I’m having a (second) latté in the Kaiser cafeteria … somehow food just doesn’t look at all appealing right now, not even at the outdoor farmer’s market.

So here’s what the doctor told me:

This is probably not labyrinthitis, but that’s what the internal medicine doctors tend to diagnose. I think it came and went too quickly for her to think it was, and she said labyrinthitis nearly always starts with an ear infection. It could be one of several other viruses though. She gave me names but they went in one ear and out the other. Or maybe I just didn’t really listen. (Ouch! Bad jokes, eh?) It could also be a benign tumor, although she is very doubtful that that is what this is. Still, she has me coming in for an MRI in a week, just to verify. She said if it is a tumor that close to 100% of the time they are easy to deal with. She really assured me (and I believe her) that the tumor was the least likely thing. But … the hearing loss will not return. She is also almost certain of that. She did say I will learn to adjust, and my brain will start to cancel out the ringing. (She said the less I pay attention to the ringing the better, and it sounds like I’m doing the right thing by putting some sort of softer sound on to keep me distracted from it.) I asked if I should continue playing, including this weekend’s concerts, and she said absolutely. (Rats! No escape from the difficult Prokofiev part.)

Meanwhile maybe I’ll get really really buff and you’ll all ooh and ahhh. More likely I’ll just gain weight. Because I’m going on steroids for about a month. This is supposed to help the ear. Doubt it’ll help with my weight. Oh well!

I really liked this doctor. How could I not? She loves the oboe!

Now I wait around for about an hour so I can go have a “smashing good time” in yet another department of Kaiser. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about don’t even ask! 😉

04. June 2009 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

“that’s not a sax, that’s an oboe” “it’s a soprano sax” “oh…well i’ll be quiet then”

We had two symphony rehearsals yesterday. I was curious to see how my ear would “deal”. And here’s the outcome:

My left ear doesn’t care to deal at all with Prokofiev. My left ear likes Haydn. (I like both, but my left ear doesn’t care what I think.)

I think it has something to do with all that is going on in the Prokofiev; my ear seems to go on overload when there are a lot of different things taking place at once. Haydn is just easier for it to process. Truth be told, I was near tears at the end of the first half of the first rehearsal because 1) my ear was unhappy and 2) the darn piece’s last movement has a couple of killer hard licks. I think if I had only one of those things to deal with I’d be fine, but not hearing properly and having two killer hard passages (I know, I know, now some oboists are going to think I’m a lame player and probably think the darn thing is easy!) just hit me.

But being the adult that I am, I did not cry.

In addition, there is lots of yakking going on (and yes, I’m a culprit sometimes … sigh … even though I hate it). When men are doing the yakking (for some reason those voices bother me more) I can’t seem to hear anything clearly. (Besides, some of these guys don’t know how to whisper!) Again, it’s as if the ear has too much information and so it’s unable to sort anything out.

But …
Today I see the otologist. No matter what she says, at least I should get something out of the visit, right? At least I’m hoping. One of my friends suggested I take my oboe to the appointment. I’m just not sure … anyone have opinions on that? I mean, will the doctor really care? Dunno!

Tonight we do the Prokofiev again. I sure hope I can relax and enjoy it. I like the piece. Just not right now. Fortunately Pam, my friend and colleague, and principal oboist of the orchestra, is, I think, honest enough to let me know if I’m doing okay.

I’m pleased that Haydn is easy on the ears, because I was just hired to play Cosi fan tutte with Merola at the end of July and beginning of August. That should work just fine. Whew! (I will have to get back to “that lick” I have in the work, though, so I know there’s no question that it’s in the fingers.) But yay for having that gig this summer! And my favorite Mozart opera, too.

Okay. Now back to my regularly scheduled latté. 🙂