So today I’m going to talk about the negatives of hearing loss.
First is how the hell it happened in the first place – it is annoying not knowing. I didnt discover I had hearing loss until I was 10 years old. I was on a school trip in Germany and I was staying in a hotel. My friend and I were un-packing in our room and the telephone started to ring. I answered it and put it to my left ear like I always had done. After the call, my friend said “why do you put the phone to your left ear when you are right-handed?” I replied “because I can’t hear them speaking if I put it on my right ear”. I had thought (like most children do) that because I couldnt hear in my right ear everyone else had the same problem. My friend’s puzzled face prompted me to tell my Mum about it when I got back home. She took me straight to the Docs and then a few referalls later and a couple of trips to ENT in London (ear, nose and throat) and I was classified as hard of hearing.
There were lots of theories as to why it had happened. The main one being that an illness when I was very young affected the cilia (tiny hairs) along my inner ear that are essential to help noise vibrate around the ear drum and that will explain why I can’t hear despite having a perfectly formed inner ear. It also could have been a bad reaction to an innoculation. No-one really knows why my husband is hard of hearing either and his theory is oxygen starvation when he was born. We will never really know. His was much worse though because it affected his speech and school was very hard for him. With me, because of the innoculation theory, I have serious reservations about the MMR jab in children and I am doing research in to it at the moment to establish how to protect my baby son – but this is a huuuge topic – so will do a separate post on this in the New Year.
Perhaps the biggest down-side to hearing loss is socially. I find it very hard to hear everyone in a party situation or when we are sitting down at dinner. I have to make sure that I am on the end of the table with my right ear facing the end so that I am able to hear people. I have lost count of the number of times I have turned to my right to find a person standing next to me with a puzzled and expectant expression. They have obviously asked me a question or spoken to me and expected a response despite the fact that I haven’t heard them – but they aren’t to know so what do I do – wear a badge? I could wear my hearing aid but i don’t for reasons discussed in my previous post. Over the years I must have unwittingly insulted quite a few people who may have thought I was ignoring them because I didn’t hear them.
Another big down-side is crossing the road. If you cover one eye and then try to touch something it is very difficult to judge how close it is to you and you end up thinking you have touched it when you still have a way to go – try it now. This is the same when one ear doesn’t work as well as the other – although you can hear the sound, you can’t judge where it is coming from until you actually see the source of the sound. This means I am rubbish at telling which direction a car is coming from if I hear an engine when about to cross a road. I also don’t think I would make a very good paratrooper or spy….oh well.
However i like being slightly wonky – its boring being perfect. I often joke that I should have a right body transplant because it isn’t just the ear that doesn’t work. My right shoulder is shorter than the other because of a riding accident and my right leg is full of varicose veins (sorry I know that isn’t pleasant) due to bursting a blood vessel during childbirth. The right side of my pelvis is a bit stiff too because i carry my baby boy on my left-side.
There have been some comical moments because of my wonky ear, which I will mention every now and then in future blog posts. Tomorrow will be my last blog post of 2012 as we will be leaving to spend Christmas on a snowy welsh mountain and i am not sure about the wi fi up there. So tomorrow i will do a little summary of the best bits of 2012 and wish you all a very happy christmas and new year.
Unicef will benefit from my down-time fee over the next two weeks, which will boost the coffers of my fundraising campaign – the reason why i blog every day. If you are able to support my efforts, please visit my page on the Unicef site.
Thanks for reading.