Monday, 10 December 2012

Pondering Noises...

Sometimes things happen in the world around you that make you sit down and reevaluate your own life as such.I've certainly had one of those days today and they're the times when you realise that just perhaps you aren't as comfortable with your own deafness, your own identity as you thought you were. The days when everything just feels a bit of a struggle, and you're not a hundred percent sure whether its really worth working everyday to overcome the barriers that you face.

Of course with my positive role model hat on I know that confidence to shout out and feel at ease with your own deafness is important for your own well-being (and everyone around you's!) but there are some days when you feel like going oh f*** it and putting on your "I don't speak hearing person" tshirt.

I've lived with the fact that my hearing loss is progressive for a few years now, most of the time I don't really give much thought to it. I've learned to get over the panic that happens every time your audiogram shows another 10dB gone... But however comfortable, however much of an incredible role model people might believe me to be I'm just a teenager really, and I have days when the idea of losing my hearing scares me to death.

I might say I hate my hearing aids, that I'd rather go without them, I might throw them away when I'm mad or sad or just plain confused. But if you told me that I would wake up tomorrow morning and they wouldn't be there if I wanted them I have no idea how I would cope. What about music? What about the world around me?

Maybe I'm melodramatic, I know some people who would say I am. But maybe I'm just tired of pretending I'm "cool" with being deaf when actually it makes me cry every time I really sit down and think about it.

I wonder how many other deaf teenagers, either deaf from birth but maybe more specifically those with late onset or progressive loss feel the way I do.

I guess the difficulty with being a late onset progressive deafie is I feel like I somehow missed out on the childhood lectures on how to cope in a world that doesn't seem to see passed the word deaf to actually understand that it means you can't actually hear. I'm a little sick of being told that "your speech is so good that of course I forgot that doesn't mean you understand me like I understand you". I find myself wishing that my speech was a little worse, a little more obvious. Just so people would have a little reminder every time they spoke to me.

So yeah, I guess all this pondering is what happens when your lecturers play 3 DVDs in one day - none of which are subtitled. When you're already exhausted from lipreading conversations in a noisy background just to appear as "normal" as possible then that's a killer right there.

But then what is "normal"? Certainly my social work lecturers wouldn't agree with that particular sentence.

So deaf kids out there... Embrace "abnormality" and rock on.


  1. Do you think you'll eventually transition to a cochlear implant when your HL has progressed to the point your hearing aids no longer give much benefit?

  2. im not sure, im quite aware of the negatives of cochlear implants.. for example a couple of weeks ago i hurt myself really badly and needed a head scan, the doctor pointed out that it was lucky i didn't have an implant as they would have had to remove the magnet apparently.. but then i can see that as a social work student and social worker a cochlear implant might greatly benefit me and even if i still used an interpreter being able to hear some and communicate one to one might benefit me with service users :)

  3. I was born with a hearing loss due to being premature. I resorted to bilateral hearing aids at age 22, and lost my remaining hearing first in my right ear and got implanted with a CI. Then, the worst scenario came along in 2006. I lost the rest of my hearing in my left ear. my "good ear" the one I used the phone with.. it was a low point in my life.. how was I supposed to function as a professional, how was I going to support my family? Millions of questions went through my mind. Finally, in 2009, I gave in and got a second implant. It helped a lot. Still am not successful on phones.. but no matter.. my employer worked around my hearing loss. But.. you can have a CT scan, but not an MRI. I still struggle with "trying to fit in" even at the age of 51. One of these days, I will say "To hell with it all. this is me, Deal with it" :)