Why the Ability to Hear is not Enough

On the day I chose to have my first tympanoplasty, May 20th, 2004, I believed restoring my hearing would provide a “perfect life” and solve all of my problems. At the time, I was full of rage about isolation from hearing loss and ear infections occurring at least every six weeks. My ability to trust human beings was in the toilet after being bullied by my classmates and placed into special education by the school district. The only thing I trusted was money because it came consistently, regardless of my health, every time I did a favor for someone else.

Old and lonely.

Closing my eardrum, obtaining hearing, and “becoming normal” seemed to be the be-all and end-all to those problems. I believed I would be able to trust people, escape special education, and overcome the infections the moment I had a “healthy” ear. Once all of those things happened, I would “live happily ever after” and skip off into the sunset, where I would suddenly become a popular girl with straight-A’s in the blink of an eye.

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A Life on the Ocean Wave

“Excuse me for asking… I know you said you had hearing loss but does your partner have hearing loss too because he seems to be really struggling to follow the conversation?”

Gulp.  He doesn’t — or rather ‘didn’t’ have hearing loss — not in the sense of having it confirmed by a professional but yes, whilst away on this particular trip we had both noticed how hard he was finding it to follow what was being said, especially when we were sitting in a group.

On a cruise

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