Stephani met me when I was in my early 30’s and by then my hearing loss had started to manifest its self, mostly in social settings, where I had started to retreat from loud environments. She puts up with a lot. It must be tough having to repeat yourself constantly. My hearing loss is profound in my left ear, and partial on the right. If I can control my environment, sitting in a particular seat in relation to a gathering I am more comfortable, however, if I end up with someone to my left, event with my cross-aid hearing aids, it can be a real challenge understanding what is being said to me. The other thing is misunderstanding things completely if I am not wearing my hearing aids.
This video was published on the Phonak “Hearing Like Me” site. It encapsulates a very upbeat version of what life is like for a hearing impaired or deaf person vs. what it is like for the hearing person. I think reality is somewhat less rosy than this lovely picture, particularly when you balance things like the stresses of traveling with a hearing impaired individual, anxiety and confusion with other emotions like pride or fear of humiliation. If I could put my life experience into one sentence it would be “bashing through it, one day at a time”. I’d give anything to have my hearing back, honestly I would.
So, what has your experience been? If you are similar to us, what is life like for you?