Help Carolyn Deal Hear Again

$25,243 of $25,500 goal

Raised by 330 people in 8 months
Created May 27, 2018
Nancy Beal

Help Me Hear Again...


I had a sudden loss of hearing after a Traumatic Brain Injury.

I had a severe traumatic brain injury with brain hemorrhage August 2017.   I remember nothing of the four days in the hospital or the three weeks after that.  One of the results of the injury was that my hearing was impaired significantly.   However at that point I could get by.  

BUT more alarmingly,  on April 2018, my hearing suddenly started dropping PRECIPITOUSLY.   Seven weeks later, many areas had dropped by 35-40 Decibels.    And it kept dropping, fast.    Some frequencies I did still have 55% hearing.  The worst areas I had only 20% hearing.   

May 30th I saw Dr. John MacElveen, who headed up the Otology/Neurotology program at Duke University Medical Center for six years.   He gave a diagnosis based on my symptoms, audiology reports, and CT scans.  Superior Semicircular Canal  Dehiscence: 

But the surgery may not increase the hearing, and can cause total deafness.  He urged me to try several complimentary modalities for 3-6 months to reduce the residual pressure/inflammation from the head injury, and to resolve contributing factors.   

By June 4, I could  no longer hear the creek that runs below my house and I could barely hear the harp.   The bass was inaudible and the rest muffled.  Some notes sounded as much as 7 notes higher than they really were, and if I tried to play,  I got dizzy and nauseated.   The medical term for this is diplacusis.


The silence was profound.  I needed to get within inches of my grand daughter's face to hear her.  Telephone conversations were impossible.  

But now there is hope.

Dr. MacElveen wants me to do any legitimate complimentary medicine that might help avoid the surgery.  These will take time and are not covered by my insurance.  Here are the 4 positive modalities:

1.  Acupuncture performed only by licensed practitioners who are 4-year graduates of Chinese Medicine/Acupuncture school.  Twice weekly.
2.  Functional Neurology chiropractor (13 years of post-medical school training).  (To address the neurological components and also damage to 8th cranial nerve from the head injury).  Four times weekly.
3.  Lymphatic Drainage Massage (to reduce pressure and inflammation).  Once weekly.
4.  Huge amounts of Curcurmin, (which acts similar to prednisone but with no side effects).

Together these are costing around $2,800 per month.  These have NO risk of making me go deaf, like the surgery.  And so far, they are producing the  first positive results I've had.   There are lots of ups and downs, but real progress.

Already these modalities have stopped my hearing from dropping any further.  
  There is even improvement.  I can now sometimes hear the harp enough for it to be beautiful, without nauseating distortion.   Then I had two days of scary setback, but rebounded.   I can often understand a phone conversation.  And listen to the radio and make out much of what is said.  Understand my grand daughter some.  This is all progress.

I want to hear again.
I love the harp.  I love writing beautiful music.  And most of all, I LOVE helping people by teaching, making free videos for YouTube.  It's fulfilling to encourage folks and see them grow.

If you want to hear a short tune on double strung harp while you read...

My student Nancy Beal wants to add:
"People need to know your contribution not only to the harp world... but to the double strung harp world in particular.  The MANY free videos you have done...   the time you have spent helping develop and promote the double strung harp so it is heard and appreciated out in the world...    and the countless hours you spend developing music to take full advantage of the double strung's amazing capabilities.  I could go on and on and ON.   

You have helped so many of us,  with thousands of hours of your time you have donated to encourage us to  embrace all harp, and this particular kind of harp even further.   Using the double strung harp in health care is monumental and has changed the way I play in my work in hospitals."

My goal has always been to make the world a better place.   
Now I realize how important sound is for that.    I have ideas for at least 300 more free teaching tutorials that I want to record.   

My grand daughter needs me and I need to hear her sweet voice. 

30191472_15275408160_r.jpegLaila and Grandma, together 20 hours a week!

Efforts up until the GoFundMe started... 
Four days in hospital after brain injury; CT scans.  Local audiologists, ENT’s.  Prednisone, antibiotics, fluid suction.  Functional Neurology chiropractor.  Prayer, visualization.  Best hearing aids made (didn't work with this type of hearing loss - had to return them).  Chinese medicine.   Curcurmin (natural anti-inflammatory).  Craniosacral therapy.  Dr. MacElveen.

Next steps.
I am on track with the leading edge modalities which have already shown promise, even though these are not covered by my insurance.   I dropped some of them this fall as my funds ran lower and I started to dip into life savings.  So now it's the acupuncture and tons of natural anti-inflammatories, and I think that's an ok holding pattern, because: 


I found out that I have Eustachian Tube Dysfunction which is causing a certain percentage of this hearing loss and may be corrected by an expensive  medical procedure that is covered by insurance (my copay is only $1,400 if I pay everything up front to get the 25% discount.)  January 18 is the big day!!!

30191472_15275437150_r.jpegAt the Southeastern Harp Weekend conference a few years ago.

I have Nancy Beal to thank for getting me started with a “go-fund-me” campaign.  

And YOU all are giving me the FUNDS, and HOPE, to move forward.   I am still incurring expenses but not digging too deep into my life savings yet.  THAT's because of your wonderful help!!  You guys are amazing.

Nancy and I just re-organized the  goal slightly to help me through the January operation without digging too hazardously into life savings.

Your help will, I fervently hope, bring me back to our world of sound. 
I'll definitely send progress reports.   


We are all connected.  Thank you and love to you all.
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Hi all,

Exciting update here! Since the procedure Friday, I of course have inflammation (not as much as they predicted) but even with that, I can ALREADY hear differently. The harp is B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L. It’s not the volume you hear, but all of a sudden a lot of the notes sound “right.”

Before, my left ear might hear a “B” when I plucked a “C” string, and my right hear would hear it as “C.” Grating, to say the least, to hear two discordant sounds. Now, in most frequencies, I hear the same note in each ear. Wow, I forgot the harp sounds like this! No wonder everyone loves it.

Thank your for the love, prayers, support in every way, as I’ve continued on this sometimes horrible, sometimes hopeful, and gradually succeeding journey towards hearing again. This part of the journey may take about 3 months to feel the full effects. More updates of course all the time. Stay warm!

Hugs and more hugs, Carolyn
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Hi all,

Yesterday i had the procedure to enlarge my sinuses and eustachian tubes! I could hear the bones crackling as the areas got “remodeled.” (They put a balloon in, and blew it up to gently widen the canal). I followed that with acupuncture in the afternoon. I'm sure it helped with the fact that although today I'm supposed to be massively inflamed, it's not actually that bad.

Even with some inflammation, I’m not at the super-low-end of the hearing spectrum like last April. So I’m very hopeful! They say it takes 3 months to see the final result, but less for those with no allergies. That’s me, plus there are the natural things I do… so we’ll see!

I took an Eve 22 double to a wonderful new friend in Asheville Thursday and let her keep the harp until today. She is in looooove with it and wants me to bring it back next week to try again and to most likely purchase. But there's the super thing:

She had never touched harp before but was making beautiful tones and improv in the first half-hour with the guidance I gave her. Things that would have been impossible on a regular harp.

I’m inspired now to make a short video series for TOTAL beginners: What the colored strings mean, how to place four fingers in a row, what a "third" is; the finger numbers; how to hold the harp at an angle, very EASY things to do to get soaring.

Thank you ALL for your help on my path to hearing, and my path to helping more people. I will keep you updated.

Below is a video/audio with 15 minutes of relaxing (and yes, easy) double strung harp improv. Use headphones and I hope you enjoy the nature scenes from my place. Love, Carolyn
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Hi all,

Friday I’m excited to be going for a procedure that could make a big difference. It turns out a percentage of this hearing disappearance has been a eustachian tube dysfunction. The procedure is they put a balloon in your eustachian tubes and open them up. Also related to narrow sinuses and they do the same thing for them.

There’s always a disclaimer with a list of possible serious problems. But if there were a disclaimer for every time you get in a car seat, it would read like 3 pages long: “Buckle up. Possible loss of life, possible car crash, damage to fender, neck whiplash… blah blah blah…” I’m visualizing and praying that none of the possible "disclaimer" negatives for the procedure come to pass and total SUCCESS comes from this, getting me back to hearing. Or at the VERY least making me a candidate for hearing aids.

So if you are a praying person, you can help me by praying or visualizing. Please pray for this procedure Friday to be safe and free of any negatives. And to work with amazing healing and a have a great result!

My grand daughter, below - Just think, I may soon hear her more! Love you all bunches, Carolyn
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Hi everybody,

Big news. In 8 days I go for a procedure that may help me hear closer to normal. It may make it possible to use hearing aids.

A major portion of the sudden loss turns out to be due to a eustachian tube dysfunction where the tubes close down and the ear drum can not vibrate. You know how when you come down from an air flight, you can't hear, everything is muffled... and then you pop your ears and you can hear? Imagine you can't pop your ears or hear for months... that's what eustachian tube dysfunction is like.

This has been connected to my head injury and an anatomical problem in my sinuses too. By amazing serendipity (your prayers are working) I was led to something called balloon sinuplasty. With a balloon they enlarge the sinus drainage tubes, instead of with surgery.

But even more important, they can do it for eustachian tubes too. This may allow me to hear.

Today after I found out what it will cost ($1,400 after insurance), an envelope in my mail pile revealed $200 from a wonderful gal that used to come to Southeastern Harp Weekend. That is going straight towards the procedure!!!

If anyone else wants to join in the fun, this might be the BIG breakthrough. You've already helped me fund (costly) modalities that allowed me to come a LONG way. I am still doing treatments and acupuncture and natural anti-inflammatories to be able to hear some; otherwise I would be nearly deaf like I was in April. I am making tutorials again and sometimes can hear the harp pretty well. It is now only one note different left ear to right. It used to be as much as seven notes off.

This procedure is the next step in the path to really hearing again. Your prayers and financial help continue to make this path possible.

Love, Carolyn
P.S. My grand daughter Laila just turned 4. She's learning how to tell time.
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$25,243 of $25,500 goal

Raised by 330 people in 8 months
Created May 27, 2018
Nancy Beal
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