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Aye! Aye!

Having an extra ear that can hear has been such a mix blessing. Yes, I do hear with more clarity. Yes, I am hearing more things and am recognizing more sounds. I don’t have to work half as hard to hold a conversation with people. My speaking is slightly better.

But, please understand this. I will never hear like a hearing person. Yes, my hearing has improved, but it’s not perfect. Ah, the frustration I feel when I have to ask people to repeat (yes, still- though not as much). I hate, absolutely hate when I ask for someone to repeat, and the speaker has that look of confusion on their face wondering why I’m asking for clarification or even say, “You mean, it’s not working?” Yes, it’s working—better—not perfectly. Patience, me lads. It stresses me out.
I find that I’m more stressed with all the new sounds too. As soon as I come home, I pluck those hearing processors out! As soon as they come out, I literally feel like my head had deflated like a balloon–now that is a feeling of comfort. I also loathe putting them on in the mornings. I have to keep reminding myself that they ear specialist told me several times that it takes time to used to it. Meanwhile, I ask for patience from the public at large, I have to remind myself to be patience with me as well.
This is a really noisy world. Here are some more new sounds or awareness:
  • I often have the cell phone on vibrate. Well, lo and behold, now I can hear that vibrating (most of the time). The first time I heard that, it scared the holy crap out of me! It happened in my car—I thought it was a car honking at me—which always makes people react. And, react I did.
  • Shoes on the floor are just plain noisy. Now I find myself walking ever so gracefully in a way so I don’t annoy myself.
  • Putting away dishes is also noisy. Dang, I think I’m going to be walking and moving like a ballerina soon because now I’m putting away dishes very quietly. I’m quite amazed at the how few dishes I did break because previously, I was pretty rough with them. Now even fewer dishes will break.
  • On my birthday, several friends and I went salsa dancing–now that was pure delight for me. Previously, I would rely on the movement of the man, because the music would all blend into one sound. Now, I can hear many different instruments happening at the same time and create my own dance. I love the sound of Salsa music and it brings joy to me. This is the real upside of hearing more and better. Music in general is just beautiful. I’m hoping to find a singing instructor and learn how to pluck a few notes on the guitar.
  • As for my darling Elyza, once again, I’m finding that I keep telling her to lower her voice. Ah, the guilt of the Jewish mother. She tells me that she’s not talking that loudly. Yet, I still tell her to quiet down. And, is it me, or does everyone else experience this: the calling, “Mom!” is so nervewracking. I thought it was supposed to sound musical and all, it’s far from it. Please tell me that I’m not the only one. She does have a beautiful sweet voice though—I love talking to her on the phone~ so young.
  • The phone. I’m not sure if it’s my cell phone or the new processor (I was given a new one in the right ear as well)—but I’m so not enjoying phone conversations at all! I’ve avoided so many phone calls—-texting is such a blessing at this time. With the previous processor, it would shut out all sounds and only tune in on the speaker. With the new one, it’s automatic and I have to wait for it shut down most of the sounds. It just doesn’t seem to have as much ‘juice’ as the older one. This is the only area it’s not nearly as ‘cool’ as the new one.
  • Dogs. Damn, those barkings! Annoying! Raises my stress level. The click clack of their toe nails on floors—just as bothersome as people walking on the floor. Why can’t dogs be more graceful?
  • Singing. Why don’t we all sing instead of talk? It’s magically beautiful for the ear.
  • Oh, another good one. I can have a conversation with people in noisy environment (with, ahem, far fewer repetitions, mind you. I had a friend say to me, “Wow, I can actually be funny with you in a bar! You’re hearing my humor.” That was actually a compliment for me.
  • So, world, please have patience with me~and remember, I’m not “hearing” nor will I ever be. Let’s just be grateful that technology has come a long way to help people like me hear better, be more in the world and gives us a chance to hear humor in noisy environments.
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About Amy Pogrebin Bremenstuhl

Life is noisy~ in a messy way. I thought I'd try writing about surviving the hearing world every day for 365 Days.

2 responses »

  1. I have loved reading these! I remember your hearing from the 6th grade, and all this just seems like such a miracle!I have a problem with too much noise as well, even the hearing want to shut out the sounds!! I hate noise, and have to sleep with ear plugs. So, I can only imagine how overwhelming it is to you! There is just so much excessive noise!But, it is a miracle! I am so happy for you.And there isn't a Mom around who loves hearing the whining!

    Reply
  2. Oh dear AmyI am so happy for all this stuff, yes indeed you get the humour and the jokes, but yes this is a loud world, we have constant noise all over the place all the time. the loud Mom! happens all the time, and at the park you will hear many MOM call outs. Elyza has a robust voice, and she may be used to speaking louder to you because you didn't hear before, so let her get used to your hearing too. My mother in law grew up with a deaf mother, and her voice is loud. She can't help it. Noise is something that overwhelms people regularly, when people are asked if they are visual or auditory learners, the people who are auditory tend to enjoy quieter places when in need of concentration. All in all, I hope that the best thing to come out of this is that you have a positive experience with all of this. Enjoy the quiet when you can, because hearing or not everyone should have a chance to enjoy the quiet…. Love you lots, and wish you wellVictoria

    Reply

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