I am moderately better!

16

March 2, 2009 by 8junebugs

There is snow on the ground, a cheerful fuck-you from Mother Nature, who I believe is in cahoots with Punxsutawny Phil, that furry little bastard. Normally, I’m all about the snow, but now I am losing optimal training days for the Avon Walk, and losing training days translates into panic and possible pain.

Neither of which adds to the Walk Experience.

I did get a fair amount of sleep over the weekend, and spent some good hours sipping cider at a pub with friends. It’s hard to be grumpy with live Celtic music, even if you’re not sure how loud is too loud when you’re talking over it…and over the 40 other people in the room.

Going deaf is even more of a pain in the ass in bars. Have I mentioned that? That I’m a trifle deaf in one ear and even more deaf in the other? I’m working on fixing it — I’ve had it evaluated before and the diagnosis is otosclerosis. Assuming the next appointment doesn’t change that, I’ll have a little outpatient surgery on the left ear this spring and be able to hear low, mumbly tones again. Eventually, I’ll likely have to have the same surgery on my right ear; right now, though, that’s the good ear.

I know a woman with the same condition who is opting to wait on surgery until after she has a kid, the prevailing theory being that the condition is worsened by pregnancy anyway. I think that sounds eminently sensible.

So what really cheered me up? Two things: Having a good cry over a cookbook, and hearing that there’s another wedding in the future.

Who cries over a cookbook, you ask? Most of the people who have already finished reading A Homemade Life: Stories from My Kitchen Table, by Molly Wizenberg, that’s who. Having read her blog, Orangette.com, for years, I pre-ordered this cookbook-cum-memoir last May and am not even put out that a chick a year younger than me is somehow old enough to have a memoir.

Oh get with it, Clairee. This is the eighties. If you can achieve puberty, you can achieve a past.

Molly loves food in very much the same way I love food, I think, but she expresses it far better. (Alicia — she also hates the whole idea of a secret recipe.) The book follows her first 30 years and dishes up the important recipes from them in such an open, honest, personal way that you can easily imagine Molly is baring her soul at the kitchen table, over scones and hot chocolate.

Most of the important stuff that happened in my childhood happened around a kitchen table…usually Grand’s. It didn’t matter that she couldn’t cook worth a damn, although she had a couple of go-to recipes (doughnuts, chocolate glaze frosting, no-bake cookies…). That just happened to be the center of our universe, so the title of this book alone probably would have sucked me in.

Anyway, Molly came to writing about food after she lost her beloved father. To cancer. Which she talks about in the book…and she is a very, very good writer.

It takes a lot of courage to admit, in writing, to relief when a loved one dies. It’s too easy to link that “relief” to being glad someone’s gone, and it’s not the same thing.

So I had a good cry. A very good cry that sort of made me hope the walls of my apartment are thicker than they probably are, because I didn’t want a concerned neighbor to knock on my door, ask if I was okay, and find out I was bawling over a cookbook. But I’ll tell you — it’s been a while since I had a book around that made me want to sit down and do nothing but read, and this did it.

It also made me want to cook something simple and delicious.

The new wedding on the horizon is my old friend sportik, who’s as full of love as anyone I know and has found happiness and romance in Australia. You’ll find her in the Framily links: The Evolution of Me. She’s followed an incredible path to get to where she is, and she holds a very, very special place in my heart. I can’t wait to meet Kristie, her fiancee — the happiness sportik has found with her shines pretty clearly in all the photos and emails. Hooray for true love!

Also, this settles the question of “We should visit sportik in Australia, but when?” May 2010, it is!

16 thoughts on “I am moderately better!

  1. Jeff says:

    I don’t suppose this surgery you’re having for your ear involves reconstructing the bones in your ear?

  2. 8junebugs says:

    Replacing, actually… It blasts the teeny-tiny stapes and replaces it with a prosthesis.

  3. Jeff says:

    I had this procedure this summer, and if you have any questions about it, let me know.

  4. Catherine says:

    It does sound a lot like Jeff’s operation, and I have about 20mins of complaints I could run through! I would like to hear WHY you are having the operation, because the end result may not be what you want…but that could also just be our experience.

  5. 8junebugs says:

    Eek. Let me reconvene with my ENT, who hasn’t seen me in years, and get back to you on that. Otherwise, if you just want to tell me your experience, PLEASE DO SO RIGHT NOW BEFORE I EXPLODE.

    Please. 🙂

  6. Jeff says:

    The long and the short of it is that all of the scouting around my ENT did turned out to be just guesswork. There is no way to tell precisely how much damage there is behind the ear drum. For me, this meant that the prosthetic that had been planned was not an option once he opened me up, and there is no longer any hope for a hearing improvement in that ear. What it does mean is that if my hearing deteriorates further, it should do so more slowly. It also meant that the 2 hour procedure turned into a 5 hour one. My advice would be to a) do it on a Wednesday so you have 4 or 4.5 days to recover before you go back to work, and b) make sure you have someone with you for at least the first 2 days. Having your middle ear rearranged wreaks havok with your equilibrium and you’ll need someone to bring you a bucket.

  7. Jeff says:

    Also, despite what Cat and I said earlier, I’m still happy I did it. Even though I don’t hear so well in that one ear, I have noticed a massive improvement in how I hear things. Specifically, music sounds normal to me again.

  8. 8junebugs says:

    Thank you, Jeff. I REALLY appreciate it.

    The thought has occurred that they’re guessing on the otosclerosis, but there doesn’t seem to be any way to prove it or rule out something else without going in. I’ll see what the ENT says later this month and go from there.

  9. Jeff says:

    I think the majority of the visual info my ENT used was from an MRI, but it was done about 6 months before the procedure, and by that time things had become worse. I would feel more confident in what to expect if your ENT ordered an MRI and then scheduled the procedure. If you don’t mind me asking, what caused this situation for you?

  10. 8junebugs says:

    Hearing loss? 😉 It’s worse on the left, particularly for low tones and background noise. I first got it checked out to prove I wasn’t just not listening or not paying attention — it has gotten progressively worse.

    The first ENT said “otosclerosis” based on the hearing test. The second ENT, the surgeon who sees more of this than the other guy, concurred, based on that and another hearing test in his office. I’ll ask about the MRI — I don’t remember either of them mentioning the option, but it was a while ago.

  11. Amy says:

    I love Molly as well. I discovered her blog by accident, and I did not realize that her book was out now, so I’ll have to get it.
    Good luck with the surgery! I think Katherine may need it. Or maybe it’s just “selective” hearing loss.

  12. 8junebugs says:

    Thanks, Amy. I’ll let you know if surgery is the recommendation. There are those who think it’s genetic… 🙂

    I’m going to Molly’s DC booksigning with a friend and will try not to be That Fangirl. This will be the second blogger-turned-writer I’ve met at a book event, though, so I think I’m already That Fangirl.

  13. Catherine says:

    I think Jeff has a somewhat hazy memory of his recovery – I would have someone there with you for at least three or four days. You won’t be vomiting the entire time, but he was unable to do a lot of simple tasks. He is a man, so perhaps you can cut the recovery time by a day or two! You won’t want to be cooking or making food etc for a while, so you will need a nurse!

    I just ended the whole experience feeling somewhat hard done by. The dr told me great stories of Jeff hearing everything I say in the future, and then proceeded to do a completely different operation that took three times as long, made the recovery longer and more difficult, and left him with no greater ability to listen to me nag than before he went in. What good is that?

  14. 8junebugs says:

    Fair point, Cat…really. But, as I’m the naggy one (except about getting my hearing checked out), I’m not sure this is a deterrent.

    Given the improvement in his musical hearing, though, can’t he at least better appreciate your singing?

  15. Jeff says:

    One other high-point; the percocet dreams. VERY weird.

  16. 8junebugs says:

    Well, that settles it!

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