On Tuesday this week, I had an appointment with the audiologist. I think I can rate it a success because I can now hear, and I don’t need gromits (I’m not sure how to spell this so I’m just going to spell it like the dog in Wallace and Gromit) or hearing aids! My hearing has been getting steadily worse recently, but the audiologist really helped (once again, I find myself feeling very grateful for the NHS!) – apparently my hearing problems were partly caused by a fairly severe build up of wax, so they cleaned them up and then I had a hearing test which I passed. (I know hospital tests aren’t about passing or failing really, but the academic in me doesn’t like not being good at things. Psychoanalyse that!)
I was a bit nervous beforehand because I didn’t really know what would happen – with a lot of medical things, I no longer get nervous because they happen so often that I’ve got very familiar with them (MRI scans, for example). I haven’t been to an audiologist since I was pretty young, although one of my friends is going to be one so asking her advice was helpful. Even if things can be different for different people, and at different hospitals or trusts, I thought it might be helpful to go through a little bit of what happened in case anyone reading is in a similar position!
My appointment was at 9.30, so my dad drove me in. They let him into the room, which I wasn’t sure they would but I was grateful for. I’m not sure he enjoyed it as much… medical things aren’t something he’s particularly fond of, unlike my mum who has a horrifying fascination with all things medical. He did at least get well rewarded with a trip into town to a bookshop and for lunch! There was a bit of waiting but not too much, and im used to much longer waits! They were going to start with the hearing test but the wax meant that there wasn’t much point in doing that, so after another short wait I had my ears dewaxed. This was WEIRD. It didn’t hurt at all, but it was definitely odd. It also took a lot longer than I expected but that might have been down to the amount there was.
After being dewaxed, I had the hearing test (which was fairly straightforward – they played a noise and I pressed a buzzer when I heard it) and then got the results. Much less complicated and invasive than I feared, and it was nice to feel it was successful, as afterwards I could actually hear what my dad was saying over lunch, and I’ve been able to hear the TV even when it’s at a normal volume.
I’m not due back at the hospital until the 21st June, when I have another scan. Hopefully next time my veins will cooperate better with the dye, although thankfully the bruise has mostly gone from that!