On life support

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By Anjan Muhury

This post is written by an old schoolmate and friend, Anjan who belonged to a time when we dreamed impossible dreams. He is one of our crazier school friends who has plumbed life and experiences to their limit. Today he is a “Beacon of hope for better hearing” in Long Beach California where he provides professional audiological services to the community. You can read more about him on his website: Jay’s Hearing Aid Centre. And you can ask him any questions with regard to hearing and hearing loss right here on Fictionpals, and he says he’d be happy to answer them.

I was slowly floating down and down in the ocean. The light blue ocean slowly became darker and darker as the sunlight became less and less. Voices seem to fade in my mind, and thoughts became incoherent, disjointed as the futility of trying to fight back caused me to relax my body, and assist my downward journey into darkness. The pressure of the ocean water increased steadily, and gave me a feeling of complacency, and a couldn’t care less, slow mental process of silence began to build a cocoon around me as a last fight against death….

I wasn’t even looking for anything. It did not matter anymore. I heard a bottled cry. Maybe a whale around nearby. I turned and saw what looked like fishing line dangling and swaying with the currents. Another cry. Funny that sounded like a muted piano. For a quick moment I even paused to think and waited for another sound.I saw the fishing line drift closer and I woke up to a final reality. Maybe I could clutch it and pull myself to the top. I wrapped my toes around the hook and bait and propelled myself upward.

Then I was in the midst of bubbles, thousands of bubbles, accompanied by gurgling sounds. I saw a dark shadow below me and realized that it was a whale shadowing me. Again millions of bubbles. I took a chance and opened my mouth and felt the popping of some bubbles in my mouth. I swallowed them and felt fresh energy coursing through my body. Again, more bubbles, and again I got to swallow some more air. I felt raw energy in my hands and legs.

I heard the strains of a female voice crying. I heard it to be “Ave Maria” in operatic sound. I felt even more alive, there seemed to be purpose in that hypnotic voice. I was alive, and then I felt lifted by an unseen force that shot me up. The whale was helping me. It knew I was worth its effort  The whale surfaced beside me, and it seemed natural for me to climb its back and I did! I held on to its fin and felt the speed of its movement. It was saving my life. I saw a boat come up, and at that point the whale put out a huge spout, and then dove into the clear cold waters, leaving me floating. The boat came alongside, and a hand reached out “Are you OK?”

As I flopped into the boat, I heard that female voice singing Ave Maria, in the Schubert composition. Feel OK? You seem happy, and smiling….I asked the guy, “Can you hear that music? ” He replied, “what music?”

Since then, just last Monday, I switched on KUSC FM channel and have been mesmerized by classical music. It has given me a new life, and a totally new energy. I listen very carefully to violin concertos, Chopin (piano) and opera, which electrifies my soul. I am seeking music that I know exists to improve high order emotions that are lost due to hearing loss. By next Monday, I hope to counsel my patients about listening to music that I feel will energize their hearing, their spirits and help them to get back in touch with the tones in human communication.

Classical music will be my LIFE SUPPORT from this point onwards. I am glad that I had a mother who fine tuned my mind to music.

No mo rockin’, and no mo pelvic thrusts. I am now elevated from the crotch (Southern Hemisphere), to my heart (Northern Hemisphere).

Benefits of classical music:

Regularizes heart function, and possibly reduces atrial fibrillation.

Reduces and stabilizes blood pressure.

Regulates blood flow more efficiently through better and even oxygenation.

Reduces possibility of strokes due to arterial shrinkage in the carotid, and capillary structures of the brain.

Reduces circuit noise created due to excitation caused by increased stress due to hearing loss, and allows better speech following and understanding.

May reduce possibilities of cognitive impairment and delay dementia symptoms to a later point in life.

Are you ready for a new life? I already am.

Ave Maria

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2 responses »

  1. Thanks so much Rohini. Ever since this essay, I have moved rapidly into classical music and evolved into that mode of listening. I recognize the beauty of Ave Maria even more now. I also find that violin concertos by Vivaldi are not just perfect for the soul, but help retain higher levels of cognition. Impulses relating to the timbre of violin sounds are good triggers at the amygdala (processing zone in the brains) for retention and appreciation of emotional memory, thus improving the connective barrier between human beings allowing for better understanding and bonding in relationships. For the hearing impaired it brings back tonal aspects of spoken words and helps bonding better in conversations and understanding the “meaning between words”.

    • Thank you for the post Anjan and your insight with regard to the benefits of classical music to not only hearing but also neural, cerebral, and emotional growth.

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