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…