It’s September and that means one thing – CMT Awareness Month. During the month of September I will be using my blog to play a part in raising Awareness with an “alphabet challenge” – blogging a letter / key word almost every day. Today is brought to you by the letter O. I hope my month of blogging will help you to learn more about CMT – the most common but least well known hereditary nerve disorder – and me. And I hope this will also help to raise funds for the Charcot Marie Tooth Association to support its efforts to find a treatment for CMT. You can join me in learning more about CMT by clicking onto www.cmtausa.org and of course a donation would be wonderful too!
Everyday. every moment, in the background, I hear cicadas. Low level, but there.
I have known since 1997 and a pre-employment physical that I have had hearing problems. Over the years, my hearing has gotten worse. The cicadas have become a 24/7 feature since about 2000 or so.
I was never sure what triggered my hearing issues – was it sitting on the speaker stacks when I worked at concerts at the University of Maryland, back in the day? Was it standing in front of the speaker stacks at night clubs, in order to “feel” as well as “hear” the bass? Or was it all related to CMT – as hearing loss can be associated with neurological problems?
In May I had a battery of testing with the otologist – hearing doctor. In particular there was a series of tests designed to see if my auditory nerve was causing hearing loss.
My neurologist wanted to rule out CMT as a cause.
The result? Not CMT. Definite mid-range hearing loss. Most likely from birth. Just one of those things.
To me the visit hammered home a lesson about life with CMT. It is super easy to assume and blame CMT for absolutely anything and everything that is going wrong with our bodies. In fact, I had always assumed my hearing loss was CMT related as my mom – who also had CMT – had hearing loss too. But CMT is not responsible.
My hearing loss is probably due to all that dancing I used to do. And listening to my Walkman at full volume when I was 12. And age. But not CMT. Not everything can be blamed on CMT!
The sound of cicadas in my head? Not a reminder that I live with CMT – but rather a constant reminder of a life lived to the fullest, full of music and dancing!
It’s CMT Awareness Month. Today’s post was brought to you by the letter “O” – otologist. You can learn more about CMT and donate to support the search for a treatment for this (at present) incurable progressive degenerative nerve disease at www.cmtausa.org — Thank you!