An open letter to Huey Lewis from one who’s been there

Yesterday, one of my favorite 80s pop icons, Huey Lewis, announced that he had to cancel all his 2018 shows due to sudden hearing loss from Ménière‘s Disease.  His show in Indianapolis last summer was influential in pushing me forward as a singer in this new stage of my hearing. As a singer who has gone through this myself, I’d like to offer him the following:

This is NOT it. 
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Learning to breathe, as walls close in around you

I never knew true anxiety until the moment I lost my hearing. It came in waves, the first couple of times. 5-10 minutes of deafness and vertigo. Then the hearing loss kept lasting longer, until once it just never came back. Those first moments, the first few weeks after, my world had ended. I had no idea how to function or survive. Without a support network, I wouldn’t have.
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Silence everything, silence always wins

You know how you can be in a really bad mood and then you hear your favorite song on the radio and suddenly everything seems okay again? Or you start your day with someone talking to you in a rude or unhappy tone of voice and the rest of the day seems like everything is horrible? Sounds, and how we perceive them, can make or break your mood. I’ve learned throughout my hearing loss and subsequent new hearing that the reverse is also true – your mood can dramatically affect how you hear.
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No one is alone

I was out walking my dogs last night and ran across our neighbor Jack and his dog Mollie.  Jack and I have been talking for the past 6 months or so and he has a pretty profound hearing loss.  Unfortunately for him, it is getting worse and his audiologist has told him that hearing aids won’t help him – he needs a BAHA (bone-anchored hearing aid).  Last night, he decided to ask me what my surgery was like for my implant and admitted that he’s scared of the BAHA procedure.  This is why I tell my story:  so people like Jack know that they are not alone.
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