Deafness is not just of the ears but of the heart and attitudes.
| I went to a local fair last month. It was a beautiful Sunday and I was surprised to see a huge crowd. I hurried to the youth barn to find it already pretty full of young and old. They were listening to Christian muscians playing and singing. They had some good ones. I heard two that were soft and easy on the ears. But the last one loaded the stage with amps and then put them on full blast. I left after about 3 bars of music. It was far too loud for me.
As I was going up the aisle to the exit, I saw this mother and child. THe boy climbed up on his mothers lap, holding his hands on both ears. She did not want to leave but he did. I was sore tempted to tell that Mom to leave. No child should have to endure a noise level beyond what he can stand. I have spent 30 years deaf and that is one thing I understand. To do other wise is to be deaf in attitude, in my opinion.
When I was at a college going for training in speech reading (most people call it lip reading) I went to a dorm dance one night. There they also had the music full blast. I left after only five minutes. While I was out of the dance room and in the quieter areas I could hear nothing. Those five minuetes left me totally deaf for the space of about 10 minutes. Very bad sign. I say that when a chlld does as this one did it is a warning to Mom, "get me out now, it hurts." To fail to take a child out is to let that child become deaf. It could hasten the deafness or it could signal another kind of problem with the ears. Both are costly to deal with. The child suffers either way until some good is restored.
One can pretend to be deaf if one does not want to hear certain things but they are not helping themselves or others by doing so. I had a grandfather who did this. Dad told me he was just trying to avoid hearing some of Dad's urging him to do certain things. It was funny in a way since periodically he would make a comment that showed he really could hear. But all he was doing was playing tricks on himself, deceiving himself. That was so sad but very human.
True physical deafness is so hard in some ways I, for one, cannot see why anyone would want to get that way even for a little time, except when working in a exceedingly noisy area. It does have its pleasures. Those are helpful in an otherwise very difficult situation.
You cannot use a telephone as well as others or in a way others do. You miss words, sometimes mix up words, get confused, and frustrated by the way people talk around you. Some talk too fast. Many will turn their backs and keep talking and you lose what they have said. They do not like you to ask for a repeat yet some will not try to avoid back turning or other face hiding things with books, papers or other things. Some will talk to you with a mouth full of some thing which is a distortion of how you form words. A few people will shout. Rarer still you will have a whisper instead. Then there are the accents, the speed of the speaker that will frustate you as well. The faster you go the less I get. Soft voices are another difficulty. Those kind you will have to rely on your speech reading skills a lot to understand even a small part of it.
Did you know that speech reading gives you only about a third of the words, more if you are really good at it? Did you know that nearly half of the simple rhyming words are also look alike words? Lamb and lamp is one example. Go and watch yourself in a mirror saying those words and these: lend, lent. There are others but you get the idea.
Deafness is no picnic. It has its moments of real pleasure but so much is lost and you are often just on the fringe of life unless you work twice as hard to stay on top of everything. When I was without sound I was on red alert level all the time I was out of my house in public places. It is a necessity. It is hard on you though. Your eyes does twice the work but safety makes that an absolute necessity. Anything less means you put yourself at risk to great or greater danger than hearing people. Yet I live and enjoy life.
Being deaf does not mean I cannot enjoy life. It is a hard life but not without some fun and some treasured things. I would not give up the peace and lack of stress for all the rush and pace of the jet set. I am free of a lot of the stress simply because I do not hear as much as other people. Often I miss imformation. All I have to do is get some one to let me know what had been said and then I am fine. I do not like to have to but that is a fact of life for me. I have had a few misunderstandings that showed me how important that step is. It is also a quick way to lose out on something I want or need if I do not do it.
No, life as a deaf person is not fun and games. It is work. But it has its good spots. I just wish though that muscians, and their listeners, would not insist on full blast of amps. There are many deaf people who do not have to be due to sensitivity to sound at levels beyond what is necessary. You damage those nerves and it is for life. You can never get it all back by even the best medical methods. I wear a cochlear implant. I have come back to a pretty good level but it will never be one hundred percent. I never did have one hundred percent. I am presently fairly close to what I was before I lost my hearing. By most standards I think I would be classed as being in the upper levels with the one ear I am using. The other is deaf and will not be used unless I go for one in it.