I can hear the world again and it’s singing ‘happy birthday’

copyright banner salted lithium photo header


For the first time in more than three weeks I can hear the bathroom fan. Since January 25th I’ve been mostly deaf. The kind of deaf where, just to hear the TV, I had to turn the volume past 60. I’ve been trapped with only the sounds of my heart pounding in my ears, and an electrical current running through my head.

But no more. My left ear is still a little blocked, and I still hear a bit of a buzz, but most of my hearing is back. At the moment it’s like my left ear is popping open and closed depending on whether I’m yawning or swallowing. Most importantly, however, I’ve managed to sleep soundly during the past two nights without having a panic attack from feeling claustrophobic.

Which means, because I feel comfortable that I’ll be able to hear him if anything goes wrong, I can start having my son stay over night again. He’s been here a few nights, but only when his mom has been here as well. I didn’t feel comfortable having her here either, because I was worried I might flail out and hit her if I was to have a panic attack in my sleep.

Also, because I’ve only been sleeping in twenty minute increments, I’ve been too exhausted during the day to be chasing him around.

The past month hasn’t been easy on my girlfriend. She’s almost four months pregnant, and had a surgical procedure done almost two weeks ago, which left her with a surgical stitch in her cervix. It’s called a “cerclage”, and it’s highly recommended for women with an “incompetent cervix”.

So she’s been in pain, and had to deal with her six-year old and our two-year old mostly on her own. Which isn’t fair.


So… other things have happened since either the virus or bacteria decided I had done something to their kind worth taking revenge for. Like, I started taking medication for hypertension.

This had been planned since just after the New Year, but I didn’t see my family doctor until last week. My blood pressure has been rising steadily since the summer, mostly because of a Lithium overdose caused by the introduction of insulin into my life.

During my time living with the ear infections my blood pressure actually got up to 174/110, which is considered normal for meth addicts. So now I take a 4mg tablet of Coversyl every morning.

Also, thanks to the six week overdose that started last August, my kidney functions are down to 37%, so I’ve been taken off the Glyburide and Metformin and put on a second insulin, something called Humalog, which I take with my meals. I also take Lantus, a time release insulin, every night.

Before the ear infections the two insulin types got my blood sugar numbers into the normal range for a prolonged period for longer than ever before. But the infections, plus the stress and lack of sleep, screwed all that up.

Because of the overdose, which was bizarrely caused by an interaction between the Lithium and the insulin, my Lithium intake has been almost halved. My psychiatrist wants to change to another mood stabilizer, something like Lamotrigine, but my family doctor doesn’t believe the Lithium is causing any damage, as long as it stays within the therapeutic levels.

I’d prefer not changing… if I stopped the Lithium I’d have to change the name of this blog, and I like it the way it is.


Something else that happened while my ears were under attack was I turned forty-two. Growing up I didn’t realize the human body actually disintegrated so literally upon reaching the forties, but in the past two years I’ve had more things diagnosed wrong with me than in the previous ten.

Then again, most of the problems I’m having today could have been diagnosed and treated ten years ago.

Anyway, because my birthday happened during the first, and worst, week of the infections, there was no party.

Some friends had planed a dinner, so we’re going to try again for this weekend. If I don’t completely disintegrate before then.


Other things I couldn’t hear while my ears were blocked: I couldn’t hear my cat, at all. Normally, when I’m getting into bed and she’s under the blankets, she makes a little “brrrr?” sound to let me know she’s there. I nearly crushed her a few times.

I couldn’t hear the car that almost crushed me over the weekend. I walked right out into the street. I heard it when he leaned on the horn though.

I couldn’t hear my stereo unless it was loud enough for people outside to also hear it… my girlfriend came over one night and told me she could hear my ‘Guitar Rock’ playlist from two blocks away.

I couldn’t hear people knocking at the door so, when my girlfriend came over with our son, the first I’d realize they were here was when my son would grab my leg. Which, if I was sleeping, would freak me out and start a panic attack.

I couldn’t hear the water falling from the roof as the snow melted.

But now I can. It can definitely get better, and clearer, but I can hear the important stuff now… like ‘Spirit In The Sky’ by Norman Greenbaum.

And like my son talking, which I couldn’t do unless he was yelling, so I recorded him talking last week so I could play it back louder on my computer… enjoy:


YouTube Alert.




About Gabriel...

...diagnosed with manic depression when I was nineteen, for the next 14-years I lived without treatment or a recovery plan. I've been homeless, one time I graduated college, I've won awards for reporting on Internet privacy issues, and a weekly humour column. In 2002 I finally hit bottom and found help. It's now 2022, and I have an 8-year old son, and a 12-year old son... I’m usually about six feet tall, and I'm pretty sure I screwed up my book deal. I mostly blog at saltedlithium.com....
This entry was posted in Bipolar, Clinical Depression, crazy people with no pants, Diabetes, Health, Lithium, Living With Depression, Living With Manic Depression, Manic Depression, Mental Health, Pregnancy and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to I can hear the world again and it’s singing ‘happy birthday’

  1. Melanie says:

    A very happy belated birthday wish my dear friend!! Glad to read that you’re feeling better.
    And congratulations on the expectant new arrival! Are you hoping for a girl this time?

  2. Rae says:

    Happy birthday.

    I hope your ears are better now.

    • Gabriel... says:

      Thanks Rae. My ears did get mostly better, but then I finished the antibiotics and the infection in my throat came back and closed my ears up again. I’m coughing like a four-pack per day smoker now as well. It has been a very odd year.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s