Friday, July 12, 2013

Swimmer's ear - a gift on the first night of Ramadhan

Before Ramadhan, two weeks to be exact, I got an ear infection due to my frequent swimming workout. Funny thing is, the infection I was getting in the outer ear was known as 'Swimmer's ear'. Or scientifically, otitis externa.

The first days were very painful. I couldn't dive deeper because my right ear felt so painful, it sounded like it was cracking inside. I went to buy earplugs, but kept losing it in the pool whenever I did my flip turn. But the ear became worse. Eventually, in two days, I lost almost 70% of my hearing on the right ear. It was my habit to clean up my ear after a swimming session, but obviously it was not enough. My sleep was interrupted due to sudden surge of pain and constant ringing in my right ear.

I went to the doctor. I took the ear drops and oral antibiotics. What happened was, some water was left near my eardrum, it clogged and made surrounding area suitable for bacteria, hence the infection. My ear canal was swelling, and also my eardrum didn't vibrate the way it should. Even the otoscope almost did not fit into my ear.

So, the days of misery began. I valued music. I listened to the Quran, songs, and music, and I often wondered how beautiful music would be in the Heaven. I was specifically grateful for the hearing that Allah had bestowed upon me, more than any other parts of my body. Then, when my right ear failed to function properly, I somehow freaked out.

My hearing became muffled, I failed to detect where the sound was coming from. And I could hear the sound next to my ear like it was 2 meters away. The ringing was somehow constant and it made me a bit off balanced. The ringing sounded like after you hear the flash bang. The ringing felt so close to my ear. My balance was off. Suddenly, I valued my hearing more than I had ever imagined.

I read the story of Urwah bin Zubair. How when his leg was amputated, his friend said 'Bergembiralah, kerana anggotamu itu telah mendahuluimu ke syurga..'. The last word my right ear listened to was al Mishary just before I went to sleep. So, as to calm myself, I also told myself the same thing. Getting myself prepared just in case I lost my right ear. Allah wanted to test me I thought, and I was going to be ready. To some people, it might not be important. But to me, my hearing is important. Especially when it comes to listening to music. How I appreciate details in the piece. Still, my hearing was from Allah.

I kept snapping and clapping slowly beside my right ear just to know when will my hearing come back. I went to the doctor twice, and the doctor told me that the infection still didn't go away. I got two kinds of ear drops later. More intensive. In one week, if I hadn't got better, he would refer me to an ear specialist. It was very tense. My right ear felt right it got a veil that blocked my hearing. A veil so close to my ear.

I told my mum about it. And I got a lecture on not-to-swim-again. I understood how she felt. Sometimes, when you get older, it was good to hear your mum's lecture. Missing those old days haha. My friends and lecturers were so supportive.

During the last evening of Syaaban, just before Ramadhan, I was at the mosque. Getting ready for the azan of the first night of Ramadhan. I was at the first saf, tilawah. Felt so pumped up. Although my right ear failed to function, it failed to stop my surge of excitement for the Ramadhan. Getting my FB and Twitter deactivated few days prior, I was sure to get a good warm up.

Like a novel, when the digital clock was beeping for Maghrib, I saw the bilal went to the mike. I stood up and felt very excited. 'Allah, here I come' I said. Then, miraculously, when the azan started 'Allahu Akbar!', masya Allah, the veil that had been blocking my right ear seemed to be gone. The hearing was still muffled, but my hearing was coming back! If before I could only hear 20-30%, it became up to 50-70%. I could really feel the difference. My tears broke out, and there I sujud syukur for my hearing in the middle of the azan. It was no coincidence. It was amazing. It felt amazing. It was like the bubble that had been blocking my right ear popped. And then suddenly the sound became much clearer.

Alhamdulillah, I thank Allah for my both ears. For all my parts of body, and family.

Now, I can hear up to 90% Alhamdulillah, no more pain, fever, ringing and off-balance.

1. I learned how to speak more slowly. Try closing both your ears with your fingers, and speak very slowly. You could hear it clearly. When my right ear failed to function properly, I hear what I said louder than normal. So I began to speak more slowly.

2. I couldn't wait to get back into the swimming pool. Missing swimming so much. My doctor refrained me from swimming till the ear infection had gone.

3. Syukur itu lebih tinggi martabatnya dari sabar.

4. Swimmers! Always be ready for this. Get yourself an ear drop to clean your ear after swimming. Maintain the pH of your ear, and avoid over-cleaning.

5. Some of you might wonder how I know that percentage of hearing. Hoho. I test it with my left ear and check the clarity over distance times 100.

6. Our hearing is one of the most amazing mechanism ever existed. It worked simultaneously with our brain. One of it is positioning. Good hearing works with our brain to position and trace where the sound comes from just from its amplitude and frequency. Try this 3d sound, barbershop, and say Alhamdulillah :) (

Happy Ramadhan guys!

1 comment:

  1. slm, can i request a talk with you?

    - F, egypt


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