Hands up if your hearing aid has a T-setting. Hands up if you regularly encounter loops that are not working or not switched on? Frustrating, isn’t it?
I’m new to being a loop user. I never felt the need to use them before but as my hearing is deteriorating, my audiologist recently recommended I start using loops and she activated the T-setting on my hearing aid.
Off I went into the world, which seemed pregnant with possibilities of smoother encounters at customer service points and checkouts and an ability to access conferences and theatre performances.
Oh, how quickly I came crashing back down to earth from the reality of how poorly serviced we are in terms of loop provision here in England!
Here is an account of my first two weeks as a loop ‘user’ (and I use the term loosely because I never got to ‘use’ a single loop).
Continue reading “Does a Lack of Loops Drive You Loopy?”
This May marks 45 years since Let it Be, the Beatles’ last album, was released. My parents, who were 11 and 21 at the time, remember the album as the tragic marker of the Beatles’ downfall. Dad lost his taste for the Beatles after they shed their mop tops, but he was still saddened to see them break up. To this day, Mom cannot watch the film version of Let it Be without crying because the fights between John and Paul, along with George and Ringo’s frustration, were nothing short of painful.
As a fan known by her community as a Beatlemaniac, I view Let it Be as the heart-rendering last words of my favorite band. As a hard of hearing person, however, I cannot see Let it Be as anything other than the safety blanket that let me release my feelings about my hearing loss. Continue reading “Let it Be: A Beatlemaniac’s Beacon Through Hearing Loss”
In one of his recent articles here, Stu mentions bluffing. If you are, like us, of the “hearing lost” (Stu again, I love this expression), then this probably strikes a chord.
How much do you fake it? How much do you pretend you’ve understood when you haven’t?
For me: a lot. Much less now that I have hearing aids. But before…
I understand now. I was making colossal efforts to compensate for my hearing loss. And at some point, the effort is not just worth it anymore, and it’s easier to pretend. Like Christina pretended to hear Santa Claus because it was less painful to bluff than to stick out, once again, as different.
In a way, I tell myself that my years of faking it have made me super sensitive to context, and pretty good at filling in the gaps. My brain is always running around to find missing pieces, definitely a useful skill when problem-solving. But let’s not kid ourselves, I missed out on a lot, and also did myself a disservice socially at times, by “not getting it”. Continue reading “Faking It”
If you live with someone who doesn’t have hearing loss, is there a tension around having the subtitles on when you watch television together?
When my husband went away on a trip last year and I was home alone, at the first opportunity I got, I switched the subtitles to ‘on’ and had them on all the time. ‘On’ was not their normal default setting in our house at that time, you see. Normally, I would only ask to have them on when I was really struggling to follow the plot of a show.
Of subtitles, someone once said to me, “I don’t know how you can read the text and watch what’s going on at the same time.” When she said this, I was tempted to say, “I don’t know how you can’t.” Continue reading “Subtitles: On or Off in a Shared Home?”
For the past ten years, I believed I knew everything there was to know about making difficult decisions. In my mind’s eye, the hardest decision I had ever made was to stop wearing bilateral hearing aids and opt for years of hearing restoration surgery.
After the traumatic experience of being intubated awake, returning to the operating room by choice felt nothing short of insane. Yet, I knew enough to understand that I would not be able to have the life I desired without repairing my eardrums. I was already ambitious as a pre-teen, with a list of lofty dreams including attending a top college, reaching the world with music and writing, learning at least five languages, and seeing as many countries as I possibly could.
All of these goals felt heavily dependent on hearing for their execution. Though I feared surgery more than anything else on the planet, I made the decision to go for it in hopes of having the hearing necessary to make my dreams come true. Continue reading “Breaking the Surgery Mindset”
Everyone with a hearing challenge has a phone story.
I knew from my very first hearing aid that the phone was going to be a problem. The technology at the time included a phone program that worked if I was in the right location with my head cocked at a 27 degree angle facing east during the new moon. Static was a persistent by-product.
Today, I am one of the growing numbers of people using a cell phone almost exclusively. I also have an adapted and amplified phone with a visual display connected to the Wi-Fi in my home that I have yet to customize to my preferences as I am skeptical about the Wi-Fi reception for reasons I’ll outline later. Continue reading “More Phone Etiquette for the Hearing Challenged and Those that Call Them”