be- nothing.
So here I am with only one way to go: forward. I can't change the past, I can only try to figure out the best way forward. For me, the first step in that direction is the implant. I love my first one. I hope to say the same of the second.
I am fortunate to find myself in the hands of a man widely regarded as one of the best ENT/Surgeons in the country at one of the best clinics in the country. I can go forward with the confidence that I am going to be well taken care of.
I can go forward knowing that I am much more open to opportunities as they present themselves. I have no idea what those will be, but I am open and willing to look at anything.
I can go forward hoping that the worst of Meniere's disease is behind me.
I can and will go forward with a smile on my face and a positive outlook on my life.
I can go forward with rediscovered hearing that only 1 or 2 generations ago was not even a dream in someones head.
I can go forward knowing that whatever is in my future, it will be for the best and that gives me the most peace I have had in a while.
'Til next time
Just a guy trying to live with an invisible, potentially debilitating illness