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!