May 20th, 2011


Whose family is working for who?

As it turns out, my hearing test ended up right on the 'you need to see a specialist' end. ;-/ It seems my right ear is normal like a normal thing, but my left ear is head-scratchingly 'significantly impaired'. I kind of knew this but audiologists find interesting things where I just find 'can't hear'.

There is nothing wrong with my left ear, mechanically. There is no scarring in the canal and the tympanic membrane (hey look, jargon!) is fine and dandy. This means that my problem is sensorineural* (not business wankspeak but an actual word btw). This apparently makes up about 90% of hearing loss. Thing is, since it's only one ear it's unlikely to be noise related, which leaves three options:

1. Genetic. Given that I just had my DNA mapped, I was able to look this up and I don't have the genes that predispose people to this type of deafness. This doesn't mean I'm immune, just that this is a less likely option.
2. Medical. Things like tumours, Ménière's disease, side effects of strong antibiotics, a variety of other things. I suddenly know a lot more about ears and how they work, and what could go wrong with them. Curse you, google! I am concerned with the feeling of heaviness in my ear which (in my mind) suggests something in there. Again, hoping for the baked bean.
3. Idiopathic - ie No Fucking Clue Why.

This is why I need to see a specialist, who will be able to tell if I have an evil absorbed twin clinging to my cochlea or something. Chances are I don't, and once that's discovered I will probably be exploring hearing aid options. It's not something I'll need to wear all the time and I'm thankful that microtechnology has made such great advances - they are now small and relatively cheap. Sadly the government only thinks people under 21 are worth helping with their hearing, Luckily I'm sufficiently liquid these days that I can still access care despite the lack of government help. My heart goes out to those without this option.

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I realise this is an enviable dilemma - it's a luxury to even be able to care about this, you know? Such is life - 12 years ago I was getting food grants and I haven't forgotten how hopeless that felt.

As for the rest of the budget, it was bad but not as bad as I expected. This is probably because I don't understand the full ramifications, and because I expect the worst from this lot so anything less seems a relief. Feel free to explain the bits you care about and how they work - I'd like to know.

* this is the term for damage to the hair cells in the cochlea that turn sound vibrations into electrical impulses for the brain. Apparently normal ones look like a row of new high rise buildings. The audiologist described mine as 'like Christchurch'.

Wow. Today's post was going to be about porn. I guess you'll get that on Monday now.