Sneaky Peek : My Silent World

These little babies may not be the coolest accessory in town, but they are my life line!

I was diagnosed with a mild-to-moderate hearing impairment 6 years ago, after I noticed my television volume kept creeping up and wondering how many times can I say ‘Beg your pardon‘ before it become ridiculous?  Nick deserves a medal for his patience with me, but he has been so incredibly supportive.

My impairment was the cause of having measles when I was young, coupled with some industrial deafness (ski lift engines and helicopters).  I was in denial for quite some time and refused to believe that at 35, I would have to wear HEARING AIDS!

Hearing Aids always conjured up that image of the old fella in church when you were little.  You would see him constantly adjusting the volume and hear that terrible feedback sound emanating from those ugly devices.

It is socially acceptable to announce: “I have to get glasses” as you then have the choice of finding the most hip, cutting edge and brand endorsed glasses.  Mmmmm….I wonder if Burberry would endorse Hearing Aids?

I didn’t announce: “I have to get hearing aids” as I felt they were so stigmatised, and I was embarrassed.  To make matters worse I almost had to re-mortgage the house to pay for them – they cost me $8000!

When I started wearing mine, it took a long time for my brain to adjust to all the new sounds that I had been missing for 20 years.  There were birds chirping that I didn’t have the pleasure of hearing before.  It also took me a long time to come to terms with it.  I was so self-conscious of my new ‘accessories’ and would go to great lengths to avoid people noticing them, always wearing my hair out to cover them.  I was mortified the first time someone noticed and said something.

I still find social situations in noisy environments quite challenging and having a hearing impairment makes you feel quite ‘dumb’ at times.  I have become quite adept at lip-reading and nodding at the appropriate times (I think?).

As the years have rolled by, I have accepted my impairment and it is just a part of my life now.  I wear my hair proudly in a pigtail now and Poppy is quite taken with them!

One comment on “Sneaky Peek : My Silent World

  1. Tim
    Thursday, 25 October 2012 at 4:54 pm #

    It is interesting what is socially accepted at certain times and as you say brand endorsed, but things do change. It is great that you wear your hair proudly however you like.

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