or discovery of it. or rather, the confirmation of it.

i always felt like i had an ear infection all my life. sometimes, it bothered me, sometimes, not. and i had this vague memory of being put through a hearing test when i was a kid, when i was in this sound proof room and asked to put on ear phones. But i can’t recall why, and my mum says she has absolutely no recollection of it at all.

and obviously, i didn’t know what was wrong. or that, i wasn’t really ‘normal’.

till one fine day, when der was showing off his newly bought automatic watch and asked me to listen to the ‘ticks’ of the watch. i couldnt hear a shit. i tried hard, but i really couldn’t and der almost went hysterical and exclaimed, “how can it be?! it’s so loud”. i tried a few times and it was silence. and all this time, i had the watch put on my right ear.

in bewilderment, i snatched the watch over from him and tried again, this time, unconsciously put it to my left ear instead. “tick..tick..tick..tick..”, went the watch.

that was how i discovered, i had a ear problem. i saw a doctor, and got referred to a specialist… but work and tiredness got the better of me (i was newly preggers then and all i wanted was to sleep).. so the letter sat in my room for a long long time, till i finally decided to throw it away cos its soooooo overdue (more than a year).

2 weeks ago, i had this intense pain in my right ear.. i couldnt swallow or sleep properly. it was hindering my daily activities so i got reminded about my thrown-away letter and headed to the doc’s after 3 days of pain (yes, quite a procrastinator.. also because the stupid clinic at my office opens only till 12.30pm and i kept missing the opening hours). i got the letter, but the doctor kept my options open and let me go to my preferred choice of ENT doctor.

great. except i dont really know any ENT doctor and when i tried to ask around.. they aren’t as common as gynaes or orthopedics where recommendations are aplenty. it took me one week to nail down the doc, and promptly booked the appt.

the appt was yesterday. it was like a job interview. asked loads of questions and got both my ears checked physically. my ear structures were perfectly fine. did some test with a tuning fork and i noticed the sounds were more blunt in the right ear than the left. into the sound proof room i went again and i knew something was not right, because there was this long stretch of silence where i didnt hear a thing. when i got called back into the consultation room, i got diagnosed with high frequency hearing loss. that’s fine.. because i was hoping for the doctor to give me options like surgery or something. but he delivered these words instead – its permanent, there is NOTHING you can do about it…

in that instance, i really felt like i went deaf.. even though the doctor went on to explain that it means i may have the difficulty of understanding certain words, cannot hear high pitch electronic sounds, certain phone beepings and all.

i think i was in a state of shock and forgot about all the other questions i wanted to ask, like does it affect my sense of balance and whether that is the reason why i am so prone to motion sickness.

i googled and found out that with high frequency hearing loss, the sounds that are hardest to tell apart are f, s, and th and other unvoiced consonants such as k and t and sometimes, ch and sh. <source> i also found this other entry that talks all about it.

and my husband had to rub salt to the wound by saying, aiyah.. nevermind, you have been ‘deaf’ for so long.. you also lived on.. HAHA. i know he was trying to console me. didnt help that he wasnt with me at the clinic cos the car battery had to die when we were all getting ready to head out.

and yup, that’s the story of how i found out im deaf half-deaf. my left ear still works.

maybe that was part of the reason why i really cant sing.

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