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  • Writer's pictureShawnae Jebbia

A Tumor?!

Updated: May 12, 2023

The next step to regaining some of my ability to hear is completely shot down out of nowhere. Talk about unexpected.

Completely unexpected.

Well here it is…if you don’t get hearing aids as early as possible, it won’t be as easy to adjust to the new sounds if you let go and just make due. Sounds with technology can be overwhelming and foreign if you haven’t heard things for a while. Another problem for me was I couldn’t hear myself speak anymore, which happens with the deaf community. I began stumbling on my words, and hearing aids helped me be able to hear myself to enunciate words properly.

“I used to yell and often strain my voice to hear myself or make people hear me, which didn’t work well with family, friends or in any environment. "

Technology is amazing, but can be overwhelming if you wait for many years of silence to hear it again. You have to commit to the time with hearing aids to allow your brain adjust to a new way of hearing sound. Thanks to Signia Hearing, formerly known as Siemens, for their continued support over the past decade for the BEST hearing instruments in the world. They saved my soul…literally.

I recently decided to try the process of a cochlear implant in my left ear since it is almost gone completely (only 8%). That’s right... Would that help me hear more than I was able to now?? I needed to take the leap!

I wanted to give it a shot and go bionic!

The process to get an implant is yet again a journey with an MRI, equilibrium testing, and vaccines before approval. I was actually border line for approval as you need 60% and under of overall hearing with both aids to be approved. I was 64% that day of testing, and despite my left is almost gone, they still measure your overall ability for insurance approval for surgery.

I was so close to approval…until the MRI. Now let’s say hello to my little friend!!! Current diagnosis: Acoustic Neuroma or Vestibular Schwannoma tumor sitting on my left cochlear nerve, which is most likely benign. This 9mm little tumor has compromised my hearing in that ear for God knows how long because my last MRI in that area was 20 years ago for my first diagnosis. How long has my little friend been here? What if I never got the MRI!? Oh, just irreversible paralysis to the whole left side of my face…Noooo!!

There it is…so now an MRI every 6 months to keep an eye on its growth, or radiation is on the horizon to stop it from growing (90% chance). The damage is done, so no going back and it's inoperable, or I would lose my hearing and my facial nerve function.

As an outspoken advocate, I’ve stressed the importance of early detection of hearing loss, and once again that notion has saved my face, and possibly my brain function.

Wow…here we go again! But I’m alive!!! And kickin to say the least!!

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