To Silence And Back (V).
By Lynee Schlumpf.
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|I even took a free lip-reading class at the nearby college, but I was soon disappointed when I realized that lip-reading can be difficult sometimes because some letters look like others when mouthed. I was preparing myself to be completely deaf in a few years. I had lost any hope of anything else. I knew it would not be the end of the world, but in my line of work working with computers and end-users, it would be a career I may have to hang on a shelf (that might've been a good thing!).
My husband got some new health insurance with his job, and I took a chance by calling them. We had then moved to Tulsa, so the list of doctors was new to us. I was referred to an ENT named Dr. White at the Eastern Oklahoma Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic. It turned out that his reputation preceded him. He was famous for his compassion and knowledge concerning hearing impaired patients. My husband and I were very nervous that day, but his wonderful bedside manner put us at ease. He took his time just like Dr. Hough had, and his overall attitude was positive. He was the best doctor I had seen so far. He confirmed that I had otosclerosis and told me that the stapedectomy surgery had made great advances in just a few years. He was performing it with microlaser equipment, and his rate of success was extremely high. The surgery had changed a lot in concept, too.
He understood so much how I felt and listened to my fears and anger about being deaf. I gave notice at my job after finding something better, hoping for a fresh start after so much pain. After my last day and before my first day on my new job, Dr. White operated on my ear. His followup was excellent, and he was very careful with everything because it was surgery on the inner ear. He replaced the diseased bones in my ear with synthetic parts, and some skin from the fatty part of my ear lobe. He operated on only the worst ear first, in case the procedure did not go well. That way, I would still have my better ear as a backup.
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