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I write with no particular theme in mind, because I am random like that.

17 2014

How it feels to be partially deaf for a week

Oh boy, if only we are able to eradicate wax from our ears with the same mechanism as how we rid ourselves of our bodily wastes.

For the past week, I’ve been (and I still am) partially deaf, thanks to a completely blocked right ear. And what I can say after this entire experience is – never take the ability to hear for granted.

Speaking at a volume which most people consider as “normal” is a challenge. Because of the blocked ear, my voice reverberates inside my head as I speak, so I sound much louder (to myself) than I really am. So I end up speaking at a volume much softer than usual. Which also means I have to repeat myself more.

Trying to talk at my regular volume gives me a headache. (Thanks to my voice reverberating in my head.)

I can’t quite hear as well too – which also means my friends have to repeat themselves more.

And sometimes I just don’t feel like asking people to repeat themselves (and I don’t even want to explain how I can’t hear properly in one ear – because it invites a deluge of questions which I don’t want to answer) so I just nod my head and pretend I understood them.

Unless of course, they asked a question (which I didn’t hear).

Then, cue the awkward silence.

But it’s still better than having me going “HAH?! WHAT DID YOU SAY?” several times. That’s even more awkward, I think.

Stilted, semi-impossible conversations aside, I constantly fight the urge to dig my ears out with a crowbar. But of course, being temporarily deaf with a clogged ear is better than being permanently deaf. So … MUST. RESIST.

Even sitting here and trying to write code is a challenge, because that ear is making me feel so irritable I am extremely capable of violence right now. And that also explains why I am writing a blog post about clogged ears instead of uh, working.

If anyone out there in the world has suggestions on how I can unclog my ear on my own (apart from ear drops – which I’ve already exhausted an entire bottle to no avail) without having to go to a doctor, I’m all ears.

Uh. I mean, one ear.

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  • 19 Feb 2014
    6:22 AM


    Hey Brenda! Why aren’t you going to a doctor? Not related to what you’re going through: I recently read two articles (nymag and Marie Claire) about a woman named Rebecca Alexander who is going blind and deaf. She looks like any other young professional in NYC. It scared the heck out of me. I’m actually super careful to guard my hearing (I’m a drummer) because I don’t want to lose it when I get older >< I really hope your ear clears up soon!

    • 23 Feb 2014
      9:43 PM


      Haha, my hearing is pretty precious to me too because I’m a vocalist. (; My ear is slowing clearing up but there’s still some way to go before I get 100% hearing. I’d rather not go to a doctor because earwax is something I can probably handle myself.

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