My husband worked nights his entire adult life and it's still hard for him to get up for early morning appointments. But beggars can't be choosers when you need a doctor's appointment so we were up before the birds came down for their breakfast. We were just walking out the door when the audiologist called and wanted to move our appointment two hours back or two weeks out if that didn't work out. Well, crap! We went for door number one and finally got to see both the hearing doctor and the audiologist. After two and a half hours in their office we walked out with both an audio and a cognitive test under Don's belt and a prescription for a steroid. The bottom line is they don't know if his hearing will return, or not, but if it doesn't come back then they'll turn his hearing aids up at his next appointment in two weeks. God, I can't imagine shouting at him for two weeks!
The doctor, before giving us the prescription, was really starting to tick me off. It seemed like he wanted to hang the hearing issue on a cognitive hanger because of the stroke and he insisted on the cognitive test. So Don was put in a sound proof room where he couldn't read the lips of a person on a microphone who was asking him questions. Anyone who knows anything about Don's language disorders knows he can't come up with most words at will and I was afraid he'd fail the test, but he scored an 80%. The audiologist, who knows Don well---she's been seeing him for five years---sided with me that Don was no different cognitively now than when she saw him three months ago to fit him for his new aids. Finally the doctor explained that the steroids can have some nasty side effects with someone on Coumadin and he didn't want to give them to Don without first making sure the hearing loss wasn't caused by a brain disturbance instead of the mishaps on the firing range last weekend. My blood pressure would have liked it better if he had explained that in the beginning instead of letting me do a slow burn all that time.
After the appointment ended, we just barely had time to make it to the physical therapy building on the other end of town for Don's aquatic pool session. However, after seeing the nasty cut on Don's arm they decided it was too big and bloody and they'll have to while until it scabs over for him to get in with all the pool chemicals. He cut his neglect arm yesterday on the metal edge of a table the Mexican restaurant. Ouch! It's an inch and a half long and over a half inch wide, sliced the skin right off. Other than that, physical therapy went well. The PT spent most of the time with Don on a table and having him doing a variety of leg movements with the PT's help. It was hard stuff even for someone who hasn't been sitting in a wheelchair for the past 7 ½ years. But Don hung right in there---red face and all. People on the next block could probably hear me shouting out "Breathe, Don breathe!" in his ear.
Jean Riva ©