Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"Ours is not to question why..."

I know that Shakespeare meant something a little different with that quote, but it comes to mind for me today after my appointment with the ear, nose, throat doctor. Yeah, the one that I had postponed twice already.

I have been having that balance problem for 6 months now, since the cellulitis episode when I received Vancomycin. It has improved some since then, but it has stopped improving now already for 3 months at least.

So, I got to the ENT clinic this morning and again had to go through the basics of the whole story, and how the balance got to be a big problem since the cellulitis episode when I received Vancomycin. Being quite familiar with the side effects of ear problems with Vanco, she did a preliminary hearing test (with tuning forks). I was a smart alec and told her which pitches they were, not just that I heard them. She got a kick out of that. :-)

That preliminary test showed some hearing loss in the right ear, which I had suspected the whole time. I also have a slight tinnitus (like hearing the high pitch of a TV being on when it's not). Both of those symptoms are irreparable. But there is news that makes me much sadder than that. When I told her about the unmanageable noise sensitivity, she said it's possible that some of the "filters" in my ear have been destroyed, also because of the the Vanco. She said there are 4 filters that noise goes through before reaching the brain, and it may be the case that 2 are not functioning. Also irreparable. *That* made me cry. It is so impossible to live with this level of noise sensitivty, and I was putting big hopes on the trans-cranial magnetic stimulation treatments (TMS), intended to help the PTSD symptoms, to solve that problem. Now I learn that it may not actually be caused by the PTSD.

How am I going to deal with crazy noise sensitivity all my life?
This morning I was doing Shifra's hair (yeah, I got to do it, we were so happy together) and I was singing a song. She started singing it with me, and also started clapping with it while I was braiding her hair (ie, I was very close in proximity to her). I asked her to please stop clapping that it is bad for my ears. She said "it's bad"? I said, "no, the clapping isn't bad, but it is hard for my ears". That made me sad that maybe she is getting the message that the things she does joyfully & care-free are hurting ima, so she won't do them. Yesterday she got into her tu-tu and wanted to put on music on the stereo and dance. I said "no, it's not a good time for me to have the stereo on". She pleaded, and I had to put my foot down for her to respect my needs. That hurt. It was a crazy day yesterday and I was fried with no capacity to hear more nose. I eventually went upstairs to disappear, and asked Robert to make me something for dinner because I simply could not be in the kitchen any more. Our nanny took care of bath/bed time with the kids, and R made me dinner & brought it up to me.

How am I supposed to live with this forever?

The ENT doctor ordered an in-depth hearing test at Soroka. She told me there is usually a month wait for these tests, and called over there to see if she can fit me in. There was actually a cancellation for today, so I am going at 4PM today to do that test. I am going to bring the results back to the ENT and she will evaluate the situation from there.

I look to the heavens and ask "why"? Then decide, like the title of this post, ours is not to question why.


  1. Hey, Sarah,
    I was sad too reading about your hearing loss and potential loss of filters. I hope the test today produces positive results that the ENT can work with to figure out how to combat this issue.
    Sending you quiet kisses,

  2. hi Sare, I've been reading you and sending you love (and messages deleted by mistake), been having computer and lack-of-time issues. Anyway, may it be a Shana Tova of good health and blessing for you and the mishpacha.

    I have noise sensitivity issues with my hearing aids. Sometimes I find just turning them off or leaving the room while I clog my ears a bit, can really help. Yes, I'm serious. It can really affect communication and be frustrating, but sometimes the situation doesn't require that we hear every word... we can enjoy our interactions and smile anyway. One child projects her voice particularly well, and we're in training with her to help her control her voice, and know that it can be painful for me. Kids are really noisy, and four or five kids with simultaneous needs are even noisier. Please don't be so hard on yourself, you can rest all day to be ready for that difficult time from after school til bed, but even when you're very well rested, when you're assaulted by noise and needs from all directions, it is very challenging for anyone, no matter what their physical or mental state.

    sending you lots of love
    Devorah B.

  3. Dear Sara,
    It's hard not to ask why. But it's just not a question we can answer, and so you'll just torment yourself by asking it. The more helpful question is what are you going to do about it, how will you respond. That's a question that you can provide the answer for, and it seems to me that you do, by living as fully as you can, even (or especially) not knowing why.
    Take care,