Monday, June 18, 2012

Forgetting to hear.

I was up, showered, shampooed, blow-dried, teeth brushed, eyeglassed, dressed, jewelried, and on my way out the door this morning when I realized I was still deaf.

On my walk to work - the CI processor now in place - I reflected on how exactly that could happen. How could I forget to hear?

I suppose there are late-deafened people like me who can't stand not wearing the processor. It's probably the first thing they reach for on waking up.

I find that - within reason - I transition very well between both states. And after several hours of being deaf - when sleeping, or swimming - I'm quite comfortable navigating the world not hearing. So much so that I can apparently forget to "turn hearing on" when I'm able to.

That's not to say I'd be comfortable without the option! The couple of times a component of the processor has failed - a wire broke, for example - I've been in a cold-sweat panic until the problem was solved.

But the fact is, when you've been there for a few hours - optionally - deafness is a very peaceful state. So much so that here's a secret: I don't enjoy putting the processor on in the morning.

Oh, I am enormously grateful for it! And, as I said, I'd have a panic attack if I put it on and it didn't work!

But it does work, and putting it on is just, honestly, not a terribly pleasant experience. You go from total silence to a sudden - LOUD - cacophony of noises, from the traffic on the street to the electricity humming through the appliances. The world is very, very loud. Having it hit you all at once is not a particularly pleasurable sensation.

I am grateful, enormously grateful, every single day for the miracle of the processor. But that first few seconds after activation is the thorn on the rose.

Perhaps that's unique to me. I don't know. It's just an observation. And I hope I never have to learn about the alternative.


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Blogger Sherwood Harrington said...

I took the liberty of posting a link to this on Facebook -- hope you don't mind!

11:05 a.m.  
Blogger Mike said...

As a country person, I can in some small way identify with how intrusive someone else's sound can be. I have, of course, had the option of letting in the birdsong without admitting the claxons and steam hammers, simply by choosing my location wisely.

Wish I could offer you that choice, but, yes, I think I know what you mean.

11:50 a.m.  
Blogger Mary said...

I am the same way - my hearing loss is not profound, but I don't generally wear my hearing aids at home, and when I do everything seems too loud and intrusive. I don't even like hearing the TV any more - it's closed captions all the time for me.

If it weren't for the communication piece I'd be okay with the quiet.

(Freeway's person)

12:05 p.m.  
Blogger ronnie said...

Sherwood - Not at all!

Mike - Yes, that's it indeed - the ugly sounds versus the beautiful ones. Managing the sounds we hear is a real challenge - and sometimes not our choice at all.

Mary - I'm glad it's not just me, then! The fact that artificially created sound can be tinny and uneven and not soft and organic doesn't help. PS Love to the remarkable Freeway.

7:25 p.m.  
Blogger Nostalgic for the Pleistocene said...

We have traffic and construction noise and i grouse about it a lot, especially during biker week, but i had never realized how hard it would be to adjust to it if it engulfed me suddenly. Much less on a daily basis! Yet another aspect of your experience that most people never think of.

8:43 p.m.  
Blogger SyedMuddassar said...

Hearing loss can occur because you are taking a medication that is beneficial to the heart and ototoxic to your hearing.
hearing loss claims

9:16 a.m.  
Blogger Casey Billups said...

Personally my wife uses this to her advantage all the time, she'll get the last word in and take her implant off... effectively limiting my response.

I do know what you mean just watching her, she gets home from work some days and I know she can't wait to get her implants off and be quiet.

Do they have Hearing Loss Association chapters in Canada? It has really changed her life having their support and the group of people you can be safe with, we are both board members now of the .
Hearing Loss Association of Greater Richmond

2:17 p.m.  
Anonymous Brandon McBride said...

It's something I've wondered about - how it is to simply not hear. Is it really as peaceful as you say? Even when I try to meditate in silence, background noises and the thoughts of my own head keep me from finding total peace.

5:55 p.m.  
Anonymous Analog IC Design said...

If you have a hearing problem try to figure it out whether, it is hearing problem or something else.
Be careful about your hearing aids don’t forget it at home.

2:12 a.m.  

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