Five times in the last eight years, I've woken up one day having lost the hearing in one ear (the ear in question seems to alternate). It's a matter of physiognomy I've been told: the combination of poor drainage of my sinus cavities (their perversely shaped contours apparently don't help things), small ears, and a latter-day propensity for prodigious production of earwax. These episodes of partial deafness have typically lasted from as little as two hours to a few days. The current assault on my middle ear, however, at ten days and counting, is pushing beyond the realm of temporary inconvenience.
It's not just that I haven't been able to listen properly to the new José James album - hearing his golden voice in muffled mono as if coming from a locked trunk packed with ancient manuscripts hurriedly buried in a desert backyard in Timbuktu under Sharia law, is painful enough, it's that, as the days drag on, I'm beginning to contemplate what might happen if modern medicine and my body's defenses don't resolve things successfully. Incidentally, the album is rather ominously titled No Beginning, No End. Perhaps it's in that vein that I listened blithely (with my good ear) to a doctor cheerily informing me today that my hearing will "probably come back", and "most likely after a couple of weeks". Those hedging qualifiers were what I held on to rather than the alarmingly lengthy time horizon she contemplated.
I write, however, not to bemoan my lot because, obviously, things could be worse. The surprising thing also, once you get over the bewilderment of sinusidal oppression and hearing loss, is that one is able to carry on living a quite full life. Moreover, there's nothing like a temporary disability to make you rethink things; people don't think enough these days, they just act. I'm rather inclined to take the glass half ...[view whole blog post ]