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Please don't shout at me
My Experience of Deafness
Member Name: Collywobs
My Experience of Deafness
Date: 02/08/01, updated on 02/08/01 (183 review reads)
Advantages: turn my hearing aids off
Disadvantages: silence, comuication problems, depression
Eight years ago, whilst 5 months pregnant with our second child, I noticed I couldn't hear as good as usual. I thought I probably needed my ears syringing or I had an infection.
No such luck for me, I was sent for lots of hearing tests and was then told that I had lost half of my hearing.
What do you do when you are told something like that, well, I spent around a couple of weeks feeling so sorry for myself, wallowing in self pity. Then it hit me harder, I sank into a depression seeing no way for me to communicate, I shut myself away, thinking that there would be no point seeing anyone if I could not understand them, the truth was, I was scared stiff, I didn't know what to do.
Finally I got the kick up the backside that I needed, I had to think about what I would do when my 2nd child arrives.
First the television went and a new tele with teletext was bought, then it was social services to see if they could help me in any way, they fitted a flashing door bell and the lights would flash if the phone rang, they also fitted a flashing smoke detector. Feeling rather stupid I went to see about hearing aids, and was pleasantly surprised at how much back ground noise they picked up.
I carried on like this and learned to lip read, my husband also learned to lip speak along with my family and my sons, things got better and I was established in my way of life. As the years have gone on, more and more of my hearing has gone. I am now classed as profoundly deaf, on my last hearing test I heard just one sound, when I asked about the sound the audiologist told me it was equivalent to Concorde taking off, I had to laugh, the thought of me hearing concorde taking off.
Earlier this year I was given a chance to try some new more powerful hearing aids. There was nothing to loose and everything to gain so I jumped at the offer. They were ordered and finally ready for me to try. I put them in and turned them on, straight away, I could hear
everything going on around me, even paper rustling, I cried I was so happy.
When I got home the first thing I heard was my youngest sons voice, I just stood there bawling my eyes out. That was the first time I had EVER heard his voice, it is the most amazing thing that will always stick in my mind, my sons also now had to come to terms with me being able to hear them. I still need to lip read to understand the sounds but we really have some fun, they would play games, whispering to test my new ears(what they call them) out testing to see if I could really hear them. They were just as amazed as I was.
One thing I did notice was that almost everyone shouted at me, I kept asking "why are you shouting?", some people just laughed when they finally realised what I meant. Others failed to understand me. It's quite simple and goes for all people who are profoundly deaf--
A deaf person will NOT hear you however loud you shout, how can they, they are deaf.
Some people who may be slightly hard of hearing, MAY need you to speak up.
A person who has the same hearing problem as me, nerve deafness, may well need to lip read.
I did ask why my hearing went like this, and I was told I must have bad genes, I know nothing of that subject so won't dwell on it.
There are people who really do want to communicate. I've wrote the following just to show how I ask people to communicate with me.
How can you help people who are deaf?
These are MY ways.
First, please ask if we lip read, I always say to everyone "I'm deaf and need to lip read".
Always speak slower than normal and move your mouth more to pronounce words. It helps us determine the words better.
If we cannot understand you, please do not say "oh it doesn't matter", as maybe it matters to us.
PLEASE, don't shout at me, it won't make a difference.
If you do sig
n language, please don't pressume that all deaf people know it,thats not the case.
That’s just how I live, I'm sure everyone has their own way.
Now I'd like to finish this by telling you about the things that many hearing people should really think about, I know many of you already do.
The most annoying thing for me is people Shouting, very loudly at their children to be quiet, I'm lucky I can now hear my children and I really LOVE to hear them. Imagine how you would feel if you could never hear them again.
Music- I really missed music, it's a wonderful thing. Imagine never hearing a tune again.
Dancing- my past hobbies included dancing, I went to dance school from the age of 9. Yes, some of you must be thinking I am daft, what has dancing got to do with deafness. The answer, if I cannot hear the music how can I dance.
Telephone- I could talk for England, some people moan "oh who's that now". When you don't have a choice it makes it upsetting at times.
I have a special gift, I can hear sounds now, not everyone will be able to, but please just stop and think for a moment. We don't want to be deaf and nothing would please me more than to be able to communicate without asking you to repeat yourself.
Hearing my sons voice for the first time will remain one of my greatest moments in life.
I don't want sympathy I just want to be treated as you would like to be treated. I'm sure you would feel similar if you were in my circumstances. Thanks for letting me share this with you.
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