27 October 2009
About four weeks ago I lost most of the hearing in my left ear. If I stuck my finger in my right ear, everything seemed to be coming down a bad telephone line. After ignoring this for about two weeks, as one does, I became aware that it was changing my life. I was avoiding crowded places and constantly shifting to get my right ear pointing in the direction of significant noise. I realised that I was becoming even more anti-social and was adjusting to a more locked in life, all on the basis of a loss of about a quarter of my hearing. Finally, I went to Bones. He gave me steroids which made me feel great but didn’t work. Then, yesterday afternoon, came the consultant. In the morning I felt a strange movement accompanied by a kind of click in my left ear. I turned on Radio 4 and realised my hearing had returned. The consultant told me I was bloody lucky. What I had was Sudden Hearing Loss (I think I knew that). Nobody knows what causes it, though my man favoured a virus, and, in general, if it doesn’t spontaneously remit within two weeks then you’ve got it for life. Mine remitted after almost four weeks. The good news was that it seldom returns. I’m telling you this for two reasons. First, I thought of that great headline. Secondly, the effect on my life of even such a minor handicap was so profound. Everything is so fragile – obvious I know but worth a reminder every now and then.