Editor’s note: this is the second in a series of guest articles shared by MED-EL recipient Morgan Martins. In her first post, she wrote about her history of hearing and Ménière’s Disease. Here she introduces what it’s like to have lost her hearing.
I confess: It’s still painful to remember those first weeks after losing all my hearing. I’m a person who can deal well with white or black; yes or no, but it is extremely hard for me to deal with grey and maybes!
When I woke deaf, after the panic and the terror, my wife and I went to the emergency room in the hospital. The all ordeal is a little bit blurred: the only thing I remember is that they couldn’t see a reason for my deafness. As I was previously diagnosed with Ménière’s Disease, one had to assume that I had bilateral Ménière’s Disease and what had happened to my right ear had now happened in the left one too.
From the emergency room, I was referred to an emergency appointment with an ENT doctor. While the appointment was due to happen in the next 3 days, my paperwork was lost and that it took another two weeks to have my actual appointment. This meant 2 terrifying weeks where the only thing I remember doing is crying and feeling lost.
The sudden lost of communication with others took me by surprise. Let’s face it: as much as I read about Ménière’s disease and its symptoms vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing loss, it never occurred to me that I could become deaf due to it. It’s like one of those things that you know that it can happen, but you never think it can happen to you. Two weeks after becoming deaf, I was seen by the ENT doctor and fitted with a very basic hearing aid, one given only in emergency situations to help until you’re given a proper set of hearing aids.
This period was one of the most stressful phases of my life. Just after losing my hearing the contract work that I was on, finished. Nevertheless, while I was an excellent candidate on the paper, the moment I mentioned to them–by email–that I had lost my hearing and was waiting for my hearing aids, on that moment I would stop to hear back from them. To this day I’m sure it was because of losing my hearing, although, of course, that was never mentioned.
This only added more anger and sadness; uncertainty and hopeless feelings to an already awful situation. However I just had to wait until December 23, the day I was to be given my real hearing aids. What would happen then?