Tuesday 23 September 2008

Tree, little, milk, egg, book – hearing test I took…

A look in my diary this morning has shown that I am due for a hearing test soon. I haven’t minded the last few visits I’ve made to the audiology clinic as I have a great new audiologist who is determined to find hearing aids that will help me.

She hasn’t succeeded yet, but she has the patience of a saint and the most incredible determination. Last time I visited she told me that she’d been researching on the internet and had come across a company that are creating hearing aid that can change the pitch of sounds. This would be amazing for me as I could make all the high noises I can’t hear, lower.

Thinking about it though, it could be a little weird, too. A cat walks past me and meows – to everyone else this is a fragile high-pitched bleat… to me it sounds like a lion on acid.

But do you know, on my first visit to the audiology clinic they didn’t believe I was deaf. It was shortly after meeting Fab Friend, nearly four years ago. Her success with digital aids convinced me to make get a referral – which involved my GP checking my ears for wax, just in case that had been making me deaf all these years.

*Hah, I wish!

As I hadn’t had a hearing test for over eight years due to moving house and university, no one at the clinic seemed to know the whereabouts of my notes and all they had to go on was a GP referral to confirm my ears were wax free.

So, they shut me in a box, but I got Goldilocks syndrome – the first one was too small and made me very claustophobic, the second was occupied and the third one was just right. Headphones on, finger poised over the button, I waited for the test to begin…


The lady testing me came into the room. ‘Press the button when you hear the sounds,’ she said.
‘I will,’ I replied as she shut the metre-thick door.

Again, I readied myself for the beeps.


Again she came back in and fiddled around with the machine. ‘It’s not broken,’ she said. ‘Why aren’t you pressing the button?’
‘Because there aren’t any beeps,’ I replied before biting down hard on my tongue to prevent any sarcastic follow-ups.

She went out again and after a few moments some low beeps started playing, so I pressed the button and then it went silent again for quite a while until she came back in – a grave look on her face.

‘I’d like you to see a consultant,’ she said and after a few minutes I was ushered through to meet the bespectacled little man.
‘We have found you are very very deaf,’ he said.

‘Yes, I know I am very deaf,’ I told him, wondering if he was going to say anything more enlightening than that. ‘I did let the others know, but I don’t think they believed me.’

‘Have you always had blue eyes?’ he asked. ‘Any heart, liver or kidney problems?’ he added quickly.

‘Um, yes and no – not that I know of.’ At this, my heart began beating very fast as I imagined all sorts of worse-case scenarios and wondered how crap ears could affect my vital organs.

‘OK, you are free to go,’ he said.

And that was that…

I thought about hitting Google to see what I could find out, but I have a pact with myself never to type medical symptoms in and hit search. The reason for this is that you will always have cancer. If you have a sore toe, it will be toe cancer, a sore tongue – tongue cancer, a sore head – a brain tumour.

If I Google this I will be scared forever…


Can you get ear cancer?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's patients like you that make our days difficult! Poor little consultant was probably due a tea break.

Note to self: always believe the patient.

Ps I will think of you as I requote patient.co.uk to my patients this afternoon

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