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A Clear Head and a Good Heart

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My daughter Sam is in the Studio Arts program in college and this is one of her recent creations.  Isn’t it AMAZING!?!

Little did she know that when she gave it to me it was incredibly significant to what I was going through.

I’d been having some health issues and the doctors had decided that I needed a stress-echocardiogram to look for heart damage and a brain/inner ear MRI to look for a tumor.  Needless to say we didn’t want to tell the kids until we had definite answers…positive or negative.

I was scared to death.

I cried as I showed my husband the print and he nodded, knowing just what I was thinking.

He accompanied me to the tests and the doctor visits after, thank God, because I was a mess.  I’d always been the caregiver – dealing with doctors on behalf of parents, kids, other loved ones, and friends.  But this…this was about me, and I knew I couldn’t do it alone.

Once we received the news that everything was good, we felt like a huge weight was lifted.  We didn’t have all the answers we needed, but we sure had some fantastic negative results!

We did receive one answer (to the loud hum, aka tinnitus, and hearing and off-balance issues I was having):  Meniere’s Syndrome in my left ear.  It’s a health issue diagnosed by elimination…meaning there’s no one test that can diagnose it.  It brings with it random episodes of Vertigo, a feeling of being off-balance, and sometimes permanent hearing loss.  My hearing loss is permanent, but only moderate/severe to mild (I can’t hear low sounds but I can hear high-pitched sounds).   It can be progressive but doesn’t cause full hearing loss, and it doesn’t usually affect the other ear.  A hearing aid should help, which I hope to get this week.   So if you see me walking around a store and I’m wobbly, remember I’m not drunk, it’s just the Meniere’s!

I’ve learned one thing from all this:  if you have tinnitus in just one ear – get to an ENT or Audiologist right away! I’d been having the loud hum off and on for probably a year, but just figured ‘everyone gets tinnitus, don’t they?’.  Wrong answer.

My other health issues will have to wait until April when we go to the Mayo Clinic for some specialized testing.  In the meantime I’m just hanging out…writing a little, getting myself a new look (see the new profile photo), and reading a lot of books…and once in a while watching those crazy babies who sit and snuggle with me!

Life is good…I don’t have heart disease or a brain tumor!

Patty O

ps…Back to Sam’s art…now we can relax and have her print as a reminder of just how blessed we are.  It will soon be framed and in a place of honor on our wall.

pps…Notice I didn’t say an empty head.  I have too many friends that would have far too much fun with that. :)

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. “Empty head”….hmmmm, well, no comment. :) I have a friend with tinnitus, I’ll email her to see if she can add any to your knowledge base.

    March 25, 2014
  2. I’m sorry to hear of this. The print your daughter did is fantastic! I love it! It is interesting how things come together at times. :) The AVM in my head–let’s just say that I am becoming dependent on an animal to hear. To me it sounds like multi high pitch bells and grinding noises going off all of the time. I call them the peanut gallery in my head. The noise is deafening–I really feel for you. I haven’t been able to balance well in years and there is nothing I can do–I feel so bad for you. I hope the hearing aid will give you some relief. It takes so long to diagnose some things. My prayers are with you still. You have such a sense of humor. My apologies if I sound insensitive–I don’t mean to. I have to laugh at myself to get through. I’ll be going now… Please take care! :D

    March 27, 2014

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