Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Difficult time with my ear

Good evening!

It's winter wonderland here! :) We have a bit of snow in Austria.
I'm having tinnitus this week, in fact have it for some time but it's more intense right now. . and my listening comprehension isn't the best right now. Today and a few days ago I was struggling to understand. It becomes a real challenge to follow what's being said. Yesterday for example and older lady sat next to me in the bus and wanted to talk to me! I could barely hear what she said because there was some background noise and I was not at all i. the hearing mode. She tried hard to talk to me and I didn't want to be impolite .. but how should I tell her that it's really tiresome to ask her always to repeat because she also seems to be mumbling and I was somehow tired & couldn't concentrate. I tried to pass as hearing by saying randomly "yes" or "now" in the hope she'd get her answer but she kept asking me "why not" and then I saw I couldn't fool her anymore. After some time.. I came closer to her, showed her my speech processor and said as polite as I could that I am hearing impaired and than today I really don't hear so well and it's difficult for me to understand. She looked at me, then at my processor behind my ear and them became silent.. hmm does this make me impolite?

Perhaps this is also why less people talk to me, those who know that I am hard of hearing because they may be annoyed to always have to repeat everything. Hmm it makes me wonder. I feel bad because I had to tell the lady in a different way not to talk to me because I just didn't feel like talking & I couldn't understand her either. How would you react to such situation if you were hearing impaired? Feel free to share with me!

Your poetry girl!


  1. Hey - My name is Gloria from NY. I have been hard of hearing for 26 years. I was just recently Implanted about four month ago and wear a hearing aid in my other ear. You are not alone in your situation.

    Since my activation, in the beginning I was picking up in sounds left and right. It was amazing. Then I developed the constant ringing in my implanted ear that did create an obstacle to being able to carry on a conversation. I had just gone through a few adjustments and my last adjustments left me with migraines in the morning. I did have my c-levels aka the high frequency reduced to a much more comfortable level. Now I'm struggling to find that match in terms of adjustments because I'm finding that it becomes effortless to hear clearly once that match in the adjustments are made after months of rehabbing. While I'm still a newbie, I too have to deal with being too tired to listen or to even carry on a conversation.

    I know people may find it hard to understand, but our brain is constantly trying to filter out sounds and words with a hearing aid and even a cochlear implant. It can get pretty exhausting and its even more exhausting when I'm a single mom of a soon to be five year old who loves to talk non-stop and is normal hearing. So everyday its a battle to want to hear and to need to hear. It's a battle with those who can't fully grasp what's its like to be like us because they take their hearing ability for granted while we have to appreciate the hearing that we have and the hearing that we are learning to gain through means of cochlear implant. So we have a deeper sense of appreciation towards our own senses.

    As for people who are not in our shoes, its all about educating them and sometimes after a while it does get tiring. I came to the conclusion that they either get it or they just don't. All I can say is that if they are interested in knowing whats its like to struggle in communication and especially in hearing, they should experience hearing loss in a way that they can never imagine losing it.

    Its hard to be polite and because I'm from NY, there is guarantee to be an attitude attached. I usually don't tell people I am hard of hearing or hearing impaired, I just listen to them the best I can and if I become interested in their conversation then I will let them know that I am hearing impaired and that I am interested in the topic of discussion. I feel, sometimes when we tell people right off the bat that we wear hearing aids and/or a cochlear implant they start to either talk so slow that its ridiculous and almost mocking us and they start to test how much we can hear vs how much we can't, it's offensive in my opinion and then they either joke about it or they decide to not speak to you. Talk about judgmental. Yet, the way I see it, the world turns their head the other way and refuse to understand that we are just as capable as them and that we just ask that they learn and be open to learning how to interact with people who have a hearing impairment. It's not easy for us to listen as easy as most hearing people do, we work overtime in our brains to process as much of the conversation as we can hear and soon we fade out because we become too tired to listen and too tired to have one more conversation. That is when I go entirely "deaf" after I take my hearing aid and my processor off. Just to complete tasks that do not require hearing.

    I hear you. It's difficult, but at least you were honest with the woman and gave yourself a break that you needed. Don't ever feel like its rude, sometimes we do what we can to be as polite as possible and some people can make us feel like we were impolite. Some people don't realize how hard it is to be polite to them when they also don't realize how rude they are being at times. It's a battle in my opinion, yet we can't win them all, sometimes we just have to think up new ways to prevent that from happening the "same" way.

    1. I'll try to properly respond to your comment in the next few days, for now I just want to say thank you for sharing so much with me. I like to hear from my readers and to know that I am not alone with such situations.

    2. Dear Gloria,

      Thank you very much for your comment. It arrived at the right time when I need to hear that I had a really really bad week with my hearing. It seemed that everything just went bad .. All is okay now but still... it was good to write about it, to share this with other people like you.

      I can tell you I feel the same way after adjusting and the mappings.. that's why I don't have these anymore. I am comfortable with the settings that are up now and don't need further changes. I had a few sessions until hearing became better. I hope it improves and that you are able to hear more and have less distracting sounds :)

      I'm often trying to make some people understand that hearing is not just taken for granted.. it needs a lot of concentration, hard work and engergy to hear well. Sometimes at the end of the day, I simply feel drained.. to weak to carry out any other tasks. Sometimes I just want to have a silent moment but even this I cannot get because as soon as I turn off my speech processor the tinnitus is there.. clear and loud enough to hear.

      I like your point:

      "All I can say is that if they are interested in knowing whats its like to struggle in communication and especially in hearing, they should experience hearing loss in a way that they can never imagine losing it." VERY GOOD and I totally agree with this. You take something for granted .. all until you lose it.

      Thank you again for leaving me a comment! You gave me strength especially at that time, when I needed it :))


  2. Good morning Sandra!...Helen from Greece, here!...I love your way of writing!...you are a gifted girl!...My husband has severe hearing problems!...So I know very well how hard it is to try to communicate with a man who has hearing problems!...The point is that when you can understant, and you realy care and love,...all the difficulties become ...a "nothing"...The point is ...how "hard"you can love, how strong you can make a man with that love!...Be happy my poetry--girl!...Heleni Foudoulaki, your poetry friend from Greece!...


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