As I continue my quest to have as many medical conditions as possible, to sit alongside the one that will eventually kill me, the NHS are kindly sending me to a private clinic for treatment on my ear.
The right ear remains 80% deaf (my estimate). An improvement after wax was removed from near total deafness. And many moons ago the eye consultant who diagnosed my deafness put it down to Bell’s palsy.
Over a year on and my Bell’s palsy remains firmly in place. Or rather wobbly lip in place. Right eye permanently open. Right nostril torn by the facial collapse. A smile that only works on my left side, leaving me with a diagonal line on my face when Oldham score!
There is no cure. I tape over my eye each night to avoid ulceration. I wonder how many people think I’m a stroke victim. I’m reluctant to talk to strangers as my voice lisps badly unless I hold up the right side of my face with my hand. “It’ll go away in a few weeks or months” they said. Fourteen months on I’m still waiting.
Six months in and my eye went very sore. A quick referral to the eye clinic and the deafness was noted. I hadn’t even realised. But no referral to deal with the deafness. Even after an MRI scan. Just packed off and told to return to the eye clinic in six months.
I jetted off around USA and Chile and forgot about it. Until the ear wax hit. Now that’s gone my GP has referred me to a hearing specialist. I got a letter and a password to book my own appointment online. Excitement!
Huddersfield hospital could see me in 18 weeks. Halifax hospital in 18 weeks. The private Yorkshire Clinic, under the care of Professor Somethingorother, 11 weeks. So I booked my February appointment.
A letter confirmed this with a note saying “bring any scans you’ve got” Ask my GP not me! Then another letter. We’ve put your appointment back two weeks. That might be 25% of the rest of my life before I’m seen! Little choice I suppose. West Yorkshire clearly has a glut of deaf buggers waiting to be treated.
Hopefully there’s free parking and disabled spaces at Yorkshire Clinic. I drive past it on the way to Rachel’s place so finding it shouldn’t be a problem. But there does come a point where I wonder if it will actually be worth the effort.
I hope it is.