“It’s impossible to keep hiding your true colours”

Three days ago, I lost 80% of the hearing in my left ear. It came back briefly, yesterday, but yesterday I woke up and it was gone again and it has not come back, apart from a brief moment of startling clarity earlier. I am not panicking, or running to the doctor to cry about losing my hearing. Instead I did what I always do when feeling sick: hit up nhs choices, then interpret the information they give as I wish. I have decided that as I am not in pain or experiencing any sort of vertigo that whatever is going on will sort itself out. I am a great believer in letting my body sort itself out, mostly because I find going to the doctors too awkward and embarrassing.

Its worse here in Malaysia as there is one doctor on campus so unlike in the UK where you never see the same doctor or nurse twice, you always see the same guy here and he recognises you. He asks me about my long term condition. And its sweet, in a way, but not something I’m used to and it makes the visit all the more uncomfortable- I don’t like being forced to realize just how intimately the doctor knows me in some ways, like when in the UK you can see the doctors screen and you can see your medical history up for display and you just want to cringe, at all this deeply personal information reduced to an entry in a database that these doctors can read at will. Worse, you can see them type in what you are saying, and I always imagine them internally sighing, thinking that it is such a waste of time… as if, if I’m not physically dying then I am wasting their time. I feel like that.

Nonetheless, it is disconcerting only being able to truly hear out of one ear. Yesterday, an acquaintance was speaking to me and he offered to explain to me some lab work that I’d messed up yesterday and I badly wanted to say yes, please but instead I had to shake my head because I knew that with half my hearing being smothered in cotton wool, that I’d struggle to process the explanation. I was talking to my friend but I couldn’t angle myself in time to hear her, so I fumbled the conversation more than usual as I tried to reply without actually knowing what had been said. In labs earlier, my lab partner could not get my attention because he was sitting to the left of me. (It did not help that I was seriously zoned out, of course) It’s amazing how different everything is with one sense half gone and weirdly, its strange how easy it is to get used to it. I nearly flinched when my hearing returned fully earlier because everything seemed too loud for a moment.

Well, I still wish for it to return. I’ll happily get used to hearing properly again.