So much has happened that I cannot even begin to tell you guys from start to finish. If this is a mid-life crisis, well....
"Yes. Please, sir, may I have another?"
A little backstory. I don't tell a lot about this, because I have no desire to be a poster child. But now, I can sing it from the highest mountains. I have this funky hereditary disorder that has been a ton of fun for the last thirteen years. It causes excruciating headaches, vertigo that has left me absolutely bed-ridden, and deafness. I have lived with it for years, but I felt my world shrinking the last couple of years as it worsened. Every time I drove somewhere out of my small town, I had an emergency back up plan if my vertigo made me unable to drive. My headaches made me a BITCH (Sorry, mom, but no nice word for it...) My deafness was to the point that I was avoiding crowds, making excuses, and only able to hear you if you were speaking directly to me where I could read your lips.
I could literally feel my world getting smaller. Shrinking. No matter how many times that I took my six thousand dollar hearing aids to be adjusted, I could no longer hear anyone behind me, crickets, or Nate's quiet voice. I failed to master surfing in Nicaragua because I couldn't hear, and I avoiding even dunking my head in the Brazilian ocean water because I could not hear anything at all without my hearing aids. I was missing out on big and small moments.
The last time I went to my audiologist, she tried to tell me about great advances in hearing aids. I basically told her, "Hell no." I told her I wanted to hear my son without asking him to repeat himself over and over. I wanted to dunk my head in tropical waters. I wanted to drive three hours away without fear that vertigo would have me trapped in my car, unable to drive. So she told me about a surgery that might be able to help someone with my condition.
Almost five weeks later, here I am, I can hear crickets. I can hear my son's voice without asking him to repeat himself, even if his back is turned. I can twirl in circles, and drive with no fear of vertigo striking me down. I find myself listening to the trains rumble by, and the sound of thunder rolling in over the mountains. I haven't had a headache since I awoke from my surgery.
Naters cried the first time he realized that I was having a conversation with him while he was in a different room. I cried when I realized that his laugh had a lower timber to it, more man than boy. Grace was speechless when she realized that I was able to hear everything without hearing aids or concentrating on her lips moving. I was blown away when I was in Denver one day, and I realized I had no backup plan for being incapacitated.
My surgeon says I am a raging success. He wants to pick my brain (metaphorically, this time, instead of literally...) He wants me to be a testimony to other people that he can help.
I am a walking talking miracle. My first thought when I came out of surgery was a bizarre one for a skeptic like me. I woke up and immediately thought, "I am blessed." I could almost literally feel myself being prayed for, and in my post-anesthesia stupor, it was absolutely mind-blowing.
And then, this. I was at the market last week. A storm rolled in, rain coming down in sheets that caused flash flooding all around. I would usually be glued inside, unable to leave because getting my hearing aids even slightly wet could completely ruin them. I lived in fear of water, because I would not be able to function if I damaged my hearing aids.
I looked out the window with all of the other customers, at the rain coming down sideways. I got my groceries together, and started to walk out of the door. The manager asked me, "Are you sure you want to get out in that?"
"Yes. Yes I do." And I walked out, turned my face in the rain, and got absolutely drenched, because I could. And I smiled all the way home, soaked and hearing the rain beat against my car.
|Soaked and smiling after the storm...|
Peace and love, crickets and glorious rain soaking you to your bones, buttercups.