Saturday, February 8, 2014

Groundhog Day, Earaches, and Closed-Captioning

You know the movie Groundhog Day? Where Bill Murray's character wakes up to relive the same thing day after day? Well, that's what this week has felt like for me.

photo credit: StephenZacharias via photopin cc

We've had snow and ice off and on all week, prompting school to be cancelled every single day! I would go to bed at night thinking, "surely they'll have school tomorrow, the roads seem improved enough." But, come 5:30 am, I would get the call that school was, indeed, again cancelled. We have lots of rural areas in our county. So, while my neighborhood in my part of the county seems fine, I realize there are many back roads that are still icy and treacherous for buses to travel.

Our school year runs from early August to mid-to-late May. Now, because of our missed snow days, the kids will be going well into the month of June. This is usually not that big a deal but this year it is. Our daughter graduates high school this year and this crazy winter weather has made it impossible to schedule a graduation date as of yet. Our county has three public high schools that have to vie for venue dates against a much bigger system of schools in Louisville. It's going to be tough to get a good date. And, we have our Ireland trip planned for late June. This means, that the small window of time between graduation and leaving for Ireland is also when my daughter has to fit in her two-day college orientation session. Lots of moving parts and unknown dates.

Also this week, I've been sick. Like, icky, awful, whiny, complainey-sick. It started with a bad cough, general aching all over and headache. Then it progressed to stuffy ears and I knew I was in trouble. I've had ear problems over the years and I'm prone to easily ruptured eardrums when I get ear infections. Wednesday afternoon, I noticed my ears felt stopped up. By Wednesday night, I was literally writhing and crying on the couch in severe pain. I like to think that I can tolerate a little pain without complaint. But, when my ear problems flare up, it is literally the most painful, intense pressure that I have ever had. The pressure builds and builds until finally my eardrum ruptures, leading to lots of yucky drainage and a severe (temporary) hearing loss. I went to see the doctor on Thursday and she confirmed that I had double ear infections and one ruptured eardrum. Her prescribed treatment: antibiotics, decongestants, pain meds, and lots of rest.

So, here I lie in bed (fighting my dog for the heating pad), with cotton balls stuffed in my ears, watching tv via closed-captioning, and typing this post. I'm feeling a tad better but the hearing loss is a real problem. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I turned the television all the way up and still could not make out what was being said. Someone could be standing right in front of me speaking, and I have a hard time understanding anything they say. I can hear sounds but it's very muffled and distorted (kinda like the teacher you could never understand in Charlie Brown). Meanwhile, the sounds in my head are roaringly loud - such as breathing, or when I eat or chew food - man, does it sound obnoxious in my head. I can only imagine how hard it would be to deal with this all the time. It certainly gives you a great appreciation for the gift of sound.

This hearing loss usually takes at least a week or two to resolve. Until then, my family and I adjust to rudimentary communication tactics and lots of me saying, "huh?" and "I can't hear you, what did you say?" I'm typically a homebody who loves nothing more than laying around watching tv (is that bad to admit?). But, even I am getting cabin fever after this long and difficult week of being able to do nothing but lay around and watch tv. Tv that I can't even hear!

Here's hoping that next week is much better.


Justin Knight said...

What a time you've had! I said, WHAT A TIME YOU'VE HAD! Seriously, hope you're on the mend and that the schools are all open soon!