Look at me, not taking 6 months to post again! Okay! Lol. Life has been good. Busy, but good. It got a little crazy after my last post. Felt like people were coming out of nowhere and from everywhere with the crazy, but things have settled, thankfully.
The kids have been great. We have been chillin’ at home a lot this summer- my favorite place to be. Lol. Besides Universal Studios, anyway. Zoe has been playing Toca World and Alvin has been gaming with his friends. Maven has been running around the house wreaking havoc. Lol, jk. He is wild though. So much energy. Toddlers are nuts. Fun and wonderful, but also insane.
We went to South Carolina to see family last weekend, and we all loved it. So much family was there and we all have kids around the same age. It’s like a 7.5 hour drive, so it’s not right up the street but it’s still close enough to go whenever. It’s nice having family close-ish.
Al and I have been good. Lots of big decisions ahead of us. Glad that I have such a great husband to navigate all these things with. This past weekend we went to the We Need to Talk tour. It’s like a living room discussion panel type situation. They asked each other questions, asked the audience questions, the audience asked them questions. It was a lot of fun. And I love Preston and Jackie Hill Perry so much. They are so saved and so funny. Anyway, it was hosted at this really big church, and man was it nice being in a room that big full of black people. What a time ♡
Anyway… I had to get hearing aids, y’all.
So I’ve been struggling with my hearing for years now- maybe like, 5 years? That’s around when I noticed it anyway. The first few years, I thought… oh, this seems different, but maybe I just never noticed how bad my hearing was because I didn’t have kids? Or, maybe kids just talk really low and they’re hard to hear? How would I know? I have never really spent a lot of time with kids, outside of my own, but sometimes my kids be talkin’ to me and it’s just really hard to decipher what they are saying.
Anyway, last year I realized that whatever was going on with my hearing was not normal and that I needed to see a doctor, but still… I did not. In my mind, the only resolution was that I would have to get hearing aids, and I really, really did not want to do that. But throughout this last school year, I found myself soooo annoyed with people- including my kids- because I felt like everyone was whispering at me. And then when I said, oh I can’t hear you, people would repeat themselves at the same tone and it was making me so mad. Like, really mad. Lol. Like, why are you doing this? Obviously you just don’t want me to hear you. 😭 And I would just start ignoring people. And I had started yelling at my kids. Not like a psycho, but you know… if I asked them to talk louder and they didn’t, I’d be like, I said louder! And I know they sensed the irriatation. Anyway, when that started happening, I was like… man, this is stupid. I am yelling at my kids for something that can likely be fixed, and also, they’re 6 and 8. They are 100% going to keep repeating things at the same tone. Lol. So I may as well see if I can get this thing fixed 😭
So I scheduled an appointment with my primary doctor for an initial hearing test a few months ago, but I couldn’t be seen until June. I was very anxious leading up to it because I really wasn’t sure if your hearing just sucks when you turn 30. lol. But alas, the test did not go well. I had an otoacoustic emissions test. With those, they put something in your ear that checks part of your inner ear’s response to sound. At this age, I should be hearing up to 14000 hz-ish, but my ears dropped drastically- almost no response- at 3000 hz, and they didn’t respond at all at 5000 hz. So I had to go see an audiologist, and she said my inner cochlea’s not responding signifies that something is not right, but thankfully my outer ears are still working well so my hearing isn’t totally shot- obviously, but it’s not as good as it should be.
Anyway, I suspected that this was because I had cancer- as most things are- and I was right. I’m pretty sure my radiologists told me this could happen, but that was so much information at one time, plus my brain was recovering, so I don’t remember all of that. I guess when stuff happens, that’s when I’m like… oh yeah, I remember this, it’s the cancer! 😭 Anyway, brain surgeries and radiation to the head can have an effect on your hearing. 50% of people with radiation to the head have some type of effect on their hearing. It usually doesn’t happen immediately, but over time it catches up to you.
My audiologist said that it’s very common for people who have had the surgeries/radiation to struggle with hearing when there is background noise and they also often process information slower than they used to. Basically, your brain can’t understand or interpret auditory signals the way that it used to. And, of course, that is the part of my brain that the surgery was on. She said it’s 50/50 with people who have had brain surgery if hearing aids will help. So I tried some loaner hearing aids for two days to see if it helped, and I didn’t ask my kids to repeat themselves or yell at them for continuously whispering to me once. It was lovely.
I have known for quite some time that I was going to need hearing aids, but after I ordered them I was just so, so sad. It’s like… another thing that cancer has taken from me. So, so annoying. I guess my biggest worry was that I would be treated how I was treated when I had cancer. Lots of pity, people acting weird. I know hearing aids and cancer are not the same, but… people are. lol. Let me give you a cancer example.
I went out to eat with some friends, and I was fresh out of surgery. Had this enormous scar on my head, and this woman just stared at me the entire time, almost with a face of disgust. We all noticed. When she walked out of the restaurant, she stopped and just stared at the side of my head for like 3 seconds- more than enough time to annoy me because she had been staring at me the whole breakfast anyway. So I notice afterwards that she left her Bible at the table and I was very excited to return it so I could redeem myself for not saying anything. I grabbed that Bible so fast. I went to give it to her, but we were at Cracker Barrel where you pay at exit. She had already went to her car, thank God because 26-year-old Quiana’s intentions were not good, so I gave it to her husband at the cash register. He was so kind so I ended up not saying anything.
I was also worried about just random things that people do- talking louder because they see a hearing aid (as if the hearing aids don’t work) or people saying, awww, it’s okay when they find out I have to wear them. I think I mentioned this in the last post, but that is something that I have struggled with since I first got sick. Sometimes people be saying stuff and I don’t know how to take it. Like, I know they are probably not trying to annoy me, but yet… they are. lol. Let me give you an example…
People that we have been around in DC are crazy obsessed with what they do for a living. It’s weird. Usually when we meet these types, the first question they ask is what do you do, where do you work? So when I first moved here, a younger lady asked me what I did and I said I was a stay-at-home-mom and she said, aww, that’s okay. Ummm… yes, I know that; I chose to do it and I want to, and why are you talking to me like that? 😭 So those are the ‘aww, it’s okays’ that annoy me. The ridiculous pity types.
And also, I just think it’s very presumptuous of someone to ask me questions about personal things when we are not even close. Like, if not reading this blog, how could anyone know that I was in a good place and not sad that I started losing hearing in my early 30s because of cancer that I don’t even have anymore? And maybe they’re not someone that I feel like being vulnerable with- you know? It just irks me.
What gets me the most is the comment I have head a thousand times over the last 12 years. I talk about cancer or radiation or how my body is still affected by those things, and people say… “well, at least you’re still alive.” I KNOW THAT. I am well aware that I could have been dead, but please don’t dismiss that I am still dealing with stuff. Like… does me being alive change the fact that I now can’t hear? It doesn’t, and thank God for life because I know I don’t have to be here, but this part still sucks 😭
Anyway, for like a week, I felt pretty torn about those things. Cried a little. But I’m fine now. At the end of the day, all these interactions with random people about my own health really just don’t even matter. I am generally fine with talking to people about what I have been through because the fact that I’m even alive is a testimony of God’s grace, His goodness and His glory. But then also… sometimes just leave me alone. lol. But hopefully none of these anxieties will come into play and this experience will be nothing like when I was going through surgery and radiation. But if it is, I pray that the Lord helps me to show people the grace that He shows me and helps me to be kind 🙏🏾
One thing that is really, really crazy and sad is that a majority of health insurances don’t pay for hearing aids. They’re considered “elective” and not “essential,” which is just nuts. It ain’t essential for me to hear people? Like… what? American health care is so trash. Thankfully, we are in that small percentage and one of our insurances covered 90%. The other covered nothing. Thank God for double coverage 😭 The loaners that I had made the inside of my ears itch really bad- maybe because I had to adjust. But they also picked up my hair rubbing against them. I always have braids or wear my locs down, so I wanted to avoid that. The ones that were suggested to me were between $3k and $4k, and the ones that lessened me hearing my hair, of course, were $4k. But thankfully, we only had to pay 10%, and we plan for these things with HSA.
There have been a few days when I forget my hearing aids, and I’m just so annoyed with myself because I have to keep asking people what they said. I have been wearing these for a little over 4 weeks now, and I have really grown to love them. Lol. Even though I’m fine with where I am now, I still am worried because I don’t know when this peaks. Like, does my hearing keep getting bad because of the lasting effects of radiation and brain surgery? Or is it done? Will it just stay this way until I’m old and start losing hearing naturally because of age? I have absolutely no idea.
So yeah… it has been a process and I’ve had a lot of feelings. lol. But praise God that five years of me not hearing at my best has been resolved, feelings have been processed, and I can hear my kids when they’re more than 2 feet away and hear my husband when he mumbles. lol. I even found some cool hearing aid jewelry that I have yet to purchase. Oh, also, shout out to the lover that I have taken, my husband (lol), and my mom and Candi-Pop. They are always there in the hard stuff.
So life has been lifin’ and things have overall been really great. I hate the busyness, but things will settle eventually. I mean, maybe 17 years from now when the kids are gone, but still… eventually lol Alrighty, gonna get outta here. Biyeeee!