H is for Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can be caused by many things – genetics, head trauma, age, stroke (TIA), or continual exposure to loud noises to name a few. Whatever the cause, not having one of the senses can be very traumatic, especially when you go from having the ability to hear to suddenly having that sense be gone. Rather than a lot of specific information, I am going to share my friend’s story. Tabitha is a wife, mother of two, survivor of abuse, survivor of cancer, but most importantly a child of God. I have been blessed to recently meet and become friends with Tabitha. Here is her story!
“Brad, wake up! Something is wrong!” These were the last words I remember saying the morning our lives changed almost four years ago.
The first Thursday in November, I woke up to a terrible ringing in both ears, no vision besides black and white dots, and throwing up non-stop. I was beyond dizzy and needed help even getting out of bed. My husband thought maybe I got up too fast, so he had me lay back down and try to get up again. That is the moment our lives changed.
“Brad, what’s happening to me? I can’t see anything and my ears…oh, the ringing! It hurts! It hurts!” He tried talking to me, but I heard nothing.
Immediately, I was taken to the ER only to found that I had a TIA (stroke) at 28 years old. What was happening to me? I lost all vision for almost 72 hours along with my hearing. My face was disfigured and the entire right side of my body was numb. I regained sight back and the hearing in my left ear only. Dr. Butler tried to save my right ear by placing steroid injections into my right eardrum, but sadly, she was unable to save it.
That is when the words “You are now hearing impaired” were first spoken to me.
It took weeks, and then months, for our family to adjust to this “new” me. It was not easy. I was constantly saying:
“Can you reap that? I didn’t hear you.”
“I couldn’t hear what you said.”
It was very frustrating, not only for me, but for my husband and daughter as well. Within a year, we finally adapted to this new lifestyle, but unfortunately, our social life came to a halt. I was unable to hear anything if there was any background music around us. If someone was talking to me, and there was noise in the background, all I could hear was “waa waa waa” (think Charlie Brown’s teacher). It was hard. People would try to make conversations with me, but all I could do was nod my head, smile, and agree with whatever they were saying to me.
Within time, things became harder and harder. Then came the night of a friend’s birthday celebration. I was miserable. I couldn’t hear a word being said in the restaurant/bar. I was so miserable, that all I wanted to do was cry. This was the night that would be the beginning to a new journey in our lives. That Monday, I called Dr. Butler asking her to go ahead with the referral to a specialist. I would like the implant that would change my life. I wanted my hearing back. Within a week, I saw Dr. Harvey. I will be having my surgery very soon. Praise to God that we have the technology to do surgeries like this and give back the beautiful gift of sound that God first gave us. ~ God Bless, Tabitha
Tabitha’s surgery is scheduled for June. I saw her days after she got the news that with her rare form of hearing loss, her insurance will cover the surgery for an upgraded implant. The joy on her face and in her voice, was a blessing to be around. Her promise to herself is once she has her hearing back, she is going to join her church choir, which she did not feel comfortable doing now since she can’t hear the music properly to participate.
On April 2, 2014, Tabitha also announced that for the first time since her hearing loss, she will be able to fly and has signed up to go on a mission trip with her church to Thailand and Hong Kong in 2015!
Thank you for sharing your journey with so many people, Tabitha. Thank you for sharing your life and your faith!
Tabitha is also a consultant for Compelling Creations, a beautiful line of jewelry with a purpose. Please take a look and support Tabitha http://www.compelling-creations.com/tsee… (On a side note, and for full disclosure, she has been amazing and has offered to donate 20% of sales in the month of April to my Mission to Mongolia)