Thursday, 12 June 2014

Pardon, did you speak?

Wot's all this 'ear then? This ear is my good ear, the other ear is useless. When I lie with this ear on the pillow I can't hear very much at all. This can be a bonus. If I had a partner who snores I would still be able to sleep, but I haven't. Mayze cat doesn't snore, and she lies at the bottom of the bed on my feet. Well I don't think she snores, I can't hear her. 
The other ear, my rubbish ear, has been sore for a couple of weeks. The hearing aid is rubbing it a bit, so I have been leaving it out, and sticking some Germoline on the sore spot. I stick Germoline on anything that is a bit sore, it's great on blisters, and chapped lips.

I have been walking around without a hearing aid. Not good if I meet someone in the street and I have to explain that I can't enter into a conversation because it is too difficult to catch every word they say. Sometimes I try and keep up by lip reading, and imagining what the missing words might be. If the person rabbits on as normal, or talks to the side of my head, I have to give up and make an excuse that I have to go. Then there are people who will sympathize with my predicament and talk very loudly with their face six inches from mine. They talk very s l o w l y, emphasizing each syllable, and I get the feeling that they think I have a learning difficulty. This makes me feel uncomfortable because I don't like people in my face.

Not being able to hear very well can bring all kinds of frustrations and problems. For a start people don't know you have the disability if your hearing aid is covered up with long hair. It's not like wearing glasses that show you can't see very well. A lot of deaf people don't want to wear the National Health hearing aid, because it is rather obvious, and they pay a lot of money for a smaller discreet one which hides inside the ear. I personally would rather see the kidney shaped bit of plastic hooked over someone's ear, than have them struggle to hear what I say. I think, aha, another deaf person, I will modify my speech so they can understand me. And by modification I mean facing them, not too close, speaking in a normal voice, not shouting, and speaking clearly.

It's not all bad being deaf. There are times when I want things around me to be quiet, so I can retreat into my own little world. The retreating bit I have to do anyway when I am in a room with lots of people talking among themselves. Even with my hearing aid in, I find it impossible to engage in conversation when there is a lot of noise going on around me. If I am sat by myself and not speaking to anyone, as happened at the party I recently went to, I am happy just to sit on the edge and watch others have a good time. I can entertain myself with the thoughts passing through my head. Someone spotted that I was alone and asked me to join them. I felt it would be rude not to, so I went over to their table. Of course I could not resist joining in the conversation and felt I ought to make an effort. I enjoyed their company, but oh, it was hard work. When I am in this scenario I find it takes less effort to tell stories and entertain. It might appear that I am hogging the conversation but it is easier than trying to catch a few words here and there of others talking.

There are advantages of not being able to hear very well. I don't like loud noise, so I can choose to take my hearing aid out. I spend a lot of time daydreaming, getting lost in my own thoughts, and noise interrupts that process. When I can't hear it's as if I am in my own little bubble, and I can choose who to let in, or close the door. I have been wearing my hearing aid continuously every day from when I get up to when I go to bed, but now I have discovered the joys of switching off the world outside, I think selective hearing is the way to go. What was that? Did you say something?
Toodle pip.

20 comments:

  1. I stick Iodine on everything, only at night though or it looks like I've been Tangoed

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  2. Smile. I too have hearing lose. Mine is genetic and hearing-aids (turning up the volume) won't help. The miss-hearing someone can be great fun when you repeat back to someone what you thought you heard. My ears can hear some strange stuff!

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  3. Sometimes--in my household that includes three adult males--I wouldn't mind being able to turn down sound and tune out whatever is going on. Last night, for example, DS1 was going to grill up pork chops and cobs of corn for dinner. We apparently ran out of propane. You'd have thought the world was going to end. I said, "It's no big deal, I'm preheating the oven so just bring it all in and I'll oven roast it." Oyyyyyy, veyyyyyyyy! Picture three guys frantic about a BBQ grill.

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  4. You remind me of my dad. He has a hearing aid but prefers not to wear it and, then, when he phones me (he lives about 1200 miles away), I have to repeat everything about 3 times, in varying tones and speed of speech.
    Myra, from Winnipeg, Canada where it is about 20C and has brilliant sunshine.

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  5. Another one, here (hear! Lol) I have hearing aids - I have to or wouldnt be able to work (in forties so retirement a very long way off) I also have tinnitus, 24/7 every day. A nightmare so I never get peace. Have had so many problems, my ear drum was bleeding the other week.. not getting anywhere with the doctors or the nhs so have had to scrape together the money to see a private consultant in desperation / hope they can do something. Tired of having to constantly tell people I can't hear and at times feel like I should walk round with a sign round my neck to save me the aggregravtion.It's affected my life on every level so your positive posts are very motivating. Thank you. Louise from your old town. x

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    1. Hi Louise. I will be in my old town this Saturday afternoon/evening, 14th. Send me your phone number in a comment (which I won't publish) if you want to meet.

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  6. My father would remove his hearing aid when he didn't want to be in the conversation! Also, my mother would say he had "selective hearing" when, in a quiet setting no doubt, he heard a comment she made, thinking he couldn't hear!
    Ann in Canada

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  7. I so agree with everything you have said Ilona. I am deaf and get a lot of talk from people urging me to get a hearing aid as it is very annoying for them when I don't hear what they say first time and it probably is. Like you I just switch off if it becomes too difficult to hear. It is a strain to hear some people more than others. It can quite wear you out,
    I also have very selective hearing and sometimes hear things others would rather I had not heard.

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  8. With all the technology available you'd think better solutions to hearing probs could be found these days.
    Meanwhile, thank goodness for sub-titles on the TV. And I use head-phones to listen to the radio.
    I lot of folk do mumble these days - even actors. High-lighted by the inaudible dialogue in the recent TV series Jamaica Inn. I switched off after the first few minutes thinking it was just me and was kinda relieved the next day when there was a fuss in the press about it cos nobody had understood a word!
    Can always understand you, Ilona, on your little videos. So if you can do it why can't the broadcasters with all their ultra expensive equipment?
    Anyway, no need to stay in and watch telly at the mo with all this glorious weather.
    Have fun in the sun!
    Luv Granny G xx

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  9. A lovely post on the good and bad of hearing loss. I cannot bear when I see someone doing the big exaggerated caper just because someone has said they are hard of hearing. For god sake ask the person how does it work best for you? Everyone is different in both their hearing loss and how they best like to cope. I can quite see why you go for your options!

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  10. I too have a hearing aid in my left ear. Only got it a few years ago despite have hearing problems since I was at Primary School. Getting the hearing aid was a revelation...I did not realise how much I missed. It's not perfect though and it magnifies other sounds so in groups or with my back to people I can't hear. I also work with people who speak very quietly...not good. Staff room conversations are challenging ...oh and I can sympathise...I now get eczema so have to use ear spray every so often to stop the problems. Add to that I can't tell the volume of my own voice so talk quietly whilst to myself seeming to be loud and I quite often get ignored...or appear to...it can be distressing...However there are a lot worse things I could have. It's good to hear how others have the same issues and can share. Thank you for helping me. Don't mean to moan...honestly.

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  11. How did you manage to photo your ear so well lol . Lovely post Xx Laura

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    1. It's one of those new fangled selfies. Arm outstretched, hopefully point in the right direction, press shutter. Took about 8 shots to get one pic. Choose the best, crop the edges out, a touch of contrast to sharpen and tweak the colour saturation. Easypeasy.

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  12. This is all the same as my husband...you have to yell to get him to hear you. Selective? At times I believe so!

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  13. I have two hearing aids and I really don't mind them. I don't mind people seeing them, I only mind the squeaky feedback that is unavoidable. I usually pin a button to my handbag saying I am hearing impaired just to let others know.

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  14. Spot on Ilona/ I read this to my OH( He is also partially sihjted) and he can identify with all you have said. I was diagnosed with impaired hearing this last week and the two of you have given me food for thought.

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  15. Theres a deaf man near us who doesn't use his hearing aid and talks very loud, you can hear him from the other end of the block. He hadn't got any secrets.
    I'm not sure that my hearing is how it should be and like you i struggle to hear conversation when theres background noise. I wonder if the noise from driving trucks has caused it.
    A joke for you, i know you like them and i hope it doesn'offend anyone.
    A deaf man goes to the doctors about his hearing. The doctor looks in his ears and tells him they're full of jelly and custard. I'm afraid you're a trifle deaf.
    Dave.

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  16. I am deaf in the same ear as you Ilona and having been on holiday with my partner recently I can tell you that sleeping on the 'good' ear did NOT work, this is why we have separate houses. I only use my (purple) hearing aid when I am in a one to one situation though sometimes in restaurants etc. I have to take it out as the ambient noise is too great.

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  17. My father-in-law is very deaf too and when he turns down his hearing aid, so the background noise isn't too loud, then he talks loud and embarrasses my mother-in-law! And so, she has to give him a poke! I wonder how much you all lip-read? We have deaf neighbors across the street who "talk" in sign language. I've "eavesdropped" on some of their arguments and watch their hands fly!

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  18. I think all males were born with selective hearing...it's in their DNA. Haha

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