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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My Hearing Loss and My Son

The person who's been most affected by my hearing loss has to be my son. He's the one who talks about the most unexpected things leaving me in a daze. He's the one with the longest stories told in an excited manner that leave me lost somewhere in the middle. He's the one who helps me out in public places when I don't quite catch what a shop clerk or another customer is saying. He's the one who has to repeat himself the most often. Sometimes when I'm stuck on a word he will resort to fingerspelling it as only a frustrated pre-teen can do.

Sometimes he turns the situation around to his advantage. Last April 1, we had the following dinner table conversation. Charlie: "Is your sinus infection better, Mom?" Me: "I think so." Charlie: "Mom, I said is your science infection better?" Me puzzled: "Huh?" Charlie with a smile: "April Fool!"

He also likes to give me spontaneous tests. Charlie: "Mom, tell me what two words I'm saying." Me: "OK." Then I hear him say ah and ah. Charlie responds to my reply: "Wrong! I said off and toff" (fingerspelling both for emphasis). Me: "Toff?" Charlie knowingly: "Short for toffee." [Note: You can see he's well aware that t's and f's give me trouble.]

The other day I told him about a four eared cat I saw in People magazine. His comeback was "I bet that cat hears real good!"

Clean Tubes

Yesterday I went to the audiologist to get my hearing aids' ear tubes replaced. This has to be done about once every 3-4 months. In the last week I had noticed a reduction in my hearing ability probably due to ear wax accumulation. Soon afterwards the tip of one of the eartubes started breaking apart. Time to call the audiologist. When I got home from my appointment, I mentioned to Charlie that I had new tubes. He decided to give me one of his tests. This time I could easily discern between his ah and his off. Then when I was across the room from him, he gave me another challenge: uh and the. I got it right again. "Hooray!" he cheered, "you can hear better again."


kim said...

Oh--this reminds me sounds so much of my household when my kids were younger. I raised three. It's wonderful Charlie fingerspells for you. Mine also do that and help in the store when I don't hear. The youngest took ASL in highschool but he's forgortten a lot of it over the past two years.

I used to feel badly about not being able to hear them. I've missed so much, but looking back I can see there are advantages to being exposed to disability in a parent at a young age. I might blog about this later.

What a wonderful, sensitive, smart boy you have. :-)

SpeakUp Librarian said...

Yes, Kim, he is a wonderful, funny, loving, and bright boy. I'm truly blessed to his mother. Who knows how this experience will play out in his life choices later on? I know he'll think twice about blasting his favorite songs as a teenager.

Karen Putz said...

Those pesky tubes and the way they get clogged up!

We have a couple sitting in the kitchen drawer as back ups. Someone is always busting a tube around here.