One day at a time…

An old AA adage.   “How can I possibly stay sober for the rest of my life?”   “How will I stay sober at Christmas?” “My birthday?”  The classic from  my sponsor in his first weeks sober – “My daughter’s wedding?”  His daughter was 7 at the time!!!  The response to all these fears from those nodding wise old sages that sit around the rooms is more often than not “One day at a time”.  It is how I’ve got to be 14 years sober.  The thought of 14 days, 14 weeks, 14 months to me in those early days was just too great but when people would say “Well stay sober today and see what tomorrow brings” that just made eminent sense.  Of course it’s blindingly obvious that if you approach every day like that you will eventually wake up and find that day you are 14 years sober or like a very good friend around my local fellowship 54 years sober!

It actually is, like much of AA philosophy, something that can be readily applied to life in general and other aspects in particular.  My recovery from the operation is a classic case in point.

The operation went well as I posted before.  I was only under the anaesthetic for about an hour so my reaction to it wasn’t too bad.  Instantly as I lay propped up on my hospital trolley in the surgical recovery ward I could tell that the pressure feeling I had grown so accustomed to in my left ear was gone.  I instinctively went to do two of my little ingrained habits to help relieve it.  A hard swallow and my hand was raising towards my left ear to stick my finger in and “pop it” when I realised the swallow was unnecessary and thought “sticking your finger in the ear you’ve just had surgery in for no good reason other than habit probably isn’t a smart move”.    I’ve caught myself a few times making a similar move but the habit has quickly gone as I don’t need it.  Given that reducing the pressure in the inner ear is the primary objective of the operation you can see it was a clear and instant success on that front.

I have not had any major vertigo attacks since the operation – Hooray!   I have had a few at night or early morning in bed normally when I wake from being asleep on my back.    The room is gently spinning not like the violence of the previous attacks and it stops in a few seconds if I just focus on something.  They are a bit annoying and disorientating but really given where I’ve been with this totally bearable.  I’m consciously trying to sleep on my unaffected side as I think that helps.

Balance has been … interesting!  I’ve had moments when everything just feels wrong as though one of my big attacks is about to whisk me off in a 1000rpm spin and throw me to the floor.  But I just steady myself and in a second or two it passes.   I’d spotted one point when they regularly seemed to happen.  If I went from looking up to looking down – imagine getting a tin off the top shelf.  As I brought my head down to look at the counter I was to put the tin on everything felt off kilter.  I also felt it on some turns whilst walking too.   I think it is actually because I’ve grown so used to a broken balance system I’m adjusting to one that works now and that is causing the issue.  Again the good news is that I’m just coming up to 3 weeks since the operation and those moments are getting less frequent and less intense.  I believe the exercises I’ve been given are clearly helping retrain my brain.

I had my hearing aid fitted last week in the affected ear.  That has helped with being able to hear better although I’m having to get used to the echoey and tinny sound.  The biggest thing though is that after the op I felt that the tinnitus was worse.  I did say to my family I thought it probably wasn’t but that as my hearing was worse it was just more noticeable.  With the hearing aid that has made a significant difference – the tinnitus is still there but nowhere near as intrusive as I’d felt in the week after the op.

So overall – good.  As ever I wish it was all back to perfect (which it will clearly never be) instantly.  So I’m reminded as I see a slow improvement over the time to just take it… one day at a time.

Finally – many thanks for all the best wishes I received from fellow bloggers – it was much appreciated.

About furtheron

Music and guitar obsessive who is a recovering alcoholic to boot
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9 Responses to One day at a time…

  1. All good news to hear. I’m happy for you. Graham. Do you really mean never? Is this a permanent state? How has it affected your playing? Hope you’re able to keep at it. A great solace, I’m sure.

    • furtheron says:

      Sadly meniere’s as it smashes your ear about does leave permanent damage to your hearing. Mine is, as the specialist put it, “totally pants” now. Less that 20% in the left ear and distorted etc. with it. But the hearing aid, whilst odd sounding is less distorted by the tinnitus. Meniere’s tinnitus is different too to most tinnitus, it is a low roar or rushing noise not a hiss in the high end plus mine has a habit to pulsate too.

      So yes it has affected my playing and music – I’ve been avoiding amped up stuff and even acoustics are too loud at times. I hope with the aid I’ll find a medium. I’ve tried ear plugs in both, ear plugs in affected ear and in the good only. Now I want to get used to the aid and try again. I’ll then have to just settle on the best compromise.

      I’m lucky as so far my meniere’s only affects the left side so my right does work ok for the moment. I fear it moving on to the right ear (often does for people) in which case that will be curtains for my music I think.

      • I was wondering about this. Thank you for explaining it!
        It is very hard to get used to hearing aid sounds.
        I hope you find a place where you can still hear and enjoy making music!
        And that things continue to improve!

  2. ainsobriety says:

    I’m so happy things are moving in the right direction. Keep doing those exercises.

  3. daisyfae says:

    Hoping for continued progress. You have already demonstrated resilience – and that’s going to help a lot!

  4. Liz Hinds says:

    All good news and the way forward.

  5. Suburbia says:

    Glad to hear you’re on the mend. That phrase is so useful for life in general…one day at a time.

  6. sara says:

    Lovely to drop in and find you are still blogging, your post resonated still, even 8 years.
    A few of us (I’m Fabfeistyandfifty now fabfesityandsixty) Ex-patmum and awomanofnoimportance have garnered a collaborative of bloggers to start a new old style blog, please do visit us. If you would like to contribute please contact us and we will send a brief of what we are about. Hope you like it.
    saz x
    new group blog

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