Today I saw the audiologist. I knew the news were not going to be good, but I tried my hardest not to get sick being worried about what was going to happen. She started her testing and I did was pretty scared.
The testing is lengthy and frightening because while you can hear some of the tones, some of them were barely audible and obviously some none at all. We all take things for granted in life, and now I realize how much I have taken my hearing for granted.
The idea of never hearing again has me wanting to listen to more classical music… fortunately I think I will eventually get my full hearing back.
The audiologist does not have the authority to really tell me what is wrong, but from her knowledge it seems that the problem is actually in the middle ear, more specifically my stapes. She cannot truly diagnose that I have severe tinnitus and hearing loss just yet, she can only tell me that bellow 55 decibels I hear pretty much nothing. Both ears have the same exact problem.
A whisper is around 20dB, normal conversation is around 60dB. If someone has talks with a quiet voice I cannot hear them; if someone does not have my focus when they are talking in a normal voice, I can probably not hear them either. The worse thing is that it is something that is progressive so I have to get it checked out further. Next step is a consultation with a surgeon which will happen next week, I already made an appointment.
In the mean time I could get a hearing aid and it will help me a lot, however it is $1400 – 1700 for the cheapest ones and the insurance does not cover it. I might try some really low tech cheap ones and see what those can do.
There is a high probability that it is something that can be fixed because my cochlea (inner ear) seems to be intact, but the prospect of surgery terrifies me. There are probably a lot more tests to still do and more details to be learned, but at least I have another piece of the puzzle now…
Thanks for your good thoughts, prayers and overall support, without my wife, my family and friend I would probably be having a harder time with this.