“Speak Up! I can’t hear you!”

A most unforgivable crime.

A couple of days ago I read a blog posted by PiedType, (a blogger who I follow religiously) and it was one of her short and sweet type blogs aptly called “Keyboard chorus” with a short video attachment. I never fail to read PT’s blogs sometimes I make comments sometimes not; on this occasion I mentioned that because of my hearing loss I missed a lot more than the clicking of a keyboard. Mine might click I wouldn’t know. Anyway PT acknowledged my comment as always,(she never fails to acknowledge all comments and is always gracious) and I thought I’d cut and paste what she said and then comment:

I can’t imagine what that must be like. I think I’d feel very … vulnerable, or defenseless, or something. Headphones do have the dual benefits of letting you hear what you want to hear … and shutting out what you don’t want to hear.

I had never really given my hearing loss much thought, I suppose because it creeps up so surreptitiously that you don’t become aware of it ’til its gone or almost gone. I’ve always known that someday I’d suffer the same fate as my father and both his parents, luckily for me though I am not stone deaf as they all were, I still have between 20 and 30% hearing.

So how does it feel? I certainly do not feel vulnerable or defenseless, perhaps if it had just struck overnight then maybe I would, but after mulling over it for the past couple of days the only feeling I have is of loneliness, being shut out.

In the normal course of the day, half the time when I’m spoken to I don’t hear or I miss what’s being said which is more frustrating for whoever’s trying to talk to me and they get sick of having to repeat themselves, sometimes over and over again. I don’t have so much of a problem if I’m sitting down watching and listening although I do have to request a repeat more often than not. So I tend to tuck myself away and appear to be an unsociable so and so. but that’s as it may be!

It’s rather hard trying to follow the dialogue/plot of TV programs most actors and actresses seem to mumble then again it may be me, actors of the calibre of James Spader I find I can follow quite easily he enunciates his words clearly and precisely, trouble is that his co-stars or whatever they are don’t! I do use my head phones which are great but even with them I have the sound turned up around the 70 + mark, (I turn the sound from the speakers to mute else I’d probably wake the neighbourhood).

I don’t play my music now as much as I’d like, the family don’t appreciate my having it on as loud as I do so that I can get a whisper of the soft passages. I can hear the music in my mind and follow it but it’s not quite the same as hearing with the ears and waving the arms ferociously as you conduct the Berlin Phil or the London Sym or Boston Pops 🙂 Still when I’m completely home alone I can and do play my music so that I can hear most of it.

I never feel sorry for myself but I do feel sorry when I see or read about children that are born deaf, I think this is the greatest tragedy of all, yes more so than being born blind. Imagine what it must be like to eventually see and understand words but not what they sound like; to watch mouths opening and closing knowing that there are noises coming out and it is not possible to know or understand. To my mind the greatest invention of the 20th century must be the Cocklear implant, (proudly Australian).

It would be good to hear properly but I can’t complain, I’m not shut off completely, but I do think that loneliness is the most dreadful thing about hearing loss; well it is in my case, plus the incessant quiet buzzing sound. Damned annoying!

🙂

6 thoughts on ““Speak Up! I can’t hear you!”

  1. I’m blushing from all the nice things you said about me. Thank you.

    When I said hearing loss would make me feel vulnerable, I was speaking as a woman who lives alone. I was remembering one particular night when I put on my sleep mask as I was going to bed. It came with earplugs, which I’ve never wanted to use. A mask, you see, makes no difference in the dark. It’s my hearing that would alert me to any strange sounds (I hope), and I’m just a bit too anxious a person to don both mask and earplugs. I have a dog, but she’s as likely to hide in a corner as bark at anything. Good company, lousy watchdog. In any case, I have to be self-sufficient and look out for myself. Losing all or most of any sense could really leave me in a bad situation. At the moment, though, my concern is vision more than hearing — cataracts (removed) and glaucoma (seemingly under control after surgery). I’m just grateful to be as healthy as I am for as old as I am.

    Do your headphones have any special capabilities, like filtering out background noises or focusing more on voices or anything like that? Or is increased volume their primary function? So many technological advances these days, it’s hard to stay up to date on everything in every field.

    If there’s buzzing with the hearing loss, I’m afraid that would do me in before anything else. I’ve got zero tolerance for irritations like that that I can’t control. Heh. Maybe that’s why I’m living alone!

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    1. There’s no need to blush at the truth PT, I have no doubt all your followers will agree with me.

      As to the headphones I really don’t have a clue, I went to a reputable dealer explained my problems to a very nice patient young man (he had to be, he listened politely advised me and delivered) and the headphones I use are brilliant. I can here quite clearly and they cut out most if not all the surrounding noises and interference; yet I can still here if somebody comes in and yells at me. Actually I don’t think my family realize the extent of my hearing loss.

      I go for an annual checkup to see how much more I have lost and I have no difficulty hearing or perhaps understanding what the audiologist says to me. She is devoted to her task and has the patience of Job; she looks at her patient/client and speaks very slowly and clearly enunciating every word every syllable she seems to understand what we are missing quite amazing really. Pity my family wont take a leaf out of her book, still I don’t blame them.It’s hard trying to get through to somebody like me.

      As for the buzzing most of the time I’m unaware of it now it kind of fades into the background, I become aware of it when I’m home alone at the computer with no music then it gradually intrudes on me, it’s not as bad as the tinnitus which can hit without warning and drive you up the wall. Thankfully I don’t get that that often.

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  2. I can relate. The older I become, loud noises actually hurt my ear drums and it is not extra volume I need for hearing conversation, I lose certain tones (pitch – whatever) – they are just lost.

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    1. It seems that people don’t give much thought or care about hearing or lack thereof, people who have a visible disability like the blind or amputees receive some consideration and some sympathy, but hearing is something that can’t be seen so it just gets shrugged off as being a non event. I would not wish deafness upon anybody.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Brian, here in the USA hearing aids are very expensive and not covered by medical insurance. I have a certain amount of hearing loss. mostly if other noise around I can’t make out what’s being said. My father had hearing loss and we assumed it was selective. However my Grandmother, an extremely hateful old woman, was deft as a doornail. She passed at the age of 103. Cussing out her Doctor. She would turn off her hearing aid so she wouldn’t have to hear you. However she somehow thought if she couldn’t hear you, you couldn’t hear her. she would sit and cuss e1 loudly. thinking no one knew. LOL
    Love ya
    Lisa

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    1. We are fortunate here Lisa, hearing aids are provided free I do have them but I hate using them, the sound that comes through sounds like it’s coming through an empty tin can. There are aids that you can buy if you want something special, ranging from a few hundred dollars to around $3000.00 but my audiologist assured me that the quality of sound is not much different and in her opinion not worth the expense. Listening to music or somebody speaking on the radio or TV wearing them is most unpleasant but my headphones are really quite brilliant and the sound is not unnatural or unpleasant. I wear the hearing aids when we have company but otherwise they sit in their box/container.

      Sorry to here about your granny dying you must miss her 🙄

      Love you
      Brian

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