Ika - her story of battling sudden deafness.

Ika - her story of battling sudden deafness.

Ika, can you introduce yourself?

I'm the co-founder of DOUX (@douxyogamat) yoga mat brand and am about to become a Sound Healing yoga therapist.

DOUX was founded (2017)


Can you tell us more about that day when you lost your hearing in the right ear?

On February 7, 2019, not long after the Chinese New Year, I woke up one day and found my right ear ringing very loud, and I became dizzy at the same time. I went to the nearby ENT clinic right away. The doctor did not find any problems upon examination, so he told me to do another test in a different room. I walked towards the opposite direction of the room. The doctor called me back and asked, "Where are you going? I asked you to go to the testing room on the right; why did you go the other way?"
"Oh!" Just when I was about to walk back, I turned back to the doctor and asked, "What did you just say? I didn't hear you at all."
The doctor looked at me in shock and then said, "You have sudden deafness; we will immediately refer you to the hospital."
Sudden sensorineural ("inner ear") hearing loss (SSHL), commonly known as sudden deafness.

Listening test. - the right ear can barely hear anything. 

After putting all these words together for a solid few seconds, my mind went blank.

Then I frantically took the referral letter and went to the big hospital. On the way to the hospital, I kept praying that it was just a misdiagnosis.

They checked on me right away because I was referred for an emergency. My prayers weren't answered. The doctor at the big hospital confirmed my symptoms once again.

"Miss, you have sudden deafness, and you need to be hospitalized right away for treatment."

Everything was extra complicated and scary at the beginning of the COVID outbreak. I didn't want my parents to know that I was admitted. The ringing became louder and louder, and I was dizzy and nauseous at the same time. I just wanted to smash my head against the wall like you smack a broken TV and see if I can fix it. 

There are lots of restrictions regarding visitors at the hospital during the pandemic. I stayed at the hospital for five days without having any visitors. I felt like the world was falling apart. We ran lots of tests, including MRI, since there might be a possibility of having brain damage. I tried my best to listen and understand all the medical terms with my one good ear. It was not easy. 


Hospitalization for Sudden Deafness ( 2020 )

While I was waiting for the MRI result and anxious to hear if there was any brain damage, my life flashed before my eyes. I told myself that thank God that I hadn't started a family. How do I break it to my parents if there was any brain damage? I even googled funeral home just in case bad things happen. 

Thank God that the MRI result came back ok. There's no problem with my brain. I then asked my brother to inform my parents.

How did you spend the years when you were emotionally overwhelmed and unable to work?

For the past two years or so, I spent most of my time seeing doctors after doctors. I even tried alternative medical practices. 
My right ear is buzzing like a broken radio 24/7. My wish for those two years was to get a good night's sleep. I feel dizzy every day, even when I am in bed. I just want to get a good night's sleep. The psychological torment is no less than physical pain.
And because of this, I had to put a pause on my brand. I begged God, "I dont want anything else in life; all I want is to get back to the way it was." I was so sick and tired to see people because I always had to ask them to repeat themselves. 
With the noise in my ear and not understanding what people were saying, I didn't see or talk to friends during the first year. I often didn't understand the conversations, and sometimes my answers were not what had been asked. - I was afraid of people. 
I found myself becoming a very different person, a strange one. I was scared of talking. 
After a while, I knew that I couldn't continue like this.

What helps you slowly come out of this?

I don't have a significant other who can support and accompany me during the darkest period of my life. I don't have a significant other who can support and accompany me during the darkest period of my life. I had to help myself out of this situation.
I gradually accepted my condition and told myself that this was just a warning sign that I should be more careful about my health. Now I can say out loud that I have lost part of my hearing. 
In the past two years, I was too focused on finding out why I have this unexplainable disease. I have gained a lot of weight and feel emotionally drained.

 Camping (2022)

How do you usually relieve stress?

I tried hyperbaric oxygen, acupuncture, dry needling, etc., to relieve my stress. I bought a massage chair and changed my mattress to treat myself. 

I work out, go to sound healing sessions, and practice yoga. I found out that my ear can pick up the frequency of the singing bowl, and it improves my sleep dramatically. 

First time in the outdoor in 2 years. (2022)

I felt a bit uncomfortable when swimming, so I spent most of my time sunbathing. I discovered HAI swimwear and bought a bandeau for some me-time. I have worked hard to control my diet in the past two months, signed up for some activities, and reached out to some new people.

Sun tanning with HAI Swimwear

You are one of our regulars, what do you think of our swimsuit?

I like HAI's brand value. The product is comfortable and fashionable. I love it even more after finding out that it's from Taiwan! 
The doctor told me that I needed to get more sun, so I usually put on an HAI bandeau and basked in the sun on my balcony. I love wearing a bandeau for sunbathing to avoid tan lines. 

Sun tanning with HAI Swimwear

Do you have something to say to someone who has had a similar experience?

There are many causes of sudden deafness. It may be that the blood vessels innervate the auditory cells of the inner ear spasm and result in hypoxia of the nerves in the ear. 

It's hard to pinpoint one specific reason because the inner ear is in the skull, and its structure is small. Even through images or blood tests, you can only find one cause, not all. 

One doctor told me to learn to live with it. Stop trying to fix what is broken; you should spend your energy maintaining what is not broken. It might sound harsh, but it's the truth.  

I stop treating myself as a patient. I am not much different than ordinary people; I just can't hear clearly and can't be too tired.

Life is tough. We don't know what will happen in the next moment. I want to seize the opportunity and not take anything for granted. By Ika.

When I was writing my story, I learned that an acquaintance of mine was in the Hospice ward about to remove the life support. He was diagnosed with cancer last year at the age of 40. The funeral was held on 2022/03/05.

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