I realized that it has been quite some time since I put out a post primarily about deafness. But the title of “chapter 92” is kind of made up. 🙂 This particular chapter is the result of an episode on the CBS News – Sunday Morning about being in an anechoic chamber. First off the program mentioned is not really about “news” but more of like On the Road with Charles Kuralt but with Indiana’s own Jane Pauley. Now I know I am dating myself with this reference but for those of you who don’t know about “On The Road..” check it out on Wikipedia.
Getting back to the anechoic chamber story, it was about a couple of guys who were amazed at the experience of sitting an anechoic chamber. I have some personal experience with this as I rather frequently used a chamber in my early engineering years. I was hearing, at least to some degree, at that time and agree that is it a unique experience. An anechoic chamber basically stops all ambient noise.
Anyway the guys mentioned that they could hear each other’s breath and even when they moved their eyebrows. I kind of doubt the eyebrow comment but they said this was an experience they have never had before. That got me to thinking that I have been in an anechoic chamber for almost thirty years now, but not really.
To explain that a little further, I am plagued with tinnitus which is ringing in my ears. For me is it two frequencies overlapping each other. One is a low rumble and the other is a whistle type sound. They are constantly in my head. Thank heavens that my brain is able to just ignore them most of the time but not always, especially when I think of them as I am now. The roar would probably drive a hearing person to insanity. They say that Van Gogh suffered from tinnitus and that is the reason he cut off his hear. I don’t know about that but it is an interesting story 🙂
I was hearing impaired most of my life and knew that one day I would go deaf. Luckily that day didn’t come until I was about forty. I remember in my hearing aid days wondering what it would be like to not be able to hear anything. I once even tried to simulate it by keeping my head under water in the bathtub but then I could still hear the lower frequency sounds of the water and the tub so that just didn’t work.
It turns out that as is often the case it is not possible to simulate total deafness except in an anechoic chamber and even then you can hear yourself breathe. One of the things that Helen Keller said when someone asked her which sense she would like to have the most either hearing or sight. She said hearing as that is what keeps you attached to people. That kind of surprised me as I would have chosen sight but their is certainly a lot of truth in her words. being deaf is not for sissies…