Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Good news going into Christmas

I promised to keep everyone up to date on my progress after the concussion accident and loss of hearing. After two CAT scans and two audiology testings, my "ear doctor" has confirmed that there is little, if any "mechanical" (bone) damage to my ear. Whatever hearing loss I am experiencing is due to nerve damage. The good news is no surgery necessary. I've had my hearing aids re calibrated and we hope that there will be healing of the nerves over time. Although it seems certain that my hearing will not return to where it was before the accident, it is possible that it will improve from where it is, now. I'm grateful that I can manage fairly well with the use of my hearing aids.The only downside is that I need to wear at least one all the time, whereas before, I could get through most of the day without one. Outside of that I feel fine. I'm back at the "Y" trying to coax off a few pounds and having slow success!

We celebrated Tom's birthday today with a coupon from the "Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse". I have a lot of year-end paperwork to do, so I'm not even going to try to get out a Christmas Letter until after the holidays. We'll be at Ken's house in Dansville, NY to have our annual New Year's "Christmas" celebration with Chris and family, and maybe Anne Cain and Bob Moon from Detroit, if the roads are passable. For all who celebrate Christmas - we wish you a very merry holiday and a blessed New Year.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Accidents Happen!

Last Wednesday, (December 1st) during the night, I fell into the bathtub and suffered a concussion, also bleeding like a stuck pig because that's the way heads bleed! Tom wrapped my head and I drove to emergency in Plainfield, where they did a CAT scan and closed up my cut with about a dozen staples. I don't know much about concussions. Apparently they have different effects on different people. My family doctor was worried, and recommended a second scan the next evening, to be sure there was no internal bleeding. I went to Somerset hospital, where the CAT scan reader was the guy who literally wrote the book on CAT scans. (One of the benefits of living in or near one of the richest counties in the USA is that there is also an abundance of the best medical care - if you have insurance, of course. In my case Medicare will pick up most of the costs.)

The first results were a mild headache, some nausea, and slight balance issues. The biggest effect was that I essentially lost my hearing. I didn't have great hearing before - but now it's 50-75% less than it was, before. That's my main concern, now. The headaches are gone. The nausea is gone. There is no internal bleeding. A week later, if I turn my head quickly, there's a sense that I shouldn't be doing this - internal discomfort in the head.

Today I visited the ear doctor for the first time. He said that the CAT scans weren't precise enough to show "mechanical" (bone breakage or separations) damage. He will give me a thorough audiologist test next Tuesday. From that he should be able to determine the actual nature of the damage, and what can be done to fix it, if anything. If it's nerve damage, they just have to wait for the body to heal. It will take a year to get a final result on how the nerves have healed, or not healed. Unless there is some degree of hearing restoration, I don't know how well I will be able to function in group settings, like church meetings.

I don't have any feelings of depression, or anger, or whatever. Accidents happen! That's life, and I'm glad I'm alive to have them! My job is to heal as best I can, and then continue on with my life with whatever faculties I still have. If I was younger, I might have very different feelings, but at 77 I know that I'm just lucky to be alive, and am glad when I can see the sun come up every morning. Life is good - even with a few band aids here and there.