Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Deaf Reckoning

Hey, cats and kittens. A rec.arts.comics.strips friend, Carl F., sent along a link to an interesting newspaper article about a woman whose story is quite similar to mine. (Thanks, Carl.)

Deaf Reckoning is an article by Stacey McGovern. "One day, I could hear perfectly. Then I couldn't hear a thing," says the article's subtitle. "What five years of deafness taught me."

There are a couple of significant differences between my story and Stacey's. The first and biggest in my opinion is that she had two small children, the youngest born shortly after her deafness became complete. As I wrote to Carl in an email thanking him for the link, it's brutal enough not being able to hear my nieces and nephews. I can't imagine what it would be like not to be able to hear a child who is your responsibility to teach, aid, care for and most of all protect, every day, all the time.

The second difference is that she was deaf for five years before getting her implant. Since reading the article I have been trying to pinpoint what the prospect of four more years of deafness would feel like. Like a sentence, is what it would feel like, not a circumstance, I'm afraid to say, and I have tried to be as optimistic and positive as possible about living as a deaf person.

Given how long Ms. McGovern was deaf, it's pretty obvious that this is the short, short, short, Reader's Digest Condensed version of her story. I'd love the luxury of hearing much more about her experiences, the appalling things, the funny things, the uplifting things, how she coped, when she put her face in the pillow and screamed, but there's no room for that in a Boston Globe article, I guess.

(It's funny how everyone comments on how much being told "never mind, it's not important" hurts. And, while I don't make a big deal out of being catered to because I am deaf, if I had been Ms. McGovern, I would have written a letter to the management of the store whose hideous salesperson refused to put her answers on paper, writing only, "I don't have time, I need to help the next customer.")

What Stacey needs is a weblog. She gave you the Reader's Digest Condensed version.

I, on the other dismaying hand, am giving you the paaainnnnfully slooooooooowww naaaaaaaavel-gaaaaazing bloooow-by-bloooooooooow verrrrrrrsion... :)

ronnie

2 Comments:

Blogger Meg said...

Hi Ronnie,

I'm a regular lurker on racs, but I was away when the e-card was going around. Just wanted to let you know that your blog is amazing. I've been really grateful to learn from your postings; as someone who is not deaf, I've never considered the obstacles, frustrations and humorous moments that you relate in each new message...although I do use close captioned tv quite a bit when my roommates are working, and I love some of the interesting typos that show up...I've linked to your blog from mine, which isn't much (eventually, it will chronicle my efforts to navigate life in England, as I'm moving there this fall)...anyway, please keep posting - there are a lot of interested readers out here who benefit from your perspective!

3:29 PM  
Anonymous Carl Fink said...

Ronnie,

You're welcome.

I never got your e-mail, by the way. Overactive spam filter? If it was something you'd like me to read, you could send it again.

Glad you liked the article.

6:14 PM  

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