...you think going deaf would be a blessing.
I went to the ENT today. I thought I had ruptured my right eardrum a couple of weeks ago, and have had both pain and hearing loss, so I finally went to get things checked out.
The doctor extracted even more crystallized wax and dead skin from my ear canal, which are the continuing effects of radiation from three years ago. (I had a similar experience with this last year.) The good news was that my eardrum appeared to be intact. However, the doctor noticed that my eardrum has a large retraction pocket, which is the result of continuing radiation damage to the eustacian tube.
Testing verified that my nerves are okay, but my eardrum is not functioning properly, and I have significant hearing loss in my right ear as a result.
My favorite part of the visit was when the doctor explained that the full effects of radiation damage will take several years to manifest, and he suggested a course of monitoring over the next four or five years. He explained some possible interventions to relieve discomfort, but nothing that would restore my hearing or prevent further deterioration in the long term. (Long term! I like thinking long term!)
In other words, I'm not completely deaf (yet) in my right ear. But if I'm lucky to live long enough, I may become so.
Only cancer can make a musician actually look forward to the day when she loses her ear.