I was going to put off posting serious stuff until tomorrow, but now that I have this window open, I suppose I might as well post about it. It helps to know that I could
put it off until tomorrow, though.
Hearing test confirms that hearing is improved from a week ago but still subpar by my standards. (That is, still well within the "normal" range. What I am used to thinking of as normal hearing is apparently superhuman.) It's impossible to know whether the improvement is due to the steroids or just happened on its own.
The ENT advised me to try the low-salt diet and see whether my hearing continues to improve. Then he attempted to very gently break it to me that the tinnitus might be a lifelong condition. "We see a lot of people your age who have a hard time realizing their bodies might let them down," he began.
"Oh yes, I know all about that," I said. "I got that wake-up call ten years ago with tendinitis in both arms. I couldn't wash my own hair and it wrecked my schooling and then my career."
He blinked a bit. "Still?" he said.
"Well, right now it's mostly fine," I said. "That's my knitting bag over there. But there are limitations on what I can do. I understand how that works. So yeah, I was already figuring that this was likely to be a lifelong thing, and I'll find ways to cope with it. I mean, I'll go through waves of being angry and frustrated and then accepting and you know, like one does. But I figure I'll be okay."
"Well... okay!" he said. Clearly the conversation had not gone the way he expected.
(I wonder whether the hearing loss technically qualifies as a disability, given the still-in-normal-range thing. But the tinnitus costs me spoons, so I will say yes on that front, at least. Which means I now have THREE count them THREE invisible disabilities, hooray. *sigh*) (The third one being the well-controlled but ever-present mental illness, of course. Once chronic anxiety and cyclothymia take up residence, they are extremely difficult to evict. I'm just glad when I can persuade them to turn down the television and take out the trash.)
So that is... what it is.
I will miss silence. I am very fond of silence, and it makes me sad to think I might never experience it again. But who knows, maybe in a week or a month or a year the tinnitus will go away on its own again the way it has before. The doctor was very plain-spoken about there basically being no treatments for it. It is a kitty-like ailment that comes and goes as it pleases, and sometimes snoozes and sometimes yowls and that is just how it goes. Alas, it lacks all of a kitty's redeeming features.
I suspect it will be harder to deal with than the arms in some ways, because there is a very clear cause/effect thing with the arms--if I overuse them they hurt, if I ice and rest them they heal--but I have no control at all over the tinnitus, not even the "control" of being able to make it worse. One more thing to talk with a therapist about, I guess.
Speaking of which, I did trial runs with one therp yesterday and another today; both were emotionally exhausting, as such things tend to be. The one yesterday was very nice, but she seemed likely to be even more well-suited to Xtina than to me, so I connected them and relinquished my claim, as it were. The one today was a waste of my time and I'm just glad it was free. I have another appointment set for next Wednesday; I have high hopes for that one, as he's personally recommended by my ex-therp. If that doesn't work out, I'll make more calls, I guess. In the meantime I'm hoarse from all the talking--trial appointments with therapists mean LOTS of talking--on top of seasonal allergies and also from the effort of choking back tears all the time. The very nice body-centric therapist said "When you're sad, where do you feel it in your body?" and immediately my throat tightened up. Good to know my body's still capable of giving me clear signals about something, I guess.
Everything is tiring right now. I have to keep reminding myself that this is legitimately a lot of stuff all going on at once--it would be even if there were not also work and Readercon and Playford Ball and apartment stuff also happening--and it is quite reasonable for me to be on the brink of exhausted tears more often than not. Tonight Josh made eyes at me and I said calmly that if I relaxed enough to even consider making out with him, I would start crying, and I was pretty bored with crying and would rather not do that right now, though I probably ought to put it on the calendar for sometime in the next few days because I had to stifle tears pretty hard at dancing last night and it's better not to let such things fester. Maybe tomorrow night if I don't stay at work too late. Friday I have a date night with X and it's no fun to cry on date nights, plus it would be good to get this out of my system before then.
In the meantime, cough drops, and a clenched jaw (which I'm sure doesn't help the tinnitus), and back muscles so tight they give me bellyaches. Maybe tomorrow I'll wake up with a charley horse just for variety.
I am going to cut this off here before it spirals further into the gloom.
No e-hugs, please. Hugs make me want to relax and I can't do that at the moment. Please do not offer constructive suggestions for dealing with any of this; that sort of thing is rage-inducing when I'm in this mood, even from my partners and family (though they all know better than to try).
Gentle expressions of sympathy are very welcome. If you want to say something or reach out in some way and you're not sure what would be welcome or appropriate, I'm a fan of "." and "I read this whole thing" as useful ways to communicate that.
And yes, I will be fine, eventually. I know that. I'm just really not fine right now.You're welcome to comment on LJ, but I'd rather you leave a comment on the Dreamwidth version of this entry. The current comment count is .