Sunday, February 7, 2010

We Finally Have a Diagnosis for Tom's Disease...

It's been a long time. We've waited...hoped...prayed. And finally we have it. Who would have guessed a television commercial could pinpoint it?

The symptoms were always there, right in front of our faces, and we knew something was terribly wrong.

We would stand in the produce section of the grocery store and Tom's cell phone would ring. "THIS IS TOM!" he would answer in a voice that could be heard all the way to the dairy section. People would glare at him without regard for his disability.

Chris or Mike would call but would knowingly hold the phone out away from their ears, and in a resonating voice that would permeate every room of their homes, Tom would speak loudly into the phone, "HOW ARE YOU!" And the conversation would continue like that for the entire phone call, without anyone having to ever ask "What did you say?"

I am unable, to this day, to remain in the same room with Tom when he is on the phone, without motioning to him to reduce the decibel level of his voice. His voice in conversation fills the room, sometimes unmercifully.

We all thought he was losing his hearing. Perhaps, like his father, he needed a hearing aid. It was a distinct possibility. We encouraged Tom to get tested. Was he actually going deaf? We were fearful and didn't look forward to living the rest of our lives like this.

Then, this morning, we saw the commercial and Oh...My...God...there it was...the diagnosis: Volume Control Syndrome. I nearly jumped off the couch!

"That's it!" I cried. "That's what you've had all this time!"

We looked at each other, then Tom laughed, but he knew it was true. I could see the relief on his face.

At least now we know what we are dealing with... ;-)

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