This is the third part of my guest serial, in 675 words.
Instantly, I felt sick to my stomach.
So many questions were running through my head, “Is it a brain tumour? Am I dying? How long have I got left?” and many more. It was difficult to try and be positive.
I barely spoke to Ewan or Mum over the next couple of days. I even struggle to this very day to explain how I felt. Even though the days leading up to the appointment were a blur, the world just felt very still. This was a completely new level of isolation, it was horrible.
Even Ewan said to Mum, “This isn’t looking good, is it?”
I remember the night before my appointment, I was lying in bed with Ewan, crying. He didn’t know what to say, instead he just comforted and cuddled me. I cried myself to sleep.
I tried to eat two slices of toast, but I felt too nauseous to eat. Ewan cuddled, and kissed me before I got in the car. My head was telling me that this was goodbye.
Mum drove me to King’s Lynn hospital; I was quiet the entire journey. Thankfully, we arrived with time to spare, this meant I could take my time with walking and not put myself at risk by trying to walk faster. Understandably, for a Saturday morning, the waiting room was empty. We sat outside the room I was going to be seen in, and I placed my head in my hands.
I wanted to lash out and scold myself because I was incredibly frustrated. No doubt, whatever was wrong, would be my fault. Everything always was my fault.
The door opened, and a tall man called my name. Mum tapped on my arm to get my attention, I felt like I couldn’t breathe when I walked into the room, “I’m going to be told the worst”, I convinced myself. Given the circumstances, it was easier to think negatively.
We sat down and the man introduced himself, he was a neurologist. He asked about my symptoms, when did they start, how often do they occur, etc. He was confused as to how I could only understand what Mum was saying, and not him – to be honest, I was confused too. It was easier for me if he spoke to Mum directly as I was getting more upset and frustrated with not being able to hear.
Mum turned to me and said, “Right, the results of your MRI…”
Before she carried on, I thought, “This isn’t right, how can a mother tell her daughter bad news like this?”. She continued, “…is clear and there’s nothing to show a TIA”. I felt like I was going to explode with relief. I was in shock; I really thought the worst.
The neurologist told Mum that he would see me in 2 months to check up on my symptoms. One thing he did say was that, apparently, a lot of females my age, experience a phase of hearing difficulties which is caused by stress.
We left and headed to the car. I cried all the way home, because of relief and frustration. I was still left not knowing what was causing all this. But this appointment, it was just the beginning of numerous appointments.
In May, I had my first hearing test. Wearing a set of headphones, I had to press a button when I heard a noise, which was at different levels (high pitch, low pitch). Then a follow-up appointment was booked with an ENT Consultant. That quickly come around and I was diagnosed with Bilateral Hearing Loss. Yet, no further forward as to what had caused it.
Also, in May, I had to attend a medical to be assessed on whether I was fit to work. The assessor asked me about my Sales Assistant role and what duties I had. After she assessed me, she tried finding a role that I could safely do before giving me the news that I was no longer fit to work.
This broke me.