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?

 

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6 responses to “The Hard of Hearing Wand

  1. I would like people to understand that if I don’t understand what they are saying they don’t need to shout it when they repeat, and they don’t need to talk directly into my ear. It doesn’t help and it is just annoying.

    • That’s a good example too. I jerk my head away every time someone goes to my ear. I tell them that won’t work, I need to see their lips.
      I have more issues with monkey lips than shouting. That’s where someone slows their rate is speech so much their mouth looks warped.

  2. Interesting post, I have a friend who is hard of hearing and sometimes it can be hard to get my point across to them but these tips really help and open my eyes more to the challenges faced. We always deal with trying to stop the cause of hearing loss before it happens at SonoLab so I am trying to read up more on the issues once the hearing loss occurs.

    • Thank you for leaving a comment. I’m always hoping to get hearing people understand it better too. It took me 20 something years to understand my hearing loss and be able to talk it about. Now I can say how I hear and why which helps others understand. For a long time all I knew to say was “I’m hard of hearing.” That doesn’t give much for others to go on. Again, thank you.

  3. It has taken me a while to understand my loss and talk about it too. Love this post. Speaks so much truth!

  4. THANK YOU!!! This post is spot on!!!

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