Saturday, July 19, 2008
In and Out
I have a love/hate relationship with my hearing aids. I love that some days I feel as though I could “pass” for hearing. On those lucky days, I blithely manage conversations with store clerks and other strangers. I don’t make any obvious blunders and I don’t betray myself with a puzzled expression on my face. On those occasions, my little coping strategies help me make it through the day smoothly.
Then there are the days of pure hate for the blasted things. Days when no matter how much I spent on them, they don’t magically make me into the hearing person I long to be. Days when it seems as if everyone around me is speaking in hushed tones rather than normal volume. Days when someone tells a long, complicated story that I can’t follow and I feel stupid and slow. Days of unexpected turns of phrase or unfamiliar word combinations.
Other times, I just honestly hate how much louder everything around me is with hearing aids. As my audiologist said, I like it quiet. What bliss it is to take them out and relax in the “muffled” quality of my natural hearing. Choosing not to “hear” for awhile and allowing myself to tune out for a needed break.
The movie Read My Lips illustrates this beautifully. Carla, a secretary, who is hearing impaired and an excellent lip reader, wears hearing aids to cope with the demands of the office, particularly the telephone. On her coffee break, she removes her hearing aids ---ahhh--- a true break from the clamor.