I almost didn’t remember the password to my own website! Its been a very cold and very snowy winter. The word “very” doesn’t even underscore the brutality this winter has bestowed onto us. I just hope it isn’t some Republican conspiracy to refute those who claim global warming is for real. Meanwhile, a friend of mine posted a very interesting comment on her Facebook timeline.
This friend happens to be a pretty darn good lawyer and runner. Here is her post…
It seems to me that you can see something in the demeanor of older people who have suffered a significant loss of hearing, like a door that’s closed just behind their faces, that they’ve separated themselves from the world by a few large backwards paces. But I don’t see the same in people who have been deaf since birth. I wonder why.
If you know me it hits pretty close to home, doesn’t it? I suggested we share my thoughts over a cup of coffee but nah, might as well let the whole world see this.
I have a lot of friends who are what we call late-deafened. I also have a 93 year old mother who has been experiencing hearing loss for quite some time. I am not even sure if its from age or from my yellin’ and screamin’ at her but that’s a moot point. I, myself, am deaf since birth even though it took the doctors almost 3 years to figure that out. Most of you know that my hearing loss has been “corrected” by cochlear implants. For more about that, use the search thingie on the right and look for those words. You can also read up about my early years experience by going back to 2007/2008.
They call it hearing loss which is a moniker for “can’t hear like most normal hearing people”. Technically speaking, it doesn’t apply to me because I never had any in the first place. Even with that, I can see, “hear” and feel the difference. How? Simple…I take my ears off and live my world in total silence! Does it bother me? Not one bit. I even enjoy it at times. I could go through most days ear-less because of my other “hearing” superpower…lip-reading. It’s almost like I can pick and choose what I want to “hear” even though I am hearing by watching the person’s mouth and expressions.
So in speaking for those who are deaf from the very beginning, not only we are used to it but we have adapted. This is engrossed into our brains going back to their early formation years. You can feel all the sorry you want for us and we’ll just go on our own merry ways. And many of us have the wonders of technology available to us. Guess what? As I get older, my hearing doesn’t get worse. It stays the same!! My CIs (as we call cochlear implants) are programmable! So whatever changes old age does to my auditory system, my Advanced Bionics CIs are adjustable to further compensate!
Now for those that suffer a significant loss of hearing; yes, the downcast demeanor is there. All of a sudden, they are lost. They find themselves losing their sense of freedom and independence. They have to rely on a spouse, friend or other family members to help them “hear”. This causes them a sense of guilt and can put a strain on their relationships (my sister and I haven’t killed our dear old mother, yet!). What they are so used to doing for all of their lives, they can no longer. A deep sense of hopelessness sinks in.
If you’re a runner and an injury prevents you from running, how do you feel? What do you do? The same questions can be asked of a singer, craftsperson, construction worker, police officer, porn star, etc. You see…its all about what you were capable of doing before you could not longer do it!
As for hearing loss, it doesn’t discriminate. Age is irrelevant. I have a friend of mine who woke up one day and his hearing was gone. Another friend was on a cross country vacation and one day…”POP!….and her hearing was gone. The former is in his late 20s, the latter happened in her late 30s. And then there is my dear old momma “S-ill-vE-Ah” whose hearing loss is precipitated by the worse case of tinnitus.
Hearing loss is correctable in almost all cases either with a hearing aid or a cochlear implant or a bone conductive device known as the BAHA. While cochlear implants and the BAHA require a surgical procedure, they are performed on infants as young as 6 months all the way to adults in their 3 figures. Those who have experienced the loss and had that corrected have returned to their normal lifestyles as if they never lost their hearing. In those cases, the perception of demeanor is short-lived.
Personally, I refuse to accept hearing loss as an excuse for being an “old stooge”. I am like…”WHY DON’T YOU GET IT CHECKED!!???” And if cost is an object guess what? Medicare covers hearing aids! Its very rare that those who lose their hearing as they get older will require anything more like the CI or BAHA. And Medicare covers those too! So puullllleeeeeeze, if you’re using hearing as an excuse for being an old fart, you’re barking up the wrong tree!
So my friend who posted the above quote on Facebook, hearing loss might be a convenient excuse but…its not the reason.