Friday, June 7, 2013

Can You Hear Me Now?

Today has been a long day. The kind of day that seems to never end; and yet seems to fly by so fast you don't have time to do all you wanted. Back in 2008, I was diagnosed with Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease. I had been having dizziness and balance issues, loss of hearing and constant ringing in my ears. This autoimmune disease is also rare, but goes along with the inflammatory arthritis. Both effect the connective tissues in your body, and your inner ear is connective tissue.

I haven't been back to this doctor since 2010, mostly because I have been going through a LOT of other things, and partly because I have learned to live with the hearing loss. It gets easier to position yourself better so you can hear. You learn to read lips a bit easier. When all else fails, you smile politely and nod in agreement, and pray you didn't just agree to volunteer for something!

The ringing in my ears has become so loud, it is more like an entire bell choir, not just ringing, and it is still constant. I have been avoiding large groups, noisy places and restaurants, but I knew I was having more difficulty hearing. It is especially obvious when I am on the phone, mashing it tight against the side of my head in an effort to hear better, and still saying "Could you talk louder and into the phone?" or, the ever popular, "What?"

The doctor says it is time for hearing aids in both ears.

Prior to seeing him, I was in the waiting room, reading "Joni & Ken: An Untold Love Story" (about Joni Eareckson Tada-read more here), about to burst into tears when they called me back to the examine room. (I highly recommend this book!!) For any of you unfamiliar with her story, she was paralyzed from the neck down in a swimming accident at age 17. Besides dealing with quadriplegia and chronic pain, she found out she had breast cancer a few years ago. I had just read the words she spoke shortly after the cancer diagnosis- "I can't do's too much...I can't." I found myself hearing those words echo through my mind as the doctor explained today's test results, and my need for hearing aids.

Some days I feel as though I can't catch a break. Just when I get one thing going in the right direction, something else knocks me down. Some days I want to ask "What next?" One thing I am assured of-- no trial comes to me without first being approved by my Father in heaven, who works and wills for His good pleasure and glory. I rest in knowing that if He has chosen this path for me, He will continue to strengthen me to walk down it.

I am thankful for a loving and supportive family. I am thankful for a forgiving and merciful God, who provided Jesus to me as the ultimate way of escape.

Saw this on my walk the other day and took a picture. "Rough Road Ahead" is sort of my motto!  :)