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State of Newenka's Hearing

May 31st, 2005:  Newenka loses all hearing in her left ear over the course of about 3 hours, beginning at 10:45 a.m.  Diagnosed helpfully as SHL (Sudden Hearing Loss), a disorder that is not uncommon, though still appears to be a mystery to the medical profession. 

As of June 20th, Newenka has partial hearing in the bass ranges, but still no word recognition.  Perhaps a little African air will shake it up a bit.  

As of July 23rd, 2005, Newenka was up to 24% hearing.  (This translated into having been able to guess correctly for 6 out of 25 words!)  As the neural otonologist said, this seems like a 6-fold improvement, but when people are tested the first time and they come in at 24% he still has to tell them they are deaf! 

As of December 2005, there is no marked improvement and a bone conduction hearing aid is recommended.  Newenka elects not to have a hole drilled in her head for this device, instead continuing to learn to deal with the deafness.  The biggest frustration is that with the lack of stereo hearing it is impossible to localize on sound.  Doesn't seem too bad, until you are trying to find a ringing cell phone or spinning in circles in a crowded square trying to find a calling child... 

December 2006:  No change.  The appears to be permanent.  Now it is time to invent the blinking cell phone! 

June 2008:  Newenka accidentally has a phone conversation using the wrong ear.  (How could that happen?  I know freaky, but true.)  I did have to ask the lady to repeat herself, repeatedly, telling her that we must have a bad connection because she sounded tinny.  What she must have thought when I blurted out: "Oh, no wonder I am having trouble, I am using my deaf ear!" 

December 2010:  Having more tinnitus lately, probably time for another visit to the otonologist. 


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Last modified: December 14, 2009