After my last trip to the ENT, I have discovered that though his hearing test showed mild hearing loss (and a huge dip in both ears in two years), there is a lot that a hearing test can not show. It can not show the volume level on the radio or TV inching up a little every month, it can not show the missed words and misunderstood phrases in general conversation, it can not show the frustration of the kids I work with when I have to say "what" fifteen times, it can not show the devastation of a life changed, and changing.
The ENT can not promise I will retain all or any of my hearing at this point. He can not promise I won't get worse, nor can he promise that I won't level out. He can tell me that many people with Meniere's do go deaf. He can tell me my hearing has changed drastically since I first saw him 18 months ago. He can tell me I may no longer climb ladders, or anything that requires balance because I have none. He can tell me not to look up at the flag during the anthem at the hockey games because it makes me sway. His tests can not predict the road my ears are on, nor can they stop the progression. They treat the symptoms. I'm grateful for that. I've had lots of good days here lately, and that is a blessing.
No one can tell me what my life will be like once the hearing is gone. Did you know insurance companies won't cover hearing aids? Did you know I have to be almost stone deaf in both ears before they will even consider an implant device? I'm still a way's from that, but I know that there will be a point where it will affect more than just conversations. It's then that I have to do some real thinking and some planning.