How did you lose your hearing?
For some, that question may be considered intrusive and personal. But for most cochlear implant users, it is a great way to start a conversation with another implant user when you meet for the first time. And when the question comes from somebody who doesn’t have cochlear implants, it’s a great opportunity to show off your technology. Allow me to explain.
I grew up with normal hearing, and always enjoyed music and foreign languages, in addition to my career as an engineer and all the geeky interests that go along with it. I met my future bride while studying Japanese. We used to alternate days, taking turns speaking each other’s language.
Nine months after we were married, I was in the shower one morning, and slowly came to the realization that the water wasn’t making any noise. My analytical engineering brain kicked into action, trying to figure out what was wrong with the water. After exhausting all of the possible water problems, I realized that it was probably making its usual sounds, and that I wasn’t able to hear it.
I spent the next dozen years holding an FM microphone, which was connected to a really powerful hearing aid. This helped me read lips a little bit, but I could only use it for about an hour a day before becoming exhausted. Continue reading “Hearing After Hearing Aids”
I started with single-sided deafness when I was thirty. As time passed, I often thought that even if my deafness in that ear eventually became profound, I would be able to manage so long as I had hearing in my other ear. Then otosclerosis developed in my other ear and I needed to wear a hearing aid. The aid, lipreading and positioning strategies enabled me to cope and continue my job as a trainer for a local authority.
And then, (if you’ve read my previous posts, you’ll know) I lost the hearing in my better ear quite suddenly and my single-sided deafness switched sides: the severely deaf side was now the ‘good side’ and the ‘good ear’ was now a ‘dead ear’.
It was a confusing time – not least because after years of ‘positioning’ everyone to my left side, I now needed to do a complete switch. Not that I left the house much immediately after the sudden deafness, but when we did, my husband Richard and I both kept getting muddled up about which side we needed to walk on or where to sit.
As a consequence of my sudden deafness, I discovered the CROS hearing aid and the BiCROS system.
Continue reading “BiCROS Aids — They’re Magic”
Christmas is a time for remembering old friends, but sometimes it can also bring back some sad or unpleasant memories. Seeing a former friend’s name in my address book reminded me of something that happened a few years ago…
After my sudden deafness in my ‘good ear’ in 2011, I could no longer use our telephone or my mobile for calls. Some friends were accommodating, converting our communication to text, email or social media but, sadly, others weren’t so accommodating.
Continue reading “What Not Being Able to Use the Phone Has Cost Me”