Till now, being unwell hardly meant anything more than catching a common cold, or a bacterial throat infection or a sorry tummy. A visit to family doctor, some anti-biotic prescribed if needed, a rest for a day and I would be more than okay. This time around, I thought it would be the same story, the only difference was, I felt as if my right ear was blocked, and I could barely hear anything. I had severe cold too. Doctor diagnosed that this may be due to a sinusitis, may be a frozen mucus at the back of my ear. He prescribed some usual medicines along with some nasal drops to drain out ear blocking. Three days went by. My cold was all right, but somehow, ear did not show any improvement. Doctor seemed clueless now. He referred me to an ENT surgeon.
Going by initial checks, this ENT surgeon, too made the same assumption, and prescribed a long list of medicines for a week. If these medicines would not take any effect, I would need to undergo a small surgery, to extracts fluids deposited if any in the right ear-tube. Another week, another dose of medicines, and the same story repeated. There wasn't even slightest of improvement in my ear. In fact, now, there was little that I could hear. It was more than two weeks, and feeling of semi hearing impaired was nothing but frustrating.
Today was d-day, I stumbled into doctor's cabin. He had a worried look on his face finding no improvement in spite of extensive medication. He immediately sent me for a hearing test, 'Audio-metric test' as they call it in medical terms. It was a sound-proof room. There were a couple of headphones, some electronic meter kind of devices and an enthusiastic young intern. I was made to wear those headphones, and asked to recognise periodic beep sounds,, I don't know, for how long it carried on, I would hear some feeble sounds, indicate to intern, and he made some notes, I saw drops of sweat encircling his temple. Eventually, he scribbled a note saying "right ear - severe hearing loss, cause - unkonwn?"
Back to square one. Doctor was at his softest to and to an extent bluntest to say there are two news a good one and a bad one. Good one is - there was no fluid in ears as diagnosed before, so there was no need of any surgery. And, the bad one - my nerve from right ear to brain was severely damaged, and that's what has caused he hearing loss. and before me asking anything, he continued saying that this hearing loss is most of the time irreversible. This nerve damage has no definite cause, it may be due o a virus, a kind of infection and anything else. He would prescribe me a medicine for some days and we could just hope that I may recover, but there is no guarantee.
Phew, it was bomb after bomb on me, my hands were literally trembling.I left the hospital literally numbed. In such situations, one would have plenty of free advice to shower on others, but when it comes to your own self, believe me, it's devastating. Just an idea of having a non functional organ is horrible. More than anything else, it's the psychological battle that drains one out the most. Wow, what a gift destiny had in store for me on the occasion of Dussera.I hope she accompanies it with the strength and the courage to cope with such trauma.....