“I think you have Meniere’s disease.”
I nod at the doctor. I’ve had two weeks to prepare myself for these words.
“Your hearing has improved,” the doctor went on to tell me. “Last time you had loss in three frequencies. Today, your test shows loss in only two.”
I nod again. I knew that I could hear more. The roar in my right ear had been reduced to a hum.
“Guess what?” I asked Peter last week during a phone call. “I’m holding the phone to my right ear while I’m talking to you! And you sound normal!”
The steroid treatment that this ENT had prescribed during my first visit reduced the intensity and duration of the ringing in my ears. I had several days where my hearing was completely normal. Of course, the side effects were nausea and dizziness. I could hear, but I wanted to throw up. Or just lay down until my head stopped spinning.
“You can’t take any more steroids. Continue the water pills. And did I give you the information about sodium?”
I nod again. I knew if this had just been an infection that the symptoms would not come and go. It really sunk in the night that the ringing was so intense that I woke up. I thought back to my evening meal-pepperoni pizza. I had overindulged and was paying the price.
“I want you to come back in a month.”
I nod, thank him and make my way out to the reception desk to schedule my follow-up appointment.