I was a stagehand whose love was audio. Even before that, I was good at hearing the noise under the sound, and my second husband counted on me to be his ears in public because he didn’t hear well.
So a few months after I got clean, when an act of domestic violence left me with a ruptured eardrum, I was devastated. It took a while for hearing to return in my left ear, and even then it didn’t all come back. I lost the high frequency sounds on my left side.
Last week, my right ear became all stopped up and I can’t hear much out of it. Like, almost nothing. I’m sort of trapped in a world that’s quieter than it’s supposed to be. I’m struggling to hear my boss at work, I’m struggling to hear the television, I’m struggling to hear those familiar and comforting sounds made when I reposition myself on the couch. Forget hearing any noise beneath the sound, because that’s not happening.
It’s an unfamiliar place for me to be, and I don’t like it. I feel vulnerable, unprepared. I don’t really want to go to the doctor because that takes money away from finishing the house, but it’s starting to look inevitable. The good news is that I’m not far from the ear doctor who repaired my ear all those years ago, when he was still training to be an ear doctor. I overheard his office staff asking when he moved to Dallas, so when I had severe earaches in the left ear I hunted him down and paid his office visit fee. It was worth it. If this right ear doesn’t get better pretty soon, I’ll be coughing up a couple hundred bucks to go see him again, because he is the only one I trust with my ears.
In the meantime, while I wait to see if this is going to resolve itself, I’ll be sticking close to home so I don’t feel as insecure as this just made me feel when I went to the pharmacy to pick up my refills. I really hate the deafening roar of the silence in my right ear.