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.
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?