My child is the one who has had to make many new adaptations all through her young life.
First, somehow, she figured out that she would have to raise her voice to get my attention. When she was a baby, a friend noticed that this is what baby Elyza would do while in the other room: “ma…(wait)…Ma, Ma….(wait some more) MAAA, MAAA…” It would by the third call that I would respond to.
I don’t ever recall having to tell her to look at me so I could read her lips.
When I got my first cochlear implant, I remember the when she first called for me, “MOMMY!” It was so shockingly loud. It was so loud~ I once described it as feeling like a cat with that terror frozen look with furs sticking straight up. I had loss so much hearing by the time she was two (I hadn’t even known that I lost my hearing~ it happened gradually). I remember telling myself to remain calm and explained to my sweet, little child, “Mommy has a new kind of hearing where you won’t have yell out my name anymore.”
Now that I have two working ears (well, not quite working, but ears that work with the help of processors), I find myself becoming so aware of how my child sounds. I can some of her sassiness, her gosh-you’re-really-gonna-ask-me- that tone, her sweetness of love, her tone of kindness and gentle, ever so gentle voice. However, I have often mistaken a sassy tone for one that really wasn’t as well~ poor kid. She now speaks in a soft tone, doesn’t shout out my name, unless she’s in a different part of the house.
I’ve noticed that she’ll tap me gently on the arm when she wants my attention, instead of calling my name when we are right next to each other. That must have been one of her accommodation that she used to get my attention in my past hearing life. I asked her why she does that~ and she didn’t have an answer other than, “I didn’t realize that I was doing that. I guess it’s a habit.” Whether or not I need the tapping, I love those warm little fingers on my arm~ I think that’s a habit I will not ask her to change.
It must have been quite a ride for my child~ one from when her mother had behind the ear hearing aids, to losing almost all her hearing, to getting one cochlear implant to finally getting two.
Anyone have any questions they would like to ask her about having mum with a hearing loss?