Sometimes I wonder if I have superhuman hearing. I can hear the quietest of sounds from a far off distance. The buzzing of fluorescent lights or the humming of a computer can drive me nuts. However, when I go to sleep, I like having music or white noise (such as a fan) in the background. Sometimes the silence makes my ears ring. I believe that I suffer from tinnitus. Suffer isn’t the right word for this affliction, it’s more a nuisance.
When I was two I really did suffer from a pretty bad ear infection. I had nightmares that a train was running through my room trying to kill me. This caused a fear of trains that I still have to this day. Yes, I work for a railroad now, but my fear of trains has made me more cautious than most railroaders. I’m not as scared as I once was, but I’m also not getting on and off moving equipment any more.
When I was four and a half, I was visiting Scotland and suffered another bad ear infection. My fever was so bad, I remember hallucinating that the shadows on the walls were dancing and singing to me. Shortly after we returned home from the trip I had a bilateral myringotomy. Basically I had a tympanostomy tube inserted into my eardrums to help drain the fluids that had built up. Shortly after the surgery, my hearing drastically improved and my ear infections disappeared.
As I grew up, my allergies grew stronger as well. Even though I wasn’t suffering from ear infections, my ears were still getting plugged on occasion. My doctor taught me how to pop my ears. Most people don’t like it when their ears pop, but I get so much joy and relief as I still need to do it.
When I was a teenager, I was walking down the street with a buddy of mine when a firecracker was thrown towards me. It exploded near my ear and caused a horrific ringing that lasted for a couple of hours. That sucked.
When I finally got my drivers license & a car- I installed a couple of subwoofers and an amplifier. To this day, I love playing my music loudly while driving.
My hearing has quite the dynamic range. I get tested constantly and still have pretty damn good hearing. If I don’t respond when being yelled at from far away, it’s most likely that I’m ignoring you, not hearing loss.