Since I’ll be going offline in order to be a farmer, welder, lumberjack, car-mechanic and on top of that plans to undertake some kayak expeditions in Sweden next week, I might as well get my overdue status report out now. It became so long, I decided to split it in three and they will automatically post while I’m away (how neat is that 🙂 )
My hearing and health status is difficult for others to comprehend. I have done a decent job explaining it to my family in small doses. Part of the problem to make others understand, is that it has been hard to understand for myself. It is a condition that seems kind of vague. Since I have no way of real comparison as to what is “normal” level of function, I have been assembling data here and there. Talked to post-CI operated, read some literature and most of all researched on the glorious WWW. The process is ongoing.
My hearing and health status
Technically I have a profound hearing loss. I’m almost as deaf “as a doorknob” as Abbie so nicely put it. A few remaining hair cells in lower frequencies up to around 1000 Hz (1 kHz) is all I have in my residual hearing. I have explained “recruitment” before, and that is still a big issue. Consequently I suffer from hyperacusia, which gives med a kind of head-ache within seconds. It feels like being struck hard on both sides of my head (by the ears) at the same time with something physical (as in blunt violence). The pain then seems to go through my head from ear to ear, kind of pulsating into the brain.
Sources that are prone to give me these hyperacusia-attacks is: my son when he forget himself and shouts/screams, the refrigerators compressor when I stand close to it, cars and traffic, multiple sources of sound (especially when trying hard to comprehend speech, the sounds coming from my computer (not sure if it’s vibration sound from hard drives or the chassis fans. The list of troubling sounds go on and on.
Secondary sensory disturbances are making themselves more and more noticeably.
Feeling of vertigo is increasing, and from time to time I experience trouble with my balance. I almost trip and have to make corrective steps quickly in order to prevent myself falling to the ground. Especially when visual context changes quickly, like first looking up at trees and the sky and then looking down on the ground. Or if I walk down a corridor, and stairs appear right around a corner… The sudden visual change from flat floor to stairs going down is becoming a challenge. Railing next to the stairs are a good thing for me now. This is a problem going down. Not so much while going up the stairs.
Photophobia is more acute than ever. White clouds are the worst weather condition for me. I can have trouble driving when the sky is white with bright illuminating clouds. Under such conditions, my eyes feel sore and I squint as much as possible, and sometimes the eyes get filled with tears. Sunshine doesn’t bother me much as I can avoid the direct source. An entire sky with bright white clouds are a little more difficult to shield from. Thank heavens for sunglasses.
I also experience dry eyes after a day with a lot of light. My nice cozy 24″ computer flat screen can illuminate quite well, to the point of discomfort. Good thing all this is adjustable. I use a lot of dark colors on software’s skins, on desktop and so on. Also I have adjusted the panel itself to lower brightness. Let’s just say that at times I blink a lot, and I do take breaks.