When health issues interrupt hearing

I’m having issues with hiatal hernia lately. The other day I had an attack meaning I didn’t eat much all day. I thought I felt better in the afternoon so I made a meatloaf, had some greens ready to go and a sweet potato. While the meatloaf cooked, I felt the tightness or odd feeling in my chest that meant the attack wasn’t over yet. Eating would just make it worse and the meat loaf smelled so damn good, I had to leave the house early for a writing workshop I signed up for.

That night was the first of a 3 workshops on writing short stories. I arrived hungry and upset, not a good way to start a ‘hearing’ event. The more upset I am, the harder it is to hear for some reason. I tried some deep breathing but being hungry made it hard to relax.

The guy leading the workshop remembered me as hard of hearing which was good. I reminded him I needed to see him as he talked or I lost everything. He nodded his head in understanding and the class started shortly after. As we went around the table introducing ourselves, I knew I was using my lip reading skills because the air-conditioner overrode many voices. I had the look of concentration on my face which others interpret as a “mean” look. When it came to my turn, I let them know I was hard of hearing and not mean.

Another girl stepped in to help lead the workshop and I didn’t get a chance to tell her how to help me hear. Her voice didn’t carry over the air-conditioner at all for me, plus she spent the whole time talking to the white board. I tried hard to hear her and couldn’t. I started to get so frustrated, I was near tears so I stopped trying to hear her. I wrote down what she wrote down, getting the gist of it but missing many, many details. I wanted to get up and walk out. Instead, I disappeared into the world of my notebook and I felt a little better. My world, my writing. I played with the character I was to create as the others still listened.

Then the guy did some talking and he was good about making sure he faced us while talking. His problem was he started out strong but at the end of what he was saying, he would taper off into a mumble. So I was only getting half of his information. Sigh.

At the break, he asked me how much I heard. Not much! I let him know about his mumbling, not nice perhaps but I was upset. I paid for this class and I wanted to get as much out of it as I could. Besides, if he’s going to teach a class, he needs to learn to speak clearer. He asked what they could do to help so told him about the FM system I meant to bring and forgot it in my hurry to get out of the house. I also said some sort of outline would help me be able to follow things keeping from guessing so much. He wrote that down and then told me next week’s class will be more one on one, which always works better me. I felt better after getting some validation and admitting where I went wrong.

We started up again and this time we were put in groups. The two girls I was with, filled me in on some of the missing information. One of them asks me if I used sign language at all. I told her I know some but don’t have anyone to practice with. Her listening skills aren’t that great because she next said, “You should use it more often.” It’s kind of hard when I have no one to practice with I said again and she changed the subject.

We were given magazine pictures and told to pick on and create a character as group. Little miss Perky, who thinks I should sign more, took charge and created this really dull character. I tried adding some humor but she by passed it. Maybe that’s why writing is mainly a solitary thing, no two people agree. I missed the other groups presentation of their characters, which had humor because the others laughed. See! We should have gone with my older couple idea with viagra to spice it up.

Leaving the workshop, I could see where I failed. Being upset and hungry makes things worse and that wasn’t entirely my fault. My FM system probably would have helped me and it is my fault that I forgot it. Next week I will be more prepared and it should be a better experience.


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