I suddenly lost the hearing in my right ear in February of 2014. I was sitting on the couch with my daughter about to go to a baby shower for a close friend and suddenly it felt like my ear filled with fluid – almost as if a balloon was blown up in my ear. If you’ve felt the “popping” sensation when flying or driving up a mountain, that’s what this felt like, but the “pop” didn’t happen. Moments later, it was about to get much, much worse. I immediately started plugging my nose and starting to push the air out of my ears to release the pressure but nothing happened. Then I began to notice that along with the “balloon” in my ear I was beginning to hear ringing, the dizziness started and my hearing was gone. In a matter of seconds my life was turned upside down. My daughter was 8 months old at the time – I did’t have time for this to happen. I was breast feeding, driving to and from work, doing daycare drop-offs and pick-ups. The next few days and weeks we’re overwhelming. The emergency room doctors didn’t know what to do, they said “follow up with the ENT on Monday”. The ENT didn’t know what to do so they shot cortisone in my ear and sent me home with steroids and nothing happened for weeks. The audiologist was testing me every week and their was never a change – not one change. I was left with no diagnosis, no reason behind what happened to me. My case has been reviewed by specialists in Otolaryngology up and down the east coast and no one to this day knows why or what happened.
In November 2017 I was lucky enough to be approved by my insurance to get a cochlear implant. In January 2018, almost 4 years to the month after losing my hearing I had my surgery. No matter how much has changed due to losing my hearing, I’ve never let partial deafness define me. Never once did my inability to hear impact my ability to do yoga, care for my daughter or function in life any differently then I did prior to losing my hearing. It did however, impact my quality of life. I said “huh” more times in the past 5 years then I have (at that time) in my 27 years of life, there was constant neck pain from turning my head to my good ear to hear people speak and the ringing was relentless. My cochlear implant has given me the opportunity to hear again with both ears and I couldn’t be more grateful.
The most amazing thing I’ve learned along the way is how the human brain operates. The brain finds a way to overcompensate and adjust and it was truly remarkable. For instance, the vertigo and sense of balance was debilitating in the beginning but my brain found a way to stabilize. Now, I have a deeper level of respect for the human body and it’s ability to bounce back from illness, pain and trauma.
Reflecting back to the moment I conceived my daughter, I prayed to God after years of trying and a devastating miscarriage, to put into/onto me any ailment or illness that would be for her. Deafness could’ve hit her at 8 months old, but it happened to me and for that I am grateful. I practice more yoga then ever, I am more aware than ever, my senses have heightened and I am above all blessed to be lucky enough to have my hearing somewhat back through modern and advancing medicine. ❤️