19. March 2010 · 2 comments · Categories: Ramble

So I haven’t written much about my ear lately. It seems rather silly to blog about it, and perhaps even dangerous. But I’m silly, and I can be dangerous too (only in that I write risky stuff), so here goes … or should I write “hear” goes? Hmmm.

I had an “episode” a few weeks ago, as I mentioned earlier. It wasn’t nearly like the horrible first one that happened in 2009, but of course I had to bag a rehearsal which annoys me no end. Now I’m suffering the after effects.

Noise hurts. Certain things really hurt my left ear. I can’t whistle. Stacking dishes is painful. Putting a lid on a pot hurts. And some voices hurt. It’s best if I stand to the left of a person, since my right ear is a happy camper.

I have Dizzy Days. I’m dizzy. Not always, but sometimes. It’s more frequent in the morning. Then I seem to get things figured out and things get better. But I have to be cautious sometimes, or I might just tumble over.

Tinnitus is worse. It’s loud. I mean very loud. I describe it as “wires singing” to some people and they look at me quizzically. But have you ever heard wires outside making noise when it’s rather warm out? Maybe that’s just me. It’s sort of like cicadas too. Or like having water running outside and you’re inside, except that the frequency of tinnitus is much higher. And there are now several notes. One seems to be an octave lower than the high pitch I always deal with.

Pop goes the ear! Sometimes I feel pressure in the ear. Sometimes not. And I’m hearing a popping sound — sort of like when you crack your jaw or something — and who knows what that’s about.

So, you might wonder, how can I deal with the sound of the orchestra?

Believe it or not, that’s one of the most comfortable places for me to be. I don’t notice the tinnitus, and for some reason the sounds of the instruments doesn’t hurt. (I do wear an earplug when the brass get very loud.)

I whine. My poor husband has to deal with that, as do my double reed colleagues. I’m trying not to whine, though. As I repeatedly tell myself, I am alive. I don’t have a life threatening illness. And, besides, I’m back to being able to enjoy lattés and chocolate (when these episodes hit I first can’t stomach those well).

So then I put on some lovely music, with singing by Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, and I think, “You have nothing to complain about, you whiney oboist! Listen to this woman sing. Think of what a loss it was when she died.” So there’s that.


  1. patti with an i

    Sorry you’re still having to deal with this, sweetie. Wish I could make it all better. Think a pot of genuine Jewish mother chicken soup with matzo balls would do the trick?

  2. Thanks, patti with an i!

    I’ll tell you, it could be SO much worse! I could hurt when sitting in the orchestra. The ear could be entirely gone. The tinnitus could (I think) be even louder; I’ve heard that for our war veterans it’s incredibly loud and painful.

    So I so appreciate your sympathy, but I really am trying to remind myself of how much worse things could be.

    And I miss Lorraine Hunt Lieberson’s singing. Her death was tragic and heart breaking for so many.