I’m all about that bass, no treble

Months ago I visited the doctor to investigate a weird little symptom that came up. A small section of hair had fallen out on the left side of my head. It wasn’t much, about the size of a coin. Complete hair everywhere else but that one spot. No biggie. I hid it easily with my other hair. Turned out after some blood work that I had/have hypothyroidism, which means my thyroid gland is under producing its hormones (thyroid hormones control metabolism/how food converts to energy in different parts of the body). One of its symptoms can sometimes show up as hair loss.

My hair is all grown back now, and I have been taking meds to hopefully raise my thyroid levels to a normal range. Hypothyroidism can cause fatigue, and I felt that long before I was diagnosed. This is still fairly new and so the medication will need some time to work it’s magic on my system. I’ll eventually retest my thyroid levels and go from there.

A bit before the hair/thyroid thing, something else surfaced. I woke up one day, like usual, only my left ear was plugged up. It felt just like an altitude pressure change. I could hear out of it, but all high pitches were muffled or silent. My right ear was perfect. I tried the usual tricks to “pop” my left ear back into crystal clear mode: yawning, chewing gum, yawning more, even the thing you’re not supposed to do-pinching my nose and blowing. Nothing. I eventually went for a complete ear exam and hearing test.

Turns out I have “asymmetric sensorineural hearing loss” in my left ear. That means it can’t be cured with surgery since it is a brain/nerve pathway issue, not an ear canal problem. Permanent, in other words. I was hoping I just needed a canal cleaning, but nope. The sharp, crispy high sounds never returned on that side. Lil Lefty had heard his last tinny cymbal crash.

No treble anymore.

Good news is the hearing loss is mild. I can still hear most things, just not in the higher register. And my right side is still golden.

I had an MRI brain scan to rule out the worst possibility: cancer. I knew that my childhood diagnosis was astrocytoma, which is usually a brain tumor. Waiting for the results was, uh, stressful. But the scan came back all good. No growths, no lesions. Brain looked nice. Phew. Great. Ahhh. Wait, so why did my left ear lose some clarity?

The doctor(s) are calling both diagnoses idiopathic, i.e., they don’t know the causes. Grrr. Could it be related to past chemo/radiation treatments, perhaps? Maybe. Could malnutrition affect thyroid hormone production(I AM still very underweight)? Maybe. All of the above? Maybe. Is not knowing becoming increasingly frustrating? YES. Do these new symptoms make me feel any younger? NO.

Still, I’m doing alright. Mostly. Kinda. But I’m saving the complaints for after the holidays. This is just an update of the latest medical news.

Tonight ends another wonderfully rough and tumble year. High highs and low lows. Tomorrow will bring more of the same. No matter what though, beauty makes it all worth it. And there’s plenty of that. You only need to open your eyes.

Tonight I will toast to life! Have a good one.

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