Trying to get a word in edgewise
On his journal, Roger Ebert (worth reading any time in any form - his reviews, journal or twitter feed) has a wonderful post in response to an email sent to him by a man who, like Ebert, has lost his ability to speak.
When I went deaf, the most unexpected, profound and painful side effect was the isolation and the resulting frustration. It's unintentional on the part of your coworkers, family, companions - hell, many of mine went far out of their way to try to alleviate it - but it's inevitable and unavoidable. And awful and lonely.
Never did it occur to me that losing the power of speech would lead to the same experiences.
We really, really take our senses for granted.