Lipreader

I’m a lipreader and I say that to people thinking it’s straight forward.  I haven’t said hard of hearing in a few years because people think it’s talk louder, not look at me.  I want them to look at me so I hear better and I can see.

A few weekends ago I attended a little get together.  The lights were dimmed to create atmosphere so I asked the host if he could turn up the lights so I could hear better.  He laughed and thought that was so funny and I meant to deliver it in a humorous way to keep the request light.  My husband told him, “It’s so she can see your lips better.”  The host is a sweetheart and he turned up the lights and I did okay!

Most hearing people get it when I say I lipread.  (It’s politically correct to use speechreading these days but most people understand the term lipreading better.)  I use my remaining hearing also, like pieces to a puzzle.  Lipreading works well.  It gets them to face me and sound is delivered right to me and I can use my lipreading ability too.  Between the two, I get along great in many situations.  Until I don’t.

Being a Burning Man person since 2002, I attend regional burns and this last weekend was one of them.  I went to run around the fire like the old days but a ranger stopped me with arms out.  I hear enough to know she was talking but heard nothing of what she said so I told her I lipread.  She immediately started using American Sign Language (ASL) with me and I t was hard not to roll my eyes.  Or maybe I did. I told her “I lipread, I don’t sign.”  She stopped but then she didn’t know how to talk to me. She kept looking down and away so I told her to keep her face toward the fire so I could use the light too.  After all that, she was pretty good and explained the new rules of the burn.  I eventually admitted to her I am learning sign but I’m not fluent enough to have conversations yet.  She told me she’s an interpreter at the local college.

Today I was talking to another lipreading friend and she said she often has problems lipreading interpreters.  I thought that was odd at first because at work the interpreters will voice interpret for me when necessary….but wait.  I work at the state Deaf and Hard of Hearing Center.  They know me and other hard of hearing people so they know more about our needs.

So I started thinking about it. I have a neighbor across the street who is also an ASL interpreter at the local community college.  She’s painfully shy and doesn’t use any body language when talking to me nor facial expressions.  (Hard to imagine her interpreting.) She talks super low too and I barely register her voice most of the time.  I think my friend is right, most ASL interpreters don’t know how to talk to the hard of hearing.  What an odd world.  The Deaf and the Hard of Hearing have troubles with hearing communication so you’d think it would cross over but it generally doesn’t.

lipreading website

Want to learn more about lipreading?  Here’s a few sites for you.

Rachel Kolb.  She’s deaf and she signs but she also lipreads.  She made a great video describing how hard it can be to lipread.  https://vimeo.com/148127830

Here’s a site for practicing lipreading though it’s from the United Kingdom.  The accent makes it harder to understand however I was surprised at how many words I understood.  https://pddcs.co.uk/2013/11/19/online-lipreading-practice-resource/

Here’s the American version which is easier but after a few lessons they charge a fee.  https://www.lipreading.org/

For a lot of fun and to see how lipreading can go so wrong, watch the bad lipreading series on YouTube.  Here’s a football one to get you started https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-kGosnzvjU There are all kinds of them, including politics, Star Wars and more.  Be sure to click the CC button. Sometimes it’s YouTube craptions but mostly I think they have good captions.

Here’s my favorite speechreading book: https://www.amazon.com/Speechreading-Carol-Garretson-Harriet-Kaplan/dp/B0088OYYFW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1468884139&sr=8-1&keywords=speechreading

There are DVD lessons to buy out there too but I’m not seeing the one I work with.  I’ll find her full name when I go to work on Wednesday and enter it in the comments afterward.

There are lipreading classes available.  I know because we teach them here in Utah.  I teach the class myself and it’s my favorite one.  Look up your state Deaf and Hard of Hearing center for resources.  Try a web search too.  The bigger the city, the more likely there will be one in your area.

Summer Busy

I keep thinking I need to post but haven’t had much time between summer camp trips, work, family and holidays. I’m not done writing about hearing loss by far but I haven’t had a lot of sit down time at my computer either. Even now I’m tapping this all out on my phone. 

Summer fun (and work) also involves the SayWhatClub convention coming up August 3-6 in Boise, Idaho. I have so much fun at their conventions and look forward to every year. I’m also on the convention committee which means a chunk of my time goes into helping to put this event on. The last month always has its challenges, the main one being getting a temporary hearing loop put in.  None of the audio visual companies up there are willing to put in a loop. Most haven’t even heard about it so I got to do a little educating at the very least. 

It’s like Boise is in the dark ages in regards to hearing loss needs. Not only are we having problems with the loop but there are issues with getting a play captioned at the Shakespeare Festival. They are really dragging their feet over this.  Boise needs us. 

In spite of the problems I know things will come through. I’m reminded that success is not a straight line. 


I will have fun. Here’s picture of past fun…

2012 My first ever SWC convention. This is the welcome party where I wore balloons because the night before someone learned the ASL phrase “She has fake boobs.”


2013 Fun with my tutu at the banquet.


2014 My tiaras and her bug eye glasses made for a lot of goofing around.


I missed 2015 only because my grandson chose that time to come into this world.  I have a great outfit planned for the banquet this year, pictures will come after the convention. 

So I leave with this quote I saw in FB this morning. 


From one of my favorite authors, Paulo Coelho. I’m not going to apologize for my hearing loss or regret it. I’ve met too many good people thought it to ever regret again. Hate myself? Never, there’s more fun to be had, especially with my tribe. Dieting-ah that is something I think about but the quote is right…be brave, be who we are and take risks. Even with hearing loss we can live this life!

my Not hard of hearing life

I’m going to post about me today and not so much about hearing loss.  Hearing loss will slip in because it’s part of my every day life in some form or another.

  Here’s my husband.

kenny

We met in 2007 at Burning Man.  We’ve had our ups and downs like most couples and we hung in there enough to get married a year and a half ago.  We are doing well as a married couple, to death do us part.

We camp a lot.  He might say we don’t but I think we do.  Last week we were up at Green River Lakes, WY.  Last month we were in the Grand Staircase near Esclante, UT and Capitol Reef.  The month before that, we were camping in Eastern Arizona for their regional burn.  Next month it’s camping again for Utah’s regional burn.

Sagurao Man

Saguaro Man in Arizona

Grand Staircase

Green River Lakes, WY

I have 3 kids, my daughter being the oldest.  All 3 are in their 20’s.  I love family time with my kids. I don’t to get to see them all 3 together at once but when I do I sure treasure it.  We have good times together playing cards, watching movies and goofing around.

kids and me

Me and the kids in 2008

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It can’t ever be a serious picture.

A few of many card nights.

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This picture includes my son-in-law.

My daughter has given me two grandsons I absolutely adore.  The oldest is 5 years old and the youngest turned 1 year old last month.  I never knew being a grandma would be so much fun.  My daughter says it’s because I get to sleep at night.  Perhaps.

grandbabies

wagon

My parents live in Arizona and I try to visit them when I can.  (Except summer, I’m done with desert summers.)  I have just as much fun with my parents as I do my kids.  We all get along (my parents & my kids) so well it’s abnormal I think.  We always thought I favored my mom’s side of the family but we found out this winter I actually look more like my dad.

I have a 12 year old cat, Squeaker.  I’m not sure how old he is even though I’ve had him since he was a kitten. I’ve lost track of time and it’s like he has always been around.  He’s 19-20 pounds and my constant companion.

In between husband, kids, grandkids, cat and camping I read and write.  I sit on the patio under the apricot tree with the husband, go on picnics up in the mountains and travel visiting friends.  In between that I cut hair and work part-time at the state deaf and hard of hearing center.  I volunteer for the SayWhatClub, I’m on the steering committee for our local HLAA chapter.  I also run a few Facebook pages and help with a few others too.  There’s rarely a dull moment which is why there are gaps in my posts and delays when I reply to comments.  It’s a busy life!

The Hard of Hearing Wand

There are times I wish I could wave a wand to make others hard of hearing for a day or two.  I’m not supposed to wish hearing loss on anyone, I know, but some people need to learn empathy.  I don’t wish on it everyone, just a few of the very difficult people I run across. I wish I could have waved it over the lady in the salon who insisted I keep answering the phone even though I got names, numbers and information wrong all the time (this was before caption phones).  I would have waved the wand over another lady, a secretary,  at an assisted living home I worked at as hairdresser.  She never would come close enough for me to hear/see her properly  like I was contagious.  Or my ex-husband who would hated to repeat and would say, “I SAID…”  And the people who won’t stop moving their heads when I’m trying to lipread them.  So maybe I’ll wave my wand around a bit here on my blog.

Here’s some things I’d specifically like hearing people to understand:

Words full holes and the mind racing to fill those holes at the sound of speech hoping it makes sense at some point.  It can be exhausting.

hearing loss looks like

See the difference?

Why hearing aids aren’t called ‘hearing miracles’.  Yes they help but they do not make my hearing perfect again.  Then you’d know why the question, “Are your ears on” makes me twitch.

ears on

Yes my ears are on.

Now that you are experiencing temporary hearing loss, try hearing someone from another room; to hear a voice and not understand most of what’s said.

in the dark

It’s like being in the dark.

How about talking on the phone with a disembodied voice (very similar to above)?  No lips to read, no body language to take cues.

hearing in the dark

Yes!  I’m still in the dark.

You like watching TV and movies?  Try it with a hearing loss and you’d know just how hateful it is without captions.

no captions

That’s all we hear on TV without captions.

 

This is for the people who think they are funny, who repeatedly say “huh” as a joke.

not funny

To feel what it’s like to be dismissed and excluded from conversation with the words “Never mind.”

never mind

Those words are a wall.

That’s just to few people.  Thank goodness the majority of the people I run across are good with accommodating me.  I keep my focus on the good people mainly and I happen to know a lot of them. Mostly I’d use the magic wand for good; to restore confidence, take away pain and give hope to more people with hearing loss.

At the ALDA convention last year in Scottsdale, the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing did give hearing loss to a number of people for a day without a wand.  They got people to agree to wearing custom made ear plugs and asked them to wear them for a day.  It was eye opening to all those who participated, giving them more empathy towards those in their lives who have hearing loss.  If you are interested, Dianna Nanez, a reporter for the Arizona Republic, wrote about her story.

What could you add to this list?

 

Acceptance of My Hearing Loss

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In 2007 my hearing took a big drop and I knew it because three year old hearing aids were not powerful enough anymore. It saddened and concerned me since I couldn’t afford new hearing aids but life continued as it had in spite of it. I needed a few more repeats than I used to and co-workers at the salon helped me with the phone more often. They helped without hesitation or questions. I had family and friends who acted as my translators while running errands around town and because it was a smaller town, people knew and accepted me. I had no idea I had such a wonderful support system in place.

support system

At the end of 2008 I moved out of state to a big city away from my support system. I moved with confidence in myself, my abilities and belief that people were helpful. That confidence took a pounding! Even though I landed a job right away, there was no one to help me with the phone anymore. Making matters worse, something in the building made my t-coils hum rendering my hearing aids useless. I took my volume control phone to work thinking that would help but words were still garbled and I couldn’t get names or numbers right. There were people who called to hear my voice and say “never mind, I’ll call back later.” (Why did I understand that!) It didn’t help having a co-worker who pressured me to answer the phone. Soon I began to loathe the phone…and the salon.

reverberaion

My hearing aids had no idea where to focus.

The salon, though beautiful, was an acoustic nightmare. My hearing aids wouldn’t function, meaning I couldn’t hear clients in my chair either. I became a boring hairdresser with nothing to say, unable to create the necessary bond with clients. Most of my first time customers didn’t come back to me. Every day I went into work a little later and more often than not I came home crying. Who knew a hearing drop would affect me this much well after it happened?

I quit after 6 months of torture. My working life as I knew it ended. Ever since I was 18 years old hair had been my anchor. If all else failed I could do hair but the wind was knocked of me here.

In one sense I withdrew. Socializing felt like a nightmare, all around me was English but it may as well have been Spanish. It was nothing but a crush of noise that didn’t make sense. I stayed home more often and started cleaning houses for money because cleaning didn’t require hearing. I became an introvert after being social most of my life.

During this time I joined the SayWhatClub again seeking solace. SWC helped me once before and I was sure it would help me again. They listened to me, they sympathized and they helped me get back on my feet again slowly but surely. I started to spend more time on my computer reading and replying to emails. To my husband it seemed like I was withdrawing from reality but it was more like healing instead.

There is a local HLAA chapter here, an advantage to living in the big city. My extrovert self sent me to a meeting. I needed people and I needed people who would understand. This was one of my best moves. I experienced CART/live event captioning for the first time. I didn’t have to hear, I could see the conversation as it happened right there on the screen. I met people who knew to face me and speak a little slower. I admired several people for their advocacy efforts and decided I wanted to be like them when I grew up. I became a regular at the meetings and it wasn’t long before I was part of their steering committee.

The meetings are held at the local Deaf and Hard of Hearing center. I started attending their hearing loss classes and captioned lectures/workshops. Coming in from the outside world, I felt the weight of hearing loss fall off my shoulders. I discovered a place safe for me.

A few years later I started attending hearing loss conventions and WOW! Here was another world created just for those with hearing loss, an ultimate place to learn and socialize without fear. There were loops and captions in every workshop making it easy to be there. I had tons of energy leftover to hang out with new friends.

support

The HLAA convention in Rhode Island had a workshop called Hard of Hearing and Exceptional: Landing the Job and Achieving Career Success led by Malik El-Amin. I remember him telling us to be in control of our hearing loss, don’t let our hearing loss control us. Control my hearing loss? My hearing loss ruled my world. How would I ever own it? Even though I couldn’t grasp the concept at the time, those words continued to bounce around in my head.

I continued with my hearing loss groups. I achieved a small victory in getting captions at a workshop. I became a hard of hearing assistant at the Deaf and Hard of Hearing center teaching hearing loss classes to others. I attend workshops on advocacy and go to the state capitol to show support at the legislative level. I also got back into doing hair out of the salon this time by going to home bound people’s houses. Even if some of those things put me out of my comfort zone, I pushed myself forward.

None of this is new to my writing, you may have seen it throughout my posts. What’s new is I’m confessing acceptance of my hearing loss and I wouldn’t change my journey. I’m comfortable with it and I learned to be in charge of it. I’ve been through hell because of it but I can’t hate my hearing loss anymore. This is difficult to explain because few people reach this level. I tried to talk about it once and botched it. Hopefully I don’t sound like I’m from another planet this time.

In short, here’s my hindsight:

  • I realized some years ago that most everyone has something to deal with; depression, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, ADD, hearing loss and so much more. I’m not the only one trying to figure how to live well with an affliction. Sometimes we feel like we are the only ones in the world with a cross to bear but we aren’t. Talking to others about their issues keeps a balance.
  • In the last 5 or 6 years I read every book on hearing loss I could get my hands on. I joined hearing loss groups and attended their conventions. I feel less isolated being around others who also have hearing loss. Through them, I acquired a nationwide network of people with hearing loss.
  • Without hearing loss, I would never have met some of the neatest people I know. If I had to chose my hearing or my friends, I’d keep my hearing loss. I treasure the people it brought me to.
  • I took a lipreading class. It’s hard and I’m not anywhere near a perfect lipreader but it helped. I started teaching the class. Repetition is a good teacher. Let go of hearing/seeing every word, catch what you can and let the rest go. If nothing came through, ask for a repeat or better yet, a rephrase. Letting go of hearing every single word took a lot of weight off my shoulders.
  • I learned to advocate for myself personally and in public. It gave me confidence. I learned to advocate through workshops, classes and support groups.
  • Volunteering for hearing loss organizations gave my hearing loss a purpose. There are an estimated 48 million people out there with hearing loss. Many of those people could use help and guidance of some sort. After you’ve learned a thing or two, return the favor and pass it on. My volunteer efforts looked good on my resume and I was hired to be a hard of hearing assistant for the state. Your volunteer efforts could lead you to a magical place.
  • Relax. It took me years to relax in social settings. Once my confidence built up I relaxed more. The less I stress, the more I hear with my ears and my eyes.
  • I don’t have to be a part of everything. I pick and chose what I’ll do and won’t do. Am I too tired for speechreading? Then no. Will the sports movie my husband wants to see have captions, no? Then I’ll pass on that. I’m not interested in extreme sports anyway. Should it be accessible? Yes but this one’s not my fight.

There’s probably more to this list. It’s been hard to put my finger on just what brought me around to complete acceptance. It doesn’t mean it’s all a breeze now. I get mad and sometimes I get hurt. The difference is I snap out of it quicker because I know what to do. I take the experience and think, “What can I do to make this better next time?” If I can’t make it better, maybe it’s not worth my time and effort.

There could be another big drop in my hearing in the future. That would mean more anxiety as I feel my way around, figuring out what works best again. It will shake up the world as I know it. I’ll have my fits and I’ll have to reach yet another level of acceptance to some degree. However, I already have super role models in place so I won’t be so alone should it happen again.

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So be upfront about your hearing loss. Talk about it. Learn about it. The more you know the easier it is to work with. The more people you know, the more help there is available.

 

Are you gambling with communication?

Bluffing – “To engage in a false display of confidence or aggression in order to deceive or intimidate someone.” Google bluffing and watch gambling come up. Are you gambling with communication?

bluffing 1

Bluffing is the first coping strategy we pick up as hard of hearing. I don’t think we are aggressive in nature and probably most are the complete opposite being more in the passive range. We bluff to pass as normal (whatever that is). We bluff to make others think we are keeping up with conversation when we aren’t. The consensus seems to be three repeats and if we don’t understand it, we resort to bluffing. Why? Because we are embarrassed. By three times we should have heard it. What’s wrong with our hearing aids? We paid good money for them and we still can’t understand what people say? We also dread the question, “Are your ears on?”

Instead of asking for another repeat at number three (or even better, a rephrase) we judge the other person’s tone, body language and facial features for clues, then come up with a one or two word answer to fit the question. I could say the word “wow” in several ways to fit what I saw and I got by with it until my ex-husband started outing me. He knew my whole routine and would laugh. He’d tell the other person, “She didn’t understand a word you said.”

How dare he?! If I wanted to bluff, it was my right, only he kept outting me, giving me no other choice. Part of me hated him for it but another part was grateful. Every time the other person, be it friend or salesman, would apologize, back up and look at me to repeat. It worked so I didn’t complain too much. After awhile I learned to beat him to the punch instead, “I’m hard of hearing and couldn’t understand what you said.” At least I did when it really mattered to me.

The rest of the time I went right along bluffing sometimes at work and sometimes while running errands. Not everyone needed to know I was hard of hearing. Being a hairdresser, half my clients wanted to talk at me and required little response… usually. Sometimes I read the person wrong and came up with the wrong “wow.” Seeing their surprised look I back peddled, finally admitting I was hard of hearing and could they repeat that since I misunderstood. I might even show them my hearing aid to prove it.

It took joining the SWC in the late 90’s to get over bluffing most of the time. All these years later, however, I still bluff at places like the bank because most of the time they are asking about the weather or wanting to know how I want my cash back. I also do it at the grocery store where the typical questions are:

  • Did you find everything okay?
  • Paper or plastic?
  • Stamps or ice?

Later I learned this as the coping strategy “prediction” so it’s not really bluffing. Or is it?

Out of curiosity, I asked my SWC friends how they broke their bluffing habit. Here’s some of their responses:

  • I broke it after joining SWC, said another person.
  • “Bluff? I found it easier to be antisocial until I embraced my hearing loss.”
  • “I developed new ways to communicate after joining SWC. I learned from others experiences.”
  • Someone else said “I’m deeply entrenched in the habit. I don’t want to disrupt the flow of conversation.
  • Another friend said, “I entertain people with what I thought I heard. I’m okay with faking in a crowd as long as I don’t have to give my opinion. If I want to know I ask later. I do not bluff in a one on one conversation.”
  • “I’m tired of telling people I’m hard of hearing.”
  • One friend said, “I can always ask later if I want to know what was said.”
  • “I bluff when I’m too tired and can’t cope anymore. It’s too much work to hear.”
  • “I hate hearing the words, Never mind.”

There are a lot of reasons why and when we bluff. Many of us stop bluffing as much after joining a support group. With support comes more ideas and courage to tell it like it is. Hearing aids are imperfect and while they help it doesn’t compare to normal hearing. We learn to tell people what hurts and hope they make positive changes.

My husband called me out for bluffing a few years ago. He came in while I was typing something at my computer. He said, “yadda yadda yadd.” I didn’t look up and replied “Uh huh.” He stood on the other side of my desk pointing a finger at me. “You just bluffed. That’s the same to me as never mind is to you!” I stopped typing and stared at him. (Why did I hear that and not what he said?) His answer blew me away. I hit the roof anytime someone tells me “never mind” (he’s experienced it) and here he felt the same way over bluffing. Is that really the way the hearing people close to us view bluffing? To be fair, he should have got my attention first before talking…but I did bluff.

While it is a coping strategy, it isn’t the best one and we miss many things and we may agree to the wrong thing with the deaf nod.. But sometimes we are tired. When I’m tired I fall back on bluffing. Auditory fatigue is real.

Prediction is another strategy and can be confused with bluffing. At the grocery store the clerk might ask that odd question and then I back peddle. Other times I nod in encouragement because I’m waiting to see if I understand the rest of the conversation before stopping them to ask for a repeat. My brain might fill in the missing pieces and understand the second half. I wait because about the time I ask them to repeat, my brain already filled in the missing slots and I understand so I learned to have patience.

I’m not going to say stop bluffing because I haven’t fully stopped myself. I have cut way, way back compared to those early days. I used to be embarrassed but I’m not anymore. I have a different way of communicating, why should I be ashamed?

Many, many people withdraw because of hearing loss. There are links to dementia for that sort of withdrawal from society. I had a grandma who helped build a senior center in a small town, she knew many people and was social until she got diabetes. She changed her whole life because of that diagnosis and the downhill turn was alarming. I don’t think it’s just hearing loss that makes people withdraw from society, people have too many reasons why they can’t do it anymore. They can do it. You can do it because if I can, you can. It’s an obstacle from the normal (there’s that word again) not the end of the world. There are ways around those obstacles if you choose. The answers above suggest joining a support group helps a great deal. Join SWC, join a local hearing loss chapter. Get to know others, make new friends and find new goals. I find my life very enjoyable these days in spite of hearing loss and maybe even because of it.

Meet My Friend (Blank)

Chelle, this is my friend (Blank)… (Blank) meet Chelle.

forgot your name

Conversation continues after introductions so I don’t stop to ask for a repeat.  I’m trying to keep up with words and names don’t seem as important right away.  Then again, names are important.  When I see them again I’m embarrassed when they remember my name and I don’t know theirs.  I can lipread some names because they are common but other names are different.  Other times I miss most of the letters in their name because it’s out of my sound range.  This is typical for a lot of hard of hearing people.

Ken helps me sometimes by finger spelling the names before or after meeting someone.  Last summer I made it a point to understand the names of several new camp mates by telling them I was about deaf.  (I didn’t want them thinking I was snob when I didn’t answer them also.)  They all faced me and we repeated names until I got them right.  That worked but I haven’t done it since.

I put the question to Facebook friends and they came up with a lot of good answers.

  • Have them write the name down. Carry a notebook and pen or get them to type it out on your phone.  My friend Susan said she needs it written down or she gets frustrated with the repeats also.  Another friend Michele agreed with this. She said the more they repeated their name the more panicked she became, now tells people, “This isn’t working, let’s try something else.”  Several of us agreed it’s easier to see names written. Maybe we should always wear name tags?
  • Ask them to spell it out.  This can work but sometimes I get stuck on letters so for me this isn’t a sure thing either.
  • Drawing the letters in the air or on a desk.
  • Michele says she might put the ball in their court and asks them to suggest something to help her understand their name.  What a creative suggestion. Sometimes a rhyme helps.  Chelle Belly as kids called me in grade school though I was stick thin.  Or sometimes I tell people Chelle, it’s short for Michelle.
  • Eleanor said “Ask for a business card.”  Wow.  That’s a great suggestion. I know I have one I can hand out to people so others must have them too.  Rosie says people in other cultures have ‘visiting cards’ and hand them out to people as they call on them.
  • Cheri says if there’s a list of attendees for an event, she’ll ask to look at it before hand.
  • Another great suggestion came from Jan.  She takes a picture of the people she meets and puts them in her phone right away.
  • Finger spelling came up a few times.  Ken has a hard time learning sign language but he can handle the alphabet and that has helped a great deal. A lot of people have learned the manual alphabet at some point so maybe we can ask.

Another common factor came up through all the replies.  A lot of us fake or bluff when it comes to names.  Henry was upfront about this.  He says he can never remember names.  Amy agreed.  She says she does the vague “Have you met….” and hopes the other person fills in the blank.  Henry also says it helps to remember the face, then we can get away with all sort of “shenanigans.”  He also uses Mrs. Miss or Madam as needed.  I called bluffing and he agreed.  “We are great poker players, aren’t we?”

As I thanked everyone for the comments on Facebook, I brought up how hard it is for me to recognize people.  It feels like another disability as  I cannot remember faces either. I have to see them several times and/or make some kind of mental connection before I can remember who they are.  Henry brought up a an article written by  Oliver Sacks, M.D. who had issues remembering faces too.  Just in case you have these issues too, read Face-Blind.  After reading that article, I was glad it’s only faces I have a hard time with.  Knock on wood, I have an excellent sense of direction and can remember places I’ve been.

I love a group effort, it turns into team work.  Sharing their ideas is what it’s all about.  I’ll try working on new habits myself made by the suggestions of all my friends.  Thank you. I feel like I know some of the best people on earth due to hearing loss.