Doctors, remodeling and kissing frogs

Apr 1, 2023

I’ve recently had a personal experience with attempting to get a diagnosis on an ear issue. What does my ear have to do with remodeling!? Everything has something to do with remodeling… in my world. So, here’s my story;

My wife and I were very involved with our parents health care for quite some time. Many, many trips to the ER. Many, many consultations with doctors. Many, many questions, “Where do we go from here? What can we do to help? Why did they have this issue? What can we do to prevent this from happening again?” Unfortunately, our modus operandi was to get them in the hospital as efficiently as possible, make them as comfortable as possible, then after a day or two of the super-juice in their IV, they were feeling better and ready to go home. Occasionally but rarely, we would be given a reason for their illness. But usually it was just, “their vitals look okay now, so sign here and go home.”

So… a couple of months ago, I suddenly lost hearing in my right ear. It felt like it was plugged up and there was an echo in my ear that really made it difficult to have a conversation and almost impossible to hear anything in a public place with a lot of background noise. I thought a trip to the urgent care would be simplest, so that’s where I started. They gave me a steroid shot and a prescription for steroids and antihistamine. After a week I felt no difference, so I went to my primary doctor. He prescribed more steroids and bumped me up to antibiotics. After a week on those, I felt no difference, so did a call in to the nurse practitioner. She said it sometimes takes two rounds, so prescribed more steroids and antibiotics. After another week I felt no difference, so went to an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor. They found nothing, but gave me a hearing test – which I thought redundant. (I knew I couldn’t hear.) However, they said that based on the hearing test, it was nerve damage, which sometimes happens after a virus, and that it might be permanent – but – could be fixed with a hearing aid. I was flabbergasted. He put me on a stronger steroid and ordered an MRI. He said I have a 50-70% chance that my hearing will improve. After the MRI, I got a call from the ENT office, “there was nothing in the MRI report that showed anything that would cause a hearing loss.” (Duh.)

Since then, I’ve done just about everything anyone could possibly do to handle this situation holistically. If a homeless person offered me an ear solution, I’d listen. I’ve gone to the chiropractor, done acupuncture, set a timer that goes off three times a day at which time I do physical therapy on myself. (Stuff I found on the internet.) I still don’t know if it’s permanent or just plugged up. I feel like the physical therapy is helping because it makes my ear pop, and I don’t know why my ear would pop if it was nerve damage, but we’ll see. I’m going back to the ENT doctor in a couple weeks, so if my physical therapy hasn’t helped by then, then I’m back to square one!?

As far as the parade of doctor visits, etc., I’m not bitter. Well… maybe a little. But it puts me in the mindset of how it feels when we’re all put in a position where we have to rely on the “expert”. These “experts” come in all sizes and abilities. There are times when I am so thankful and awestruck by the knowledge, kindness and expertise of the practitioner in front of me. There are times when I wonder if he/she even knows I’m in the room. But one thing is sure, I’ll keep working until I find someone that will listen to my needs, has my best interest at heart and has the knowledge to help with my particular situation.

So finally, we’re back to how this topic relates to remodeling…

When you call someone out to your home to talk about your kitchen, bath, deck, etc., you have no idea who’s going to show up. You have no idea if they have the ability – or even the intent – to listen to your wants and needs and answer your questions. You have no idea if they have the experience, the know-how or the wherewithal to discuss your project’s perimeters. You have no idea how much all this is going to cost, and in this environment, if they can even get to your project in a timely manner. And, as it relates to some of my past medical experiences, what if they give you the wrong diagnosis, which leads to a wrong prescription, which leads to a chronic illness – of your home!

Most everyone in the remodeling industry is in agreement that the issues we’re having with lead times, cost of goods and labor, are unprecedented. It has never been more important to speak to the right expert. You – as the consumer – are going to have to “kiss a lot of frogs” in order to find someone that will answer all your questions and make you feel heard. In your search to find the right expert to help with a remodeling project, be as diligent as if you were looking for an expert medical diagnosis; keep working until you find someone that will listen to your needs, has your best interest at heart and has the knowledge to help with your particular situation.

Read More

The “Sales” process

The “Sales” process

The title; "Salesman" can have some oblique negative connotations. We all think of that...

Kitchens →

Bathrooms →

Home Remodeling →

Age Friendly →