SHIT. My earplugs are breaking … PANIC!!
Yeah, I know. Bit of an extreme reaction, right?
Most people with M.E and/or POTS have SOME sort of aid they simply cannot live without. It might be a wheelchair, mobility scooter, walking stick, ear defenders, eye mask, shower stool, heat pad, white noise machine … or even a little bell they can ring whenever they want someone to bring them more tea and choccy biscuits.
(Okay, that last one is just my own wishful thinking. But you get the jist.)
Anyways, mine is my earplugs. The thing is, M.E/POTS has made falling (and staying) asleep utter hell for me. It has made me SO hypervigilant at night to any tiny noise or movement, that the only way Pete and I can share a bed is if he stays corpse still and breathes in the opposite direction. And that’s WITH my earplugs in. (Who said romance is dead?!)
At some point in the last 6 years of chronic illness, my need for earplugs has gone beyond a mere ‘need’ and become an absolute dependency. I think at this point, it’s fair to say I need earplugs as much as I need oxygen. (Me, dramatic? Surely not.)
But they can’t be any old earplugs, no. Sadly, regular shop-bought earplugs hurt my ears way too much, fail to block enough sound out, and feel as though I might accidentally puncture my ear drum if I push them in any further.
As such, my earplugs are custom fit. They’re made from a mould of the inside of my ear, so they fit the EXACT shape of my ear. They are designed to block out industrial noises – except for Pete’s breathing (apparently nothing can dampen that noise other than good old-fashioned suffocation. Grrrrr!) – and have helped me get to sleep every night for the last 5 or 6 years. The sleep I get with them plays a huge role in my ability to function each day because, without proper sleep, my body can’t cope and my ME/POTS symptoms go nuts.
So you can imagine my horror the other day when I spotted the beginnings of a tear in my left earplug. And now, I’m in full panic mode to get a new pair made quicksmart, before that tear gets worse and renders the plug – and my ability to function … useless.
Therefore … (a la Mariah Carey – everyone sing along): ‘All I want for Christmas is … neew-eew-eew ear-plugs!’ (Sorry, couldn’t help myself.)
What aid can you simply not live without?
(I was going to ask “what is your dependency?” – but then I realised I might open a whole other can of worms outside the scope of this blog 😜)