One of my colleagues sent me some stuff about vertigo, which informed me that it can be caused by any one of a number of things going on in the inner ear, including infection, tumours, and weird little granules that control balance getting glugged up so they can't move.
For me, I think it's related to the blockages I've been getting. I have scar tissue in my ear canals from multiple infections as a kid, and my ears block quite easily. I've been unable to learn to dive because I've never been able to equalise, and plane trips can be torturous. It's been *counts* over 10 years since last time I had my ears professionally syringed.
Over the last couple of years I've noticed encroaching deafness, particularly in my left ear. Thing is, I'm getting older and I've spent my life in noisy environments, so I sort of accepted this as par for the course. Then, about 2 months ago, I flew to Auckland while I had a mild cold, and afterwards I could hear a crunching noise in my left ear every time I swallowed. This made me wonder if the deafness was not a permanent thing, instead maybe caused by a blockage that could be removed, and I'd be able to hear again. YAY!
Being deaf-ish changes my personality in social situations. In places like cafes it's particularly noticeable, because any background noise drowns what people are saying and I find it really hard to participate in conversations when I have to take meaning from the one word out of five that I catch and put that in context. It makes for some pretty funny euphemistic mishearings too. But mostly, it just makes me not participate as much. Some folks would say this is a good thing. Also, I have trouble on the phone when I'm talking with someone with a strong accent, because then I only have one word in ten to take meaning from.
Anyway, I made an appointment to get my ears looked at, but then Mum went into the hospice, life happened and my ears took a back seat and I forgot about it. Now, they seem to be reminding me with a vengeance. Last week I noticed I was having issues with balance, and now it seems to be getting worse so I've made another appointment. I'm hoping they'll find my ears are blocked with goop and they will have a miraculous way of removing it, so I will not only get my balance back but I'll be able to hear properly.
Or, they might tell me I am going permanently deaf and will need a hearing aid in a year or two.
So if I yell at you in the next couple of days, it's not because I'm becoming strident, it's because I literally can't hear myself think, ok?
I've decided that Merlin is a metaphor for the War on Drugs. Here we have a king who is afraid of magic being used against him, so he bans it in his kingdom and punishes anyone found using it. Meanwhile, he's completely surrounded by people who are using magic successfully and he doesn't know about it, and in every episode he is confronted with the fact that people continue to use magic, yet he blindly refuses to accept that he can not make it go away by banning it, and only recognises the evil uses of it while being blissfully unaware of the good side, because people are forced to hide it from him.
La la la...