Okay I’m gonna spill here
Wednesday February 10th 2021, 11:02 pm
Filed under: Life

Three weeks ago I was suddenly hearing a loud low buzz, and acutely aware that our modem had done that in warning before we happened to luck out in finding it smoking just before it became something much worse I went looking for what the source of that sound could be.

Except not only did everything seem fine, the sound didn’t stop when I left the room. The furnace maybe?

Why didn’t that plane flying overhead stop flying overhead?


It was sudden onset, it turned out to be in one ear only, I’ve never had low-frequency tinnitus in my life (high, yes, forever) and I have a friend who went through an acoustic neuroma.

Which is why I linked to that article on tinnitus the other day–after sending my doctor a note.

Plus I fell three times last week, which was getting a little ridiculous but probably didn’t have anything to do with it.

Her nurse almost immediately wrote back to tell me to make an appointment. Half an hour later, she checked, I hadn’t done it yet so she got right on the phone to make sure that happened.

Oh okay.

Tuesday my doctor would be in.

So yesterday I went in and she ruled out a bunch of ordinary stuff and referred me to ENT and audiology. I was quite sure she would, but we are still new to each other and I wanted her to be there from the beginning of this with me should it come to anything. When I mentioned my friend, she nodded a definite affirmative of yes: we needed to rule that out.

I went home and called. The ENT receptionist told me she could schedule the one in eight days and the other the week after that. Yes she was seeing the referral, it had just come up on the screen.

Usually when a doctor is the one saying the patient needs to be seen you get in a lot faster, but no.

I hesitated, and when it was clear we weren’t going to do better than that and having just waited four days that had felt so very long that it reminded me of when I was five days overdue with my first baby (I cannot begin to tell you how many years long those five days were), I told her why I was trying to get in.

She exclaimed, “Ohmygoodness!” Suddenly, with apologies for making me wait on hold (take your time! And thank you!), she got me in on both for this morning, with their permission.

It has been a long time since I’ve had that thorough an exam in audiology. Tympanometry–I remember that from a class in college even if I’m not sure I remember how to spell it right. I also remember being taught that if you push a tone and the person hears it and then stops hearing it while it’s still going, they have a brain tumor.

That stuck with me: the idea of being able to help uncover a problem on that level, to be able to help a patient that much as a non-medical person–wow.

So I wondered if she was going to test that.

She didn’t as far as I know but there have definitely been equipment updates since my time and part of me wanted to ask her to explain this and this and remind me the details on that.

A few minutes in the waiting room with my knitting, and then a new-to-me ENT: my old one had retired at the pandemic.

The doctor was late. I knew he’d squeezed me in. He complimented the purple Mecha hat in progress and started to ask questions about it but realized he needed to get a move-on; I thanked him and we went on from there.

He was quite pleased with the hearing test results: bilateral and still the same as the last time they’d tested. My hearing aids, however, particularly the right one, need to be replaced. He knew his stuff: when I told him they were the latest and greatest Oticons when I got them, and when that was, he knew about them but also what’s out there now, and in my experience, the ENTs leave that up to the audiologists but he was up on what the patients would want to know about.

Had there been an acoustic neuroma one ear would have been markedly different now from the other. They were not. He offered a brain MRI if I wanted one, it was up to me; but to him it all looked okay, and he was clearly relieved to be able to tell me that.

And that’s as close to a brain tumor experience as I hope I ever have.

6 Comments so far
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Comment by Susan 02.11.21 @ 12:04 am

Such wonderful news! I am glad you pushed back and that they got you in early after all.

Comment by ccr in MA 02.11.21 @ 7:11 am

Oh my! So very thankful the ENT receptionist could get you in sooner, and that the tests proved positive good. I know new hearing aids cost a lot of yarn, but you are worth it. Best wishes to you, and hoping no more falls either.

Comment by DebbieR 02.11.21 @ 8:15 am

Glad things worked out well. That must have been very worrisome.
Technology and medicine can do so many wonderful things!

Comment by Chris S in Canada 02.11.21 @ 4:45 pm

So glad for your good news! As a very long time fellow tinnitis sufferer, I can relate.
Be well.

Comment by DeAnn Jochen 02.11.21 @ 7:37 pm

So glad to hear good news for a change.

Comment by Sharon Stanger 02.11.21 @ 8:13 pm

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