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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have been deaf in my right ear for several years due to an artillery shell landing 16 feet away from me and cracking my skull and filling me full of metal.

Wednesday morning I woke up to a roaring sound in my left ear at 4 AM...By 6 AM I was totally deaf. Docs and specialists checked me out all day that day and after a cat scan they think I've lost my hearing for good due to a virus from a nasal infection ....yep I didnt even know I had one! They think it has penetrated the membranes and killed the auditory nerve for good.


Boy do I feel like a worthless POS now....You think you could fathom what a deaf person goes through until it happens to you. What I wouldnt give to actually hear my wife say "I Love You" instead of reading her lips. No more phone calls from family....I cant even leave the door open because if someone comes in how would I know? It's like I'm figuring out a new thing an hour I cant do or I'm not comfortable doing anymore.

Last but not least....Theres the auditory hallucinations....It happens when your nerve dies....hearing sirens...roaring..Metal grinding...wind....and sounds like the monsters in the video game DOOM.....and every other sound under the sun in my head...and it's loud as being in the front row of an AC/DC concert...It NEVER STOPS! No sleeping....no thinking hardly....Dont know how long I can deal with this crap.

SGGT
 

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You need to get to a VA clinic, STAT! There have been major advancements in the hearing world that could perhaps help you. Seek multiple opinions.

I am sorry you are going through that. I grew up with my mom being mostly deaf. She live 1000 miles from me so we don't get to talk much, just text. When she comes to visit, I have a hard time adjusting to not talking to her like a normal person.
 

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Wanted to add: My mother's hearing could be fixed, but she is content being deaf. She says she rather enjoys it. She has been that way so long that she couldn't imagine hearing again.
 

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Sh*t happens SSgt mate, it seems your brain is still trying to adjust to the loss of hearing in your left ear, creating 'phantom sounds' just as the loss of a limb confuses the brain and creates 'phantom pain' for a while, so ride it out to give your brain time to figger it out.
Meanwhile look up deafness/tinnitus websites, the internet is a great tool for finding out about our ailments and we end up knowing more about them than the medics, it might be a virus like they suspect, or something else.
As for phones, tell everybody to contact you by email or texts instead from now on.

I've had tinnitus in both ears for over 25 years, it came on when i lived next door to a noisy yapping dog and I've had it ever since, there's no hearing loss, just a constant ringing and hissing. It's annoying but my brain has more or less come to terms with it.
Oh, and at least you've got a wife to help you ride it out, not like poor slobs like me, I can't remember the last time a woman said "I love you" to me. In fact I don't think any woman ever has! (sniffle)..;)

Let's soldier on as best we can..


 

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SSGT – I can’t begin to imagine what you’re experiencing… both the loss of your hearing and the psychological impact of the loss. Sleepless nights and other stresses can easily bring anyone to the edge of their sanity. I don’t know what the terms of your faith is, but I will certainly apply mine in prayer for your recovery.

I don’t know if you’re up for a brief story, but here goes. Four years ago my wife was thrown from a horse and was essentially paralyzed from the hips down. Besides a total loss of mobility, she experienced non-stop intense pain in her legs 24/7. In spite of heavy pain killers, she got very little sleep and had to figure out how to cope with even the most basic necessities of life. After four months of immobility, fatigue, pain, a loss of self worth and nothing but continuous bad news from her doctors, she had started to give up and all but stopped communicating.

A chiropractor and friend of the family got her an appointment with a highly regarded neurosurgeon. By that time it took a great deal of effort get her to agree to even see him. She was running that low on hope. The NS agreed to operate within a week and told her he thought he could return 50% to 60% of her mobility, but could make no promises with regard to the pain. It was a long operation that required cutting away small sections of various vertebrae and removing pressure on the nerves trapped against the front side of her spine.

Three days later she could stand. Today she hikes two to three miles a week with me regularly. She can climb stairs and get in and out of a vehicle without assistance. She has a slight limp, but has regained most of her original balance, strength and endurance. The best part is… no pain.

Have courage. Draw strength from those around you and pursue every avenue. Doctors are wonderful people, but they don’t all have all of the answers. Don’t accept the negative. All it takes is one person to have the key to hearing again. I pray that you find them.

AnvilIron
 

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First off....thank you for your service.....we need more people like you to defend our way of life. Thank you!

My grandfather had gone mostly deaf from being in the navy as a gunner and he has had the most help through the Veterans Affairs. He is of course is not 100%, but in talking to people and with coping techniques has helped him deal with his hearing loss since WW2. Dont get down on yourself amigo!!...you have lots of people out here that care about ya!! Keep strong, love your wife and live the rest of your life as best as you can!!!
 

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I can almost imagine what your going through (20-30% hearing left in both ears myself). I know the auditory hallucinations you are talking about, along with the depression from not being able to hear. It gets worse and worse each year. Like NTexRob mentioned about his mother perfering to be this way, it is the way that I feel now. Anvillron (aka: Confucius) has some wise wisdom in his thread about not giving up (. I worked in the hospital for a very long time to see a lot of "They think its this or that". My "ahole" remarks to doctors when they say this to me anymore is "I need you to confirm 110% instead of speculating on something." Lucky Jim posted some good links on here as well, and as sbasacco mentioned, thank you for your service!

Hang in there. There is a saying that 90 percent of what you worry about never happens and the other 9-10 % of the time, things are not as bad as you imagined. I always tell myself that when I'm worrying about something. Helps me relax about things.
 

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[to SSGT] -I don't know what the terms of your faith is, but I will certainly apply mine in prayer for your recovery..
And if these verses help anybody on the "Assault Course" of life, so much the better-
"All creation groans in pain from the beginning til now" (Romans 8:22)
"God didn't spare his own son" (Romans 8:32)
 

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Another + for stem cell research just happend a few days ago btw. "University of Sheffield describe how they successfully restored hearing to previously deaf gerbils using human embryonic stem cells. Stem-cell biologist Marcelo Rivolta led the project, which brings hope to some of the 275 million people worldwide with moderate-to-profound hearing loss, many of whom have it as a result of a defect in the auditory nerve" From link: Human stem cells restore hearing in deaf gerbils - National health | Examiner.com
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Here we go...Bionics! Got a Cochlear implant put in day before yesterday...Almost cut my ear off....drilled two holes through my skull...cut a trough between em and screwed the implant in.....Then the second hole they drilled going through my skull behind my ear went into my inner ear where they inserted an electrode array into my cochlea. Doc says I with a little practice I should be able to hear a Squirrel fart at 1000 yards...the thing is even remote controlled and has DIRECTIONAL microphones!!! I can even plug in an external microphone directly into it! Worst part was the 130 mile drive home with a tad of a headache to say the least....But I've been hurt worse! LOL!..Had to take a Tylenol today

billbob.jpg

BTW...They cost a little over 100 grand each by the time you figure appointments and rehab in....I got a second one coming in the spring!

I get the outside part of my implant and get it all turned on in about a month!

SSGT
 

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thank you so much for your sacrifice. in the interim they have vibrate alarms and flashing lights set up as motion detectors until you get yer ears turned on. this way you can detect when people come in or out your threshhold.
my best to you.
 

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Hey sarge you are not worthless first off. Thank you second.
Third my prayers outbound for you. Do some research it think
They can implant something in your collar bone for hearing
 

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Great to hear about your implant Sarge. I was reading through the thread and was thinking a CI would be good for you. I'm in the same boat (differnt causes though) and have had one for just over 12 months. I'm scheduled for the second implant in 3 weeks. Sounds like you went with Cochlear Americas. They are all good products and once you're activated it will be great. Takes a bit of time to get the brain to adapt but once you do you'll enjoy it. Only word of wisdom... Practice, practice, practice.
 

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Btw doc, something to think about, as I've been thinking about it quite a bit - you'll need to charge the batteries. When you have 2 CI's you will be completely deaf without them... And I mean completely.

My backup is two fold. The first is that I have a waterproof CI that will also run on a single aaa battery. Lasts 2 days. Stocked up on batteries. The second is that I also have rechargeable aaa batteries and a solar charger. My last option that I'm researching is a solar charger that will charge the primary CI batteries.

Now with that said, taking them off is sometimes blissful silence.
 
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