For The First Time…

I have always wondered what would have happened if I had gone deaf without any support. I am beginning to discover that now. I went deaf two years after I was married in 1986. My now departed somewhat new bride was there to help me with the transition into a world of silence. We learned sign language together so that we could be there for each other. She helped me tremulously beyond what I ever thanked her for. I have been facing the hearing world without her support for ten months now. It has been a very challenging ten months. One of the many things I am most regretful for was that I never thanked her enough for that help.

But, at least during these ten months I have learned that I can cope with the hearing world on my own now. It is much easier now than what it could have been in 1988. Closed Captioning was still in its infancy, and pretty retched by today’s standards. Voice-to-text apps were totally unknown. Well, actually, all apps were unknown as cell phones and the like were still on the distant horizon. In 1988, there just weren’t any tools to help a middle-aged suddenly deaf person.

Fast-forward to 2022, and Captioning is approaching 100% accuracy. It even has the appropriate commas and such. I now have three different voice-to-text apps that I commonly use every day for different situations. Just a few years ago if I put my iPhone in front of people they tried to read what was on the screen. They just didn’t understand that it was my bionic-ears. In other words, having discussions with hearing people is infinitely more possible than it was even a decade ago.

I will soon be departing on my who-knows-how-long on-the-road adventure. I think I will get along just fine with the tools I now have available to me. What is still difficult is communicating with various businesses. They just don’t seem to realize that most people use text messaging now days instead of voice calls. When I tell them I a deaf and can’t do voice calls, they typically say “we don’t do text stuff, just call us”. I would love to scream in their ears “What part of deaf don’t you understand!” But, of course I can’t do that.

Getting back to the main point to finish this post, I think I can cope with just about anything that is thrown at me now. That is, except for the person who when I tell them I am deaf, just talks louder…

3 thoughts on “For The First Time…

  1. Before my two brain surgeries, I dealt with trigeminal neuralgia. Talking triggered horrendous pain that could bring me to my knees. I had the same thing happen with friends when I would tell them I couldn’t talk on the telephone and needed to text. They would tell me they didn’t do text. My deaf granddaughter has cochlear implants, so “hears,” but people don’t understand that her processors choose which sounds she hears and send only those sounds to her cochlear nerves. When she was in a classroom, if classmates sitting close to her were talking, that’s what she heard, not the teachers at the front of the room. Teachers would try to shout over the ambient noise in the classroom on “free discussion” days. For her, though, deaf since just before her first birthday, they enabled her to learn oral speech.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I meant to add that I’m sure you’ll do great although some frustrations may await you. I know you’ll also have magnificent moments.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thanks for the stories, Linda. I looked into the possbility of cochlear implants, but since my cochlea is what is damaged they are not possible for me. But I did wear hearing aids for almost 20 years, I know the hearing problems you describe.

      Thanks also for the encouraging words of the continuing comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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