A first for me, a guest serial from an English blogger and writer.
I am pleased and excited to host this, and I hope you all enjoy it.
This is the first part, in 720 words.
Shortly before Christmas, in 2016, I was unwell with a common cold and sickness. From thereafter, family members began to notice I was mis-hearing words and sentences. I went to see my GP who put my hearing, well lack of it, down to the after effects of the cold I had, and then prescribed me some nasal spray.
After using the nasal spray for over a fortnight and with no improvement, I went back to my GP. Again, she said it was down to my cold and to keep trying with the spray. I persisted until I actually noticed my hearing issues, and this was coming up to a month and a half since the issues began. My GP referred me to an ENT Consultant at Norwich Hospital, which I thought was odd as that’s not the hospital I go to for anything. Then the waiting began…
I was employed during this time, I started a new role as a Sales Assistant in a charity shop, I felt like I was in my prime as I had fought hard to overcome my social anxiety and despite having these hearing difficulties, I was happy, I was content. I felt the best I had ever felt, especially mentally.
But it was too good to be true…
Work started to treat me differently because of my hearing. I remember one shift that made me feel extremely isolated, it was lunchtime and there was about 4 of us sitting around a table, they knew about my hearing difficulties and I watched them, in disbelief, while they were talking and laughing. I spoke up and said “What did I miss?”, to which one of them made the effort to make me understand and replied with, “It doesn’t matter”.
I was devastated. I thought I fitted in well with my colleagues, but it turned out that when I needed their support the most, they were ignorant, they didn’t bother with me anymore. I thought things couldn’t possibly get any worse.
But again, I was wrong.
Towards the end of March 2017, I woke up one morning with blurry central vision, I didn’t think nothing of it as I assumed it was because I had just woken up. When I went into work, I felt different – I couldn’t put my finger on what it was, but I tried to carry on as normal throughout my shift.
The ‘blurry spots’ had not changed, I had to rely on my peripheral vision (side vision) which was really difficult. I kept feeling ‘off-balance’, not to the extent of dizziness but I couldn’t walk at my normal pace without feeling like I was tipping over.
I had no idea as to what was going on.
It wasn’t until roughly 3pm that day, that I reached breaking point, tears filled my eyes and a colleague took me into the office so I could let the tears flow. After telling her everything that had been happening, she suggested for me to go to A&E. She was worried about me, and frankly, I was petrified. That was my last ever shift there.
I don’t like to waste doctors time and I felt guilty about the thought of going to A&E for something I didn’t feel was an emergency, I strongly felt something was really wrong but not to the point that I would have considered it to be an emergency. So, I didn’t go to A&E that night.
The next day, my colleague’s concerns kept going over and over in my mind and I spent most of the day in tears. I told Mum about what had happened at work the day before, and like me, Mum didn’t feel like it was an emergency. I became more terrified, which I didn’t think was possible, and I got to the point where I begged Mum to take me to A&E because I was thinking the worst.
But I should have guessed, they had no idea what was causing my symptoms. All they could do was blood tests and observation tests, which resulted to nothing, but they did send off an emergency referral to a ENT Consultant.
They sent me home but advised to come back if my symptoms worsened.
(Part two tomorrow)