Filed under: Life's fragile recollections | Tags: audio, ear, hearing, recovery, senses, sound, surgery
Day 22 post-operation.
Imagine waking up to the world and not hearing anything in your right ear. Imagine a side of your head being constantly submerged in water, and all that channels through is a constant high-frequency buzz. It probably sounds fine, one would think, since the other ear remains alert. You would think that I can still hear and I will probably get used to it.
Now imagine having grown up with music, as both ears are trained to listen to the widest range of notes, tonality, harmonies and more.
I entered a world of silence for 21 days. Convinced that my right ear has lost 90% of its hearing, I stopped listening to music, or opted to listen to a selected few with only my left ear. I turn my good ear to others who speak to me, and find myself lost in a drone when I walk out.
I felt my heart sank at the slightly possibility of not regaining hearing in the right ear forever. All that crashed through my mind were music scores – unplayed – and the piano, its lid closed with a final bang.
Tests showed good news.
Tasked now with daily need to recalibrate the ears to hear sounds from both sides (not just the left), little known nuances about the human body’s abilities to recover from injuries continue to amaze me. I began hearing notes in my head, through the vibrations and nerve endings in my ear. Not the audio, but that distinct separation that the notes are ringing in my head – even on both sides.
So it has begun. Endless music from classical to indie, throw in some radio news in between. Each day the music gets clearer in my head. The great thing about being half deaf is that your voice rings within your head clearer, without the external noises and sounds cutting in. Matching harmonies to acapella renditions became easier – so this is what is it like to hear music in my head.
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