Monday, 12 July 2010

Update on Dashed Hopes and Some Memory Jogging

Back from the clinic ... good lord ... 1 ½ hours of driving there, 2 hours at the clinic seeing the nurse practitioner, the doctor subbing for mine and the technician ... and sitting around the waiting room a lot in between, and then 1 ½ hours driving home. 

Five hours altogether  ... but they sent me home with my hearing and thinking processes intact.  My ear was swooshed out with very warm water and I was told to treat both ears with oil twice a week for the rest of my life.  Because I thought it was likely swimmer's ear I had been drying the wax out with aluminum drops and making things worse rather than better.  The difference in my hearing  was not as startling or sudden as I thought it would be.  You know I kind of expected a giant pop as the plug loosened and jumped out of the canal ... but no ... nothing nearly as dramatic, although I did feel woozy and had to be helped to a chair.  The technician said it was a common reaction.  After all she had just sent my balance centre into a merry go round spin.  At any rate, my little inflamed drum became visible and was able to vibrate again.  I regained my balance and my hearing ... and with them my ability to think.

One thing I noticed when I got home was that the dehumidifier makes a very loud noise ... and those machines across the lake were making me want to tell Kenya to move over and make room for me under the boiler and the water tank!

Imagine how awful it must be for a creature with super sensitive hearing! 

At the best of times my hearing is just so-so.  I was born in the era before medicare and instead of getting a prescription for antibiotics my father blew warm breath in my ear when I had an earache ... and I had lots of them until I had my tonsils and adenoids removed when I was seven. 

My older kids were also pre-medicare kids, but I remembered being sick and made sure that they were looked after by a doctor ... and that they received antibiotics rather than being subjected to my breathing in their inflamed and aching ears or hoping that bronchial pneumonia would heal itself.. 

My tonsillectomy took place on the kitchen table in my foster home with my foster mother administering the ether.  I was horribly nauseated and had a blood clot in my throat which had to be removed ... but a brand new black English sidewalk bicycle leaned against the bedroom wall encouraging me to get well quickly.

My children went to the hospital for their operations., and were treated much younger.  They were too young for bikes, but I couldn't afford bikes anyway.  Instead I took a bus to the hospital and brought single rose buds ... and special cuddly toys.

Funny I can remember the rosebuds but I can't remember how I managed to pay for those doctor's visits, the antibiotics I seemed to have to buy weekly, or the surgeries and hospital time. 

I was making $1800 a year.  To give you an idea of just how little that was, someone in middle management was making $18000 at that time.  I guess you just do it when you are a single parent and you don't have a choice.


Barbara Carlson said...

Glad to hear of the resurrection of your hearing, such as it sadly apparently is. It be what it be. We all have these weak areas we work around or with...I hate it.
Anyway, this too shall pass. Eventually. When you get old you only get sick twice a year -- but it lasts six months. Ha.

You've had such a Life. I admire your courage. Kids.
Boof! (I could never be so brave.)

Oma said...

Truism: It is not courage;failure of the imagination, perhaps.

And at the time you just keep putting one foot ahead of the other and hope that it will eventually get easier. And it does usually. You become older and are no longer dirt poor. The kids grow up and are no longer as dependent on you.

It is only once you realize that you are well past that point where the road leads up; when you have reached the top and are on the downward slope that you lose that optimism and realize that there is no reason to expect things to get better. You can't make more money. Your health can't become robust again. Your brain cells are dissolving.

It helps if your personal happiness is not inextricably bound up with money ... but most of us like being able to count on our bodies and brains!

kingmisha said...

Somehow that strikes me as terribly sad. I prefer to view it as downsizing my expectations rather than losing my optimism.

When I was younger, I was often hurt by my own unrealistic expectations. I made demands on myself and others that could not reasonably be met. I was, needless to say, frequently disappointed.

I'm rarely disappointed now because my expectations are tailored to reality. In some cultures where elders are respected, that is called wisdom.

Barbara Carlson said...

Yes, it's this whole judgment thing, too, that thankfully begins to shift in older age. Good and bad become just "is-ness". I'm gettin' there...

And, read this yesterday somewhere: There is a wisdom & relaxation when you realize ..."other people can only love you they way THEY can love, not the way you want to be loved."

If that's resignation, it's rather liberating.

kingmisha said...

Brilliant! What a wonderful insight. Very liberating indeed.

Oma said...

Barbara and kingmisha ... great comments ... i particularly like the is-ness of things!