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A Different Kind of Challenge

March 11, 2017


I divert from my typical, generally upbeat blog post style to be more candid, sharing a different kind of challenge. Most of us have struggled through physical, personal, health and business challenges. Somehow, we get through this stuff.  In the real world, sadly some don’t survive whatever the battle is.  



This is where perseverance, character, and faith come into play.


Monday morning I woke up with a ringing in my ear and a loss of hearing. Assuming it was an ear infection, I opted to see a nurse practitioner in my medical group. Seemingly it wasn’t an ear infection, and I was referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist. At the time of this writing, days later, the referral has yet to come. So I wait…and wonder. Dr. Google has some information, but that was not helpful.


Life goes on and Thursday night is our Team Runners Lane Fun Run. I was looking forward to that. Listening to music is always a part of my runs. For this night, I just put the earpiece in the “good” ear. But, to check out how the “bad’ ear was doing, I put the other ear piece in that ear. That made sense, but probably was a mistake. I could not hear anything through my left ear. THIS is scary!


One of my favorite accessories when I am active are BANDZ headphones. While they sound great and are very comfortable, I love that the earpieces are retractable. It's nice that when I'm riding my bike, or hiking and need to hear what's going around me, the earpiece I don't use isn't dangling. For the moment, unfortunately, one ear piece is staying retracted.
(These headphones are available with a custom printed logo from a promotional products professional in your community. If you need a referral, contact us.) 


As we started the run, I wasn’t feeling it. I was scared and depressed. The route was up Buster Hill that includes about a mile of a gradual uphill, which is why we call it Buster Hill. Something special happens when you run. This, of course, is why running is so popular. As I went up the hill, all my usual pains were speaking to me. Plantar fasciitis in my left foot, my torn right calf and my always present back pain let me know they were there. None of those things mattered as I pondered not being able to hear.


Recently, I was playing drums and was noticing the resonance of a Sabian brand cymbal that my son put on my classic Slingerland drum set. It was different from what I have used during my years occasionally playing drums. I noticed it and liked the way the sound reverberated. What if I couldn’t hear those sounds? It's been a scary few days, and now I enter the weekend not knowing what's happening.


As noted, many live with disabilities, and this is nothing considering far greater challenges people face. Who knows, this loss of hearing could be something minor. My hearing could…and to be optimistic, should get better. Thankfully I can hear through the other ear. Ah…but the fear comes. What if I lose that hearing? The mind wanders.


I didn’t want to do these three Fun Run miles, but as I got into it, I was focused on overcoming challenges. In front of me was Buster Hill and even though this is a relatively short run. I wanted to conquer it and finish strong. At the halfway point, a powerful song came on, and I took the opportunity to be thankful for my blessings.  I need to be strong and walk through whatever this is.


My goal in this post is to encourage others in their challenges. As I do that, I also am encouraged. People are facing all kinds of life-threatening health, personal and business challenges. This is life. Consider what encourages you during these seasons. Music, connecting with a friend, doing something physical, praying?


I did finish strong on that Thursday Fun Run and had a PR on one part of this route. That’s not saying much because I define slow, but that’s OK. I embrace slow. There are no easy answers when the storms of life come. We just need to hang on and wait until the sun comes out.


I’ll update this post when I learn what’s happening with my ear.  

UPDATE 4-20-17: After having a hearing test, I have ended up with some hearing loss...and what would seem to be, tinnitus a common condition of ringing in the ear. At this point, I can live with this without a hearing aid. I tried one, and it's OK, but does not seem to be necessary for me...yet. I'm thankful that I am moving through yet another of life's challenges. 


UPDATE 3-27-17:  After two weeks of steroid treatments, my hearing is getting better. There is a ringing which is common with this condition, but thankfully I can hear through both ears...and I'm grateful for that.


UPDATE 3-14-17:  I got in to see the ear specialist and learned there is something known as Sudden Hearing Loss. Who knew? (Oh...doctors and those who get it know.) This is pretty odd. Steroid treatment is used, so I'm on those now for 21 days. The doctor also suggested injecting the ear drum with steroids, which is about as fun as it sounds. His feeling was that it would best to throw everything we can at it since I have lost my hearing. Next up hearing test to see how bad it is.

UPDATE 3-15-17:  The hearing is slightly better after the shot. It's day 2 of steroids.  

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