Sunday, October 11, 2009

You Don't Want to Read This One.

It is 2:30am Sunday morning and I am avoiding sleeping. Because sleeping leads to movement into the next day. And when you find yourself dreading the "next day" you'll do what you need to do to make it arrive as slowly as possible. It's a tried and true technique of mine that never works and almost always fries me the next day.

But tonight is different because I am getting things done: I am cleaning out my DVR by watching all my saved episodes of "Melrose Place" and "Models of the Runway."
See how responsible I am?!

Okay guys, here it is. (And this is an old story for some of you guys.)
Back in December I got really sick. It was a flu or a virus or something but it was the sickest I had been in a long time. And while I made light of the ringing in my ears and didn't even mention the severe loss of hearing, it was all there. I was so sure it was something simple like a build up of fluid and since it was Christmas and vacations and all that, I didn't get to a doctor till the end of December who then referred me to a specialist.

The specialist diagnosed me with Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSHL) and it most likely is a result of the virus as well as my delay in seeing the doctor or specialist.

My hearing loss in my left ear is classified as "severe." If you walk up behind me on my left side, I won't hear you. If we are in a restaurant and you are anywhere but right next to me on my right side, I will most likely not hear you. My TV is turned up extra loud and if I am not paying attention, I will (and have) miss the verbal direction our worship leader gives when the band is supposed to repeat the chorus on a Sunday Morning Praise song.

The ringing is constant. Loud. And always there. And when I am really in the mood to bum myself out, I force myself to listen to it. How pathetic is that?

None of this will go away. In my case, the SSHL is permanent. And know what? It kinda sucks.

Okay, moving on to the topic--at my latest appointment with my specialist, we discussed the various possibilities of hearing aids. With my loss, the system that would work best is the BAHA system. It involves a minor procedure (you can click the link to see more if you care to know) and is a more permanent solution to my problem.

What is cool is that, before I make a decision to have my doctor drill a screw into my skull (oh wait, I said it-sorry,) I can TRY the device just by using it clipped onto a headband thing. The headband thing isn't cute and covered with polka dot fabric. And, it has a weird thing on one end that kind of pokes out and then has the device on the other end. I have noticed a difference. It is kind of cool to hear things clearly through my left ear. I have been wearing the headband and device all weekend.

So.....why am I avoiding Sunday?
I don't want to wear the headband. I don't want to have to talk about it all morning at church. I don't want to have to tell and retell what is going on to people. People who dare to care about me. Love me even.

I could, of course, not wear it. That would be easy. But it also feels kind of hypocritical, you know? Not hypocritical just....not right. I hold a solution (or improvement) to my hearing loss in my hands and I choose not to use it?! How many ways is that wrong?

And how ridiculous is it that I am whining about this? And to you?!

I think this is one of those things where there are a whole LOT of emotions about this whole thing and I am choosing to focus all of those on one event. Maybe some time I will waste even more of your time blog about getting the BAHA "installed" vs. my constant prayer for a miraculous healing = a wavering in my faith?

If you made it to the end of this, thank you. You should get a medal. But I have better than a medal! I have a video of Jim Gaffigan talking about Hot Pockets. You're welcome.


  1. Praying for you still, Bethany!

    I saw this on FB the other day but didn't leave a message. But as one who can definitely relate to the very late night/early morning musings and writing about health issues, I had to leave a message now :-)

    Know that you're loved and prayed for by a whole lot of people - those you'll see at church this morning, and many who you won't be seeing, too!

    Lisa P

  2. Bear in mind that people will only ask because they love you. Maybe this IS the miraculous healing. It certainly sounds miraculous that you can hear with it on. I hope you will wear it and feel the love at church this morning.

    Love you!

  3. I'm gathering up my hot glue gun, fake flowers, and bedazzles right now, we will make it so loud and gawdy, people won't be sure if it's just a tacky new headband, and be afraid to say anything. If someone DOES say something, just point to it and very excitedly say "it was on clearance at Ross, can you BELIEVE it??!!?"

  4. I like Amy's idea; she's a smart one! :-)
    Love you.

    Oh, and I totally do the not-sleeping-so-that-the-next-day-won't-arrive-as-quickly thing. It never really works as well as I think it's going to.

  5. You've been praying for a miracle. Perhaps this is it? I totally get it if you don't want to wear it to church while you're still sorting through your thoughts and feelings about it and you aren't ready to explain it to what feels like everyone in the world. You don't have to wear it. It doesn't make you a hypocrite. It makes you human.

    Love you!

  6. Bethany! There is an ENTIRE market you will have a corner on!!! Fashionable BAHA's!!! You are loved and you are prayed for. And I should have emailed you back after you sent out that update on Friday. God has a purpose, even in this. In fact, he has MORE than a purpose. He has MANY purposes that would necessitate... (Remember the movie?) You are going to ROCK that thing. I know you're already at church. Because you didn't chicken out. And because of YOUR bravery and ability to see humor in even a situation such as this, others are going to be brave and laugh at far-from-ideal circumstances.

    And, I like Amy's idea. Big hair accessories ARE coming back in, you know.

    I love you. I am praying for you this morning.

  7. Hey friend,,

    I understand completely about the faith testing. That has been my life for the last five months. I will keep you in prayer my dear friend. I LOVE YOU

  8. Love Amy's idea. Bedazzle the heck out of that thing...oh wait, it's a loaner.

    Totally uderstand your apprehension. People will ask, and then you have to tell it, again...but the more people that know, the more people can pray.
    Hope it went well.

    At least the real thing won't be a head band...

  9. Oh my dear!!!! I had NO idea!!!! You poor poor thing!

    Seriously, I am totally praying for you. And can we please finally set a date to get together? If I start to bug you, you can just put me on the left side. ;-)

    Love ya woman!

  10. Hi Bethany! I've been reading your blog for a couple of months but don't think I have ever commented. Thanks for sharing your story. I'm sure it's been a painful struggle at worst, and terribly inconvenient at least. I'm glad that there is medical help out there that can give your hearing back. Please keep us posted on what you decide!

  11. Oh, Honey!! I'm sending you a bigtime hug for that. I wouldn't want to wear it either. It's like wearing a big old sign that says, "No, really, I'm okay. Don't ask." And then everyone has to ask because they clearly read the sign. We're sending prayers for you as you walk through it, and we continue to pray for your healing, no matter what form God puts it in.