Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Good news and bad news and good news

What shall I tell you first? Let's start with the good news. My new bag pattern is almost ready to be published. I put so much work into it that I am so glad to stop looking at it and move on. I'm just waiting for my tester to be done with it. No pressure, Suzee! I'm also happy to tell you I have started work on my next bag pattern and if I'm lucky and hardworking, it should be out end 2014.

Some not so good news. For me. You all know how I only have one good ear? And my greatest fear is to go completely deaf? Well, last Sunday, I kinda had a big scare. It happened suddenly in the late afternoon and I couldn't hear so good anymore. Just like that. My hearing didn't disappear completely but I couldn't hear like normal. The sounds you hear in your daily life like people talking, footsteps, running water - these all sounded very soft and faraway. On the other hand, sounds which are sharp became amplified. You can imagine how distressed I was. I went insane. I cried for hours.

"Fortunately", I was able to go to sleep and when I woke up on Monday, I found that most of my hearing had returned. Miracle! Some sounds still sounded weird. The sound of running water and water going down the pipe still didn't sound right. Footsteps still sounded faint. On Tuesday, I woke up and found my hearing was even better and crispier. I finally could hear running water and footsteps. Today is Wednesday and the minute I woke up, I walked around my home listening. And guess what? I could hear the sound coming from our lights. I never even noticed the sound before. What a relief! So it looks like, slowly my hearing is returning to almost normal.

One strange thing I discovered is as the lost sounds come back to me, I have to relearn them. I don't mean to say I have to relearn every sound. What I knew I knew. When unfamiliar sounds came, my brain immediately asks WHAT'S THAT? And it's also not like in the movies where my face is all serene and as I discover each sound, my face lights up in delight and wonder. Not like that at all. It's more like, WHAT THE HELL IS THAT NOISE? Then I look around until I figure it out. Once I know what it is, I don't feel so panicky. On Monday, the first time my hearing came back, I walked on the pavement and heard this thundering sound. I freaked out immediately. The sound came from a truck. The sound of the trains running by also sounded just as frightening. Once I start associating sounds with the source, I am less agitated. On Monday and Tuesday I went out and about to hear as many sounds as possible. Luckily hubs was with me and could help me identify the source of most sounds. Sounds from electronics seem the most alien to me and also the most annoying. Oh, we went to see a movie, Lucy which if you take away the tiny little plot is just about people shooting people. I discovered movies are LOUD. Super, super loud. It took me 15 minutes to get used to the loudness. How do people with two good ears cope?

I am still having problems with shrill sounds. The first time I heard birds singing, I was so angry as the singing literally hurt my ear. Today I heard a lot of birds singing and it was tolerable. Hubs' voice is also capable of upsetting me with the 'ssss'. The shrillness seems to be subsiding over time but it's never completely gone. I have a feeling this one may never return to normal.

I was really worried that my ear may be damaged and went overboard and saw a private doctor who is a hearing loss specialist. After what happened to my right ear decades ago, I didn't want to be at the mercy of clueless public doctors. So I chose this doctor with 25 years of experience. He's not cheap. It costs $150 to $350 just to see his face. If you add the cost of the tests, your heart will feel a lot of pain. I haven't told hubs the total cost of the bill (I hid it in a secret place) and I don't plan to. Hopefully he won't faint and have a heart attack when the credit card statement arrives.

The good news is the hearing test shows my hearing in my "good ear" is within acceptable human range. The deaf ear is still dead. The doctor also said that even with my dead deaf ear, he can do a cochlear implant and revive my hearing. All I need is around $50/$60k (less if done at a public hospital). Oh well, it's a nice thought. But I think I'll save my money for other medical emergencies. However, it is rather reassuring to know that in the event the most feared and dreaded thing happen (complete deafness), I have an implant option. I decided to read up on cochlear implants and there is a government subsidy if both ears are deaf. Woohoo! Hubs asked me if I have any desire to restore my deaf ear. This is the first time a doctor has given me any hope of restoring my deafness. Previously, the doctors have told me that there was nothing they could do and to adapt to living with single hearing. And I have done that. It's been 28 years of getting cursed at for not always responding to people talking to me. I think I can continue this way for the rest of my life.

The doctor discovered I have a sinus infection. But this infection may or may not be related to my good ear shitting up. Anyway, I'm on antibiotics so time will tell. You know what? I'm blaming the damn haze from Indonesia. It is back and once more the government officials from both countries will fart around and nothing changes. The burning of forests continue year after freaking year.

Rant over.

The shrillness thing may be due to cells in my ear being disturbed or damaged. I'm not going to feel too sad about it if I have to live with it. I am really grateful my hearing is back to almost normal and if my ear hurts from hearing the shrill sounds, so be it. Well, to be honest I was really sad about it for a while but I can still hear and that's the most important thing for me.

The "upside" for my family is I can no longer scold them or raise my voice as high-pitched voices create a feedback in my ear - very jarring. Just yesterday I came out of the bathroom and caught hubs eating in our bedroom. He tried to flee but I already saw the plate of food. Despite catching up with him, all I could do was MOUTH all the scolding at him. It was completely useless of course and he just went along and pretended like he could hear the scolding, faking remorse. I also can't squeal with delight or laugh like a hyena. I realise I do these a lot and I really miss it. Maybe time will heal the "shrillness problem". Either that or I could get used to the jarring feedback in my ear and have a new normal.

Anyway, in a few days or so when my new pattern is out, I hope you guys will come back and buy it. I need the cash! All I need is 7,500 people to buy and I'll have the cash for an implant. No? Too much to ask? Alright, alright. I just need 75 of you to buy and I'll have the cash to pay the good doctor. I promise it's a really cute bag pattern.

Lastly, anyone with a blog and able to sew bags keen on reviewing my new bag pattern? You should have at least 50 readers to your name. Leave your contact in the comments or email me directly ( Yep, you get the pattern for free in exchange for a blog post (written by you and published on your blog) on my new pattern. You understand you'll need to make the bag, take a few pics and link to my etsy shop and my blog. There is no time expiration on this offer. Please feel free to enquire.

See you soon.


Maria said...

What a horrific experience. I got all stressed up reading your post. I've often thought of how awful it would be if I lost my sight completely. I do so much sewing that I'm changing my glasses every 6 months, loosing my hearing never occurred to me. I'm so glad your better now and that you at least have hope for the future with an implant if it should be necessary. I'd buy your pattern at the drop of a hat if I could but we don't have a method of payment from where I live. Remember me I won your drawstring pouch. I'd love to do a review for you if you'd let me and if you ever need another pattern tester I'd be more than happy to test for you too. My email is mariadotvazquez111atgmaildotcom

Christel said...

Glad that your left ear is fine. Hope you'll get used to the "lost sounds" soon. :)

Amy's Crafty Shenanigans said...

Oh good heavens - poor you! I am happy you have your hearing back in your good ear, though altered - but what a relief to have it! I would love to test your pattern. Let me know if you still need testers :) amycav at hotmail dot com

Sandra :) said...

Oh I was going to tell the lovely Maria about your bag tester needs but I see she has already been by - good stuff - she's quite a bag maker!

I'm so sorry about your scare, Jane - you must have been sh****ng bricks! I'm glad things are getting back to normal, and I hope you DO sell 75,000 patterns so you can have the cochlear implant! I loved the story about hubby trying to flee, and you not being able to scold him properly, LOL. I suspect my guys would be quite happy if I couldn't be as vocal here at home as I normally am! Yesterday I let hubby have it (VERY loudly) for telling a duct cleaner telemarketer, "Thanks for calling - have a nice day!". They call multiple tiems each day, ARGHHH - way to encourage them to stop! NOT!

Congratulations on your upcoming pattern!

Linda said...

How frightening! I can just imagine how frustrating that could be. I used to get water in my ear from swimming and the garbled sounds drove me crazy!!! I hope you will be back to normal soon.

Caroline said...

Very scary for you. My hubby is very deaf, hearing aides in both ears but they don't work the best and both of us get really frustrated when he can't hear properly. It is a great fear that I will end up the same and we won't hear each others voices well anymore. I hope it continues to improve and that 7,500 people buy your pattern so you may once again hear with both ears.

Jane said...

That must've been a scary experience for you. I'm glad the hearing came back. Hope you knock the pattern out of the ballpark!

Chris H said...

How scary about your ear problems.
I know hearing is something most people take for granted, so not hearing would be terrible.
I hope your antibiotics help restore your ability to shreik at the family!

Bags... I wish I had the time to make some myself!

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