Attack

It was a Monday morning and I awoke to the sound of my alarm. I had been sleeping well at night-time, for the past month or so, yet continued to wake up feeling drained. I was exhausted. I began to make my way through my morning routine, without the need to think about my actions. I methodically put the kettle on; took two mugs out of the cupboard (one for me and one for my boyfriend) and dropped tea bags into them; took out my water bottle from the fridge; and put a green tea bag into my flask, ready for work. I then headed to the bathroom to continue my habitual preparations for the day ahead.

Whilst in the shower, for a few moments I appreciated the feeling of the water on my head and body; washing away some of my sleepiness. Just as always, I began to cycle through the components of the advancing day in my mind; pondering over tasks to be completed during this time. And then it happened. Without warning, my eye-sight became blurry. I started to feel hot. Within seconds my surroundings inside the shower cubicle were spinning. I felt an uneasy disconnection from my body, similar to the feeling of unsteadiness that comes from drinking an excessive amount of alcohol. I could feel myself becoming short of breath. My ears were full with the feeling of pressure; causing a sharp pain. My legs started to feel weak, and I rapidly pushed my hands flat against the shower cubicle as I supported the weight of my body down towards the tray; moving into a crouching position. I needed air. I awkwardly forced the shower screen open. Then the nausea hit me; one last blow from the attack. I crawled to the toilet and allowed my head to bow heavily over the bowl. On my knees, my elbows pressed against the hard plastic of the toilet seat, I shakily positioned my arms upwards; enabling my hands to cradle my head in position. I stared wearily at the toilet water as it seemed to whirl around erratically.

After what I guess was about five minutes of extreme body weakness and breathing deeply into the toilet bowl to stabilize myself, I managed to crawl across the floor to where I had earlier dropped my night clothes. I was able to dress myself in my vest top and shorts and I slowly grasped the bathroom door handle; carefully testing the strength in my legs as I started to stand up. I began to walk the 15 or so steps towards the sofa. I was still feeling fragile. My body felt like it was in a continuous fall against the wall which I leant on with all my weight; shuffling through the kitchen into the living room.

I sat on the sofa and stared at my mobile phone. I couldn’t focus properly. I didn’t want to have to make the phone call. I didn’t want to have to call in sick again. I had only been back at work for a month since the summer holidays, and had already taken 2 days absence due to illness. I started to consider whether I could go to work. Could I cope with the motion and the crowdedness of the Metro train? Would I be able to walk up and down the stairs at school? Could I tolerate the classroom noise? Of course I couldn’t.

After making the call, I made my way to the bedroom, continuing to support myself with my hands against the wall. My boyfriend was still sleeping, as I slowly and carefully pulled my body onto the mattress and wrapped myself in the covers. I was cold. My boyfriend’s hand began to touch my hair, as if examining it with confusion; somewhere in the midst of sleep. I realized my hair was wet. I didn’t know whether I had finished washing it before the attack had happened. I didn’t wake my boyfriend. His alarm would be going off soon.

I spent the day on the sofa and slept away the hours. The reality of what had happened didn’t really occur to me until I woke up later that day.

Even though I often experience dizziness, I hadn’t had an actual vertigo attack since the day of my hearing loss; two years ago. This new attack brought the difficult times I had dealt with during the past two years, to the forefront of my mind. In the past, I’d been given numerous possible diagnoses to explain my hearing loss: Meniere’s Disease, Cochlear Hydrops, and Endolymphatic hydrops. Irrespective of the ultimate diagnosis, there was no escaping from the ramification of the abnormal fluctuation of fluid in my inner ear. Like a big slap in my face, this new attack forced me to comprehend the reality of my situation. I was never going to be able to get away from this. It wasn’t going to get any better. I was, in this moment of contemplation, emotionally back to where I was 2 years ago: scared at the prospect of living with this unpredictable condition.

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Author: myhearinglossstory

Hi, My name is Carly. I am 36 years old and I am currently living in Spain. I am originally from a small seaside town in Yorkshire called Bridlington, and have also lived in China and Thailand. I am an Early Years primary school teacher, and have been teaching for more than 12 years. I love walking in the countryside, getting lost in Madrid, going out for breakfast, taking photos, listening to music, storytelling podcasts, baking, running, drinking wine, and eating spicy food. In August 2016, I experienced sudden sensorineural hearing loss in my left ear. I started this blog as a way to inform my friends and family about my progress, for anyone else who is going through a similar experience as me, or for anybody who is interested in learning about this type of hearing loss, and the way it can affect everyday life.

25 thoughts on “Attack”

  1. Very scary stuff. I had vertigo before my sudden hearing loss as well and two days ago at work I had an attack out of the blue. It scared to me to think that my condition might get worse especially after I’ve worked so hard to get to my new normal these 2.5 years post sudden hearing loss. Hopefully it was just a fleeting moment for you, but I feel your pain and apprehension.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Tony. Thank you for the comment. Yes, it did scare me. What scares me the most is that there isn’t any warning before an attack. Sorry to hear you had an attack recently too. I understand how hard you will have worked to get to your new normal, and I hope we can both continue to move forward with our lives in a positive way. Take care,
      Carly

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  2. So sorry to read about this, Carly. I know you must have been thinking whether your good ear was going to be also affected by this. Thankfully, seems like that was not the case. Still, it’s scary to think these may occur while you are not at home.

    Sounds very similar to what Tony above was writing about. Hopefully, it will be fleeting and a long time in between for both of you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Al. Thank you for reading and for your comment. Yes, I was worried for my good ear, as specialists have found hydrops also in this ear, which means that I could have associated balance issues, hearing loss etc also connected to this ear. You are right about the unpredictability of the attacks. I was lucky I had it in the shower – our shower is tiny, and i was able to support myself with my hands on the inside of the cubicle.
      Anyway, I hope you are very well.
      Take care
      Carly

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    1. Hello Vera,
      How are you?
      Thank you for your comment.
      I am feeling much better, thank you – just a little tired and dizzy now. I went to see my doctor the day after the attack, who referred me to an ENT who I saw two days later. They tested my hearing, and there has been no further loss in either ear – that was my main concern. I was given betahistine (Serc) again to take to help with the dizziness. I had previously tried this medicine when I first lost my hearing, and found that it made me feel more weak and more dizzy- the same happened this time, so i have stopped taking it. I am also waiting for an appointment at the hospital with a neuro-otologist – let’s see if they can give me any more information!
      Anyway, I hope you are well, and staying warm – I’m guessing it’s probably starting to get colder in Yorkshire.
      Take care
      Carly

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    1. Hi Cathy,
      Thank you for reading and for your comment. I am feeling much better now – just a little tired and dizzy sometimes.
      How are you doing? I’m wondering if you tried the CROS aid?
      I hope you are doing well, and the specialists have managed to give you some more information about your hearing loss.
      Take care, and best wishes
      Carly

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      1. Hi Carly,
        I have not gotten any answers that have satisfied me. They still say it was a virus. I think it’s just because they have to say something. My balance training is going well. I think my biggest issue is this noise in my left ear that is continuous… like a buzzing sound. I have not yet gotten to try the CROS system It’s $1,600 out of pocket so I’m waiting a couple more paychecks to try it because I was off work without pay for several weeks. I guess it’s worth a try but I don’t know because there seems to be so much extra reverb in my ear that causes me issues but I’m not sure how I’ll feel about all the surrounding noise going into the right ear. But I’m definitely going to try it. I’ll let you know how it goes. Hope you’re doing well. take care Cathy

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi Cathy,
        I’m sorry you haven’t had any helpful answers, but glad your balance training is going well 🙂 I understand how difficult the noise in your ear is to cope with- I hope with time it will fade into the background – or even better I hope it will disappear completely! Wishing you lots of luck with the CROS device. Yes, please let me know how it goes. I’m feeling much better now, Thank you Cathy.
        Take care
        Carly.

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  3. Oh Carly, I could feel everything you wrote with such intensity.
    I’m so sorry you have to go through this.
    It’s ironic that I’m just seeing this post today, since I had an attack last night.
    all I can say today is that I understand. A couple of days ago I think I would have been more helpful…hopeful…today, I’m tired.
    Big Hug my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Wendy. Thank you for your comment. It’s always nice to hear from you. It seems like we are having very similar experiences at the moment, and I’m sorry that you have also just had a vertigo attack. Take time to rest lots and feel better. Sending you tired hugs.
      Your friend, Carly ❤

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      1. Hi Carly, I did write a little post about my…umm… episode. Not nearly as prolific as yours, you can really capture a moment. It was good to get it out though. I’m feeling better today. Taking it one moment at a time.
        I hope you are feeling more steady.
        Yes, tired hugs to you too my friend. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hello Wendy. I read you post, and could also feel what you were going through. I find that is really does help to write these difficult times down… I’m glad you’re feeling better today. Keep resting and I hope this is the last of the attacks for a while, for both of us! Take care, Carly x

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  4. Sorry to hear of this sudden event. Very strange. This is exactly what I went through first time round on the day of my SHL (April). I fear this in the back of my mind and the first thing I would think was “oh no not the other ear!” The surgeon I worked with said in his 40 years of medicine he has only ever seen it happen to the second ear ONCE. So I take comfort in that for now. Day to day I get only very, very subtle dizziness now. Usually after standing up from sleeping or if I make a quick head move. Hope this kind of attack never comes back for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Max. Thank you for your comment. I think that anyone who has experienced sudden hearing loss, has the worry that it will also happen to their other ear. It’s good to know that the surgeon you worked with said he had seen sudden hearing loss occur only on one occasion, in both ears. It gives some comfort 🙂
      I hope you are doing well and are adjusting to life after hearing loss.
      Take care
      Carly

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