Thursday, July 9, 2015

I am a walking, talking, wet miracle.

It's been a while....

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.

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