Once I straighten out this insurance crap, I will finally be able to see an audiologist for the first time since I enlisted in the Army (Army band) over five years ago. I will be fitted for specialized ear plugs for musicians and have my hearing checked, as I have lost a bit more in the last five years.
The scariest part of the visit is that I will be undergoing a series of tests to check for Ménière’s Disease, which can leave me completely deaf and to which there is no known cure. According to my doctor at the University, these weird episodes (where I suddenly faint or almost faint due to dizziness and loss of balance) I’ve been having are actually vertigo which - along with my growing issues with tinnitus, episodes of sudden hearing loss, and ear pain - is a telling symptom of Ménière’s. I have already experienced hearing loss due to a childhood illness (rare strain of mumps that my vaccines didn’t prepare for), as well as from constant noise exposure (as an active classically trained musician).
I began taking ASL when my hearing problems became worse this last year, and I have also been studying vibrations in relation to pitch and pitch tendencies for the last three years, so I’m not worried about losing my hearing. I’m just worried about what it will do to my career as a music educator (who wants their child’s music teacher to be Deaf?).
I’m also scared. I’ve worked so hard for my dream, and to lose the ability to hear what I love is devastating.
Let’s hope for the best! Maybe it’s just some neurological stuff or something.