...it's August again.
August hasn't proven to be a great month for me.
It seems that if things decide to go bad, they always wait for August. Then all hell seems to break loose.
It was on August 11, 2008 -- the first day of school -- that I had an unfortunate reaction to Coumadin, a medication I had been taking to treat my deep venous thrombosis (DVT) found by my chiropractor only a few weeks before. I had used Coumadin before to treat the same condition, so a reaction to the medication was a bit of a surprise. I was bleeding internally. A lot. Eleven days, three surgical procedures, ten hemoglobin and two plasma transfusions later, my doctors decided to perform a hysterectomy to eliminate the biggest cause of what I now deem "the big bleed". It was a long recovery.
It was on August 3, 2011 that I learned the warty thing on my hand was actually squamous cancer of the skin. It has since recurred three more times in the same place. I sport a smooth, white scar where the cancer once ate away at my skin cells, and I earned a biannual appointment at the dermatologist for the rest of my life. I'd been a religious wearer of sunscreen, SPF 15 or higher, for most of my life. I still got cancer.
It was on August 1, 2012 that my orthopedist confirmed the ER's diagnosis that I had indeed broken the distal fibula on my right leg while attempting to water my garden in my flip-flops. My garden mucks were sitting on the patio, but in my careless haste, I ignored them. I caught the toe of my flip flps on my garden wall and the rest is history. The decision not to slip on my mucks was one I came to regret over and over during my recovery. I wasn't allowed to walk on my leg during the healing period. The little knee scooter I used wasn't much better than the crutches. I blame this carelessness on everything that occurred later...
It was on August 14, 2012 that I suddenly lost 90+ dB flat-line of hearing in my left ear and 60+dB descending line in my right. One minute, I was hearing; the next it was gone. I blamed my allergies and a clogged Eustachian tube. Little did I know.
Two days later, on August 16, 2012, my ENT delivered the bad news that my Eustachian tubes were just fine and that I'd experienced a rare case of Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss. My hearing loss was permanent. It was devastating.
On August 21, 2012, I was diagnosed with a complete pelvic thrombosis in my right leg. "There is no blood flowing out of your leg. None. The vein is completely occluded," my doctor told me. This second day of school became my last for six weeks as I was placed on complete bed rest.
The diagnosis of the DVT was a mixed blessing. While laying on my back for six weeks wasn't much fun, it did give me time to come to grips of sorts with my sudden deafness. I used the time to cry and feel sorry for myself, learn as much as I could about sudden deafness, and train my dog to help me with a variety of tasks that requires hearing -- the most important was waking me when she heard the alarm. I also was able to contact and see an adult hearing specialist -- an otologist -- and receive specialized care and treatment. Though I would be unable to get hearing aids until my audiogram stabilized after the weeks of treatment following the SSHL event, I could slowly learn to accept and deal with the changes in my life. Taking time off work allowed me to heal physically, emotionally, and physically.
I still blame the blood clot for my
hearing loss. Hearing loss is often attributed to a loss of blood flow to the inner ear and cochlea. My doctors won't say that's the cause, but they don't sound convincing to
me when they explain that the cause is unknown. The SSHL and blood clot occurred too close together for me to believe it was just a coincidence. And I blame the blood clot on the broken ankle. And I blame the broken ankle on that careless choice to wear flip flops in the garden. I threw those damn shoes in the trash can.
Forgive me, if August fills my head with dread. I approach it with apprehension.
But August also holds a day that doesn't strike fear in my heart. It's the day I learned that hope was waiting for me.
It was on August 21, 2013, that my otologist's nurse called me to let me know that I had been approved for a cochlear implant. We set the date for my surgery.
It wouldn't be in August.