September 19, 2006
Over the summer of 2006 my family and I gradually became aware that I was unable to hear a few sounds that they heard with no problem. I couldn't hear the basement telephone ring or the kitchen's coffee maker timer chime unless I was standing right next to them while my family could hear them from other rooms. All spring and summer I had been battling sore throats and recurring infections and was constantly stuffed up. I just figured I'd hear those sounds the next time as soon as I was feeling better.
On September 19 I was sitting at the library reference desk when an emergency exit door on the far wall was opened triggering a steady high pitched alarm. The key for turning the alarm off is kept in the reference desk so it was my job to turn it off. But I didn't hear it! All I heard was a distant throbbing. I thought construction was going on in another part of the university and didn't think much of it. After the alarm continued for several minutes, the reference desk supervisor came to assist. She didn't realize I couldn't hear the alarm. As I walked with her toward the emergency exit door, I began to hear the alarm but it wasn't uncomfortable to be around as it had been in past times. Something wasn't right.
As soon as my desk shift was over, I got on the phone to make an appointment with an otolaryngologist. When I explained what had just happened, they gave me an appointment for the very next day. At that point I assumed the doctor would say I was just terribly plugged up with my throat infection and that all would be well with the right medication.