Who’s Calling??

Posted: September 17, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

I don’t enjoy talking to people over the phone. I’d much rather see them in person, if possible, or text them. I’ve felt this way for years now.

Hearing-Loss-200x300A few years back, I was concerned about hearing loss. I found myself tilting my head and saying “Huh?” a lot more. It also became more difficult to hear what someone was saying when there was background noise. Both of my parents had hearing loss (age-associated, of course), so I was worried I was following in their footsteps and losing my hearing as well. I decided to go to the doctor and let her know my worries. The conversation went something like this:

Me: Doctor, I am worried  I might have hearing loss. I’ve been to a lot of rock concerts and listen to music at very loud levels. I also have my ear buds in and my Ipod on the highest setting.

Doctor: First, stop listening to music like that. Second, let me do a quick hearing test. (Grabs tuning fork, holds it up to one ear, then the next). Can you hear the vibrations?

Me: Yes, kinda. More in the left than the right ear.

Doctor:  Hmm…

Me: That’s not a good “hmm”, is it?

Doctor: It seems like you have “asymmetrical hearing loss.” Your right ear is worse than your left. (worried look on face)

Me: Is that a bad thing?

Doctor: Well…it could be. I’m going to send you to an audiologist for further testing.

Me (slightly worried): Huh? Okay, no pun intended, but why?

Doctor: Normal hearing loss is common in your age. But, it usually happens in both ears at the same rate. Being asymmetrical indicates a possible tumor.

Me: WHAT?!

Doctor: Here’s a referral for an audiologist. Call him right away and have yourself seen. He’ll take it from there…

Me: (walking out) I just came in here for a check up. I didn’t expect this.

The audiologist’s visit was even more alarming.

Me: I’m here to get my hearing checked.

Doctor: Okay, I’ll have my assistant do that shortly. In the meantime, let’s schedule you for an MRI and a CAT Scan. I have some concerns.


Doctor: Well, the MRI is for ruling out a tumor behind your ear. That happens with asymmetrical hearing loss. The CAT Scan is for your  “other problem”.

Me: Hold on a sec…other problem? What “other problem”?

Doctor: You sound very congested. I need to check your sinuses to see if you have polyps.

Me: Huh? What are those?

Doctor: Little fluid filled sacs that develop in your nasal cavities due to allergies. How long have you been this congested?

Me: I didn’t even know I was congested.

Doctor: Well, based on what I’m seeing here and the nasally sound of your voice, I’d say you have some sort of raging sinus infection going on. I’m surprised you’re even upright. Most of my patients with such a severe infection would be home in bed right now, barely able to move.

Me: How is this even possible? Sure, I’m a little worn down and tired, but — infected? Really?

Doctor: You’re 100% blocked on the right side of your nose, 70% on the other. I’m going to need you to get a CAT scan to determine the extent of your sinus cavity infection. I’m guessing all four cavities are filled with fluid.

And that’s how I went from a general check up to needing an MRI, CAT scan, allergy testing and extensive sinus surgery.

fear of communicationBut, while this makes for a fascinating and humorous anecdote, it really doesn’t explain why I don’t like talking on the phone. It just explains the hearing loss that makes it difficult to hear what others are saying over the phone. At times, I can only make out bits and pieces of words and sentences. I struggle with fast-paced talkers, emotional talkers and all conversations that have background noise.

So, if you’re one of the “lucky ones” who has been invited into my inner circle of friendship, don’t get offended if I don’t answer the phone when you call me. It isn’t that I don’t want to talk with you, I just don’t want to miss anything important you have to say.

Text me instead – I promise I will listen and respond right away.



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