The Hearing Aid Struggle

A deaf patient asked me one day if my hearing aids were analog or digital. I had to think for a minute. Because I know the analog she’s talking about are old school. Not the new, fancy, digital kinds. I had forgotten about them.

They stopped making analog years ago. Technology has rapidly grown faster than my husbands belly during the holidays. Jokes aside, she hated the new technology.

I do remember the analogs. They seemed to last longer than the digital. They were clearer and had less background noises. As she complained, I nodded along in agreement.

I know many of us struggle with the new technology. Sometimes I wished I had better insurance to qualify for the best model out there. It’s was quite a headache dealing with the insurance company and my hearing office to ensure that all finances were settled with my new expensive purchases this year. It took months to settle a simple paperwork issue. It is extremely expensive. The hearing tests, hearing aids, tube change, tune ups, properly fitted ear molds all cost money. Not to mention possibly getting new ear molds again months down the road because some how it doesn’t fit anymore and you’re experiencing feedback, unclear sounds, or it’s just damn uncomfortable to wear.

I say let’s bring back the analog for those who prefer it and fight for better hearing loss coverage for everyone.

Being Deaf in a Hearing Family

I was often seen as favored out of my brother and sister.

I often read lips of important figures telling others my mother pays too much attention to me. But wait.

The jealously is over a hard-working single mother who threw all of her support, love, life lessons, attention in to raising me to be the best human I can be. Mixed feelings of guilt and gratitude over here.

I remember the teenage anguish of frustration between all of us. The loneliness, despair, guilt, can’t-get-the-right-words-out-of-my-mouth feelings. The door slams, hide in your room and cry it out, the aches to be included even though to them you are. Deep inside you’re left out.


Dinner and party events are often a blur because you’re reading so many lips and hearing a ton of static in the background.

Conversations are in a trance and often times, there’s misunderstanding, correcting, and did I mention awkwardness?

Fitting in with your extended family was a stretch.

Throwing your hearing aids in the toilet over the sound of your parents arguing in the background.

Being social with friends is like trying not to drown.

I was born in the mid 1980s when doctors are telling parents to place a disabled child in a home with other disabled children. Sign language was deemed inferior to English speaking. Cochlear implants were part of an amazing young technology that had barely any research to back it up.


After my diagnosis at 2 years old, my mother ignored all of the doctors orders. The kind to send me away to boarding school to be placed with other deaf children. The kind to put some unknown irreversible implant into my cochleae. The kind that tells you your child shouldn’t be using speech but express with her hands.

I distinctly remember the routine of a long drive to daily speech lessons. The fear of my speech therapist covering her mouth, making me crumble at every word that I was forced to repeat. The sick feeling in my stomach knowing I got every word wrong. The weight of the world on my shoulders as I come home.

There were note pads in every room. Every piece of furniture had a name. I was challenged every single day. To speak it correctly in every consonant, vowel, and spelling.

Closed-captioning became readily available on certain channels at the time. It was a life saver. It taught me lip-reading, how to read words, how to comprehend, how to read a sentence and listen, and so much more.

Being bi-lingual, in my terms, with not-so-fluent ASL and fluent English has taught me to be more broad, in my opinion. Each one of us in the family picked up ASL in our own ways but linguishly I still flourished with oral speech.

ASL may have never been in the household. I don’t, never did and never will hold any resentment towards that.

Those who learn oral speech aren’t less deaf and those who learn ASL aren’t failures. – unknown

My family accepted me for who I am.

Highlights from Dallas, Texas

There’s always a first time for everything. When I say Texas is a culture shock, that’s a first. I’m a huge traveler and have seen crazy parts of the world. This place is so different among others for many reason. It’s flat, spread out, and the vibe here is different. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There are locals and even tourists who think it’s beautiful. I always say don’t judge a book by it’s cover. There are places yet uncovered and unseen. There are places that have amazing eats and sites to see! Below are some of the places we went for a quick get away.

HG Sply Co – This is a place for all you Crossfitters, Paleo eaters, health nut foodies, etc. I absolutely adored this place. Their drinks are so good. I got their “Double Under” which is beet-infused tequila drink and am itching to go back for a second drink. Many of their drinks have some sort of veggie or fruit infused. Their food menu is so healthy yet so filling. Simple and clean. They can even be prepared gluten and dairy-free.

Joe T’s – It’s basically a restaurant with no menu that fills an entire city block. Order your fajitas or enchiladas, pitcher of darn good margaritas or one with a corona bottle in it. No problemas.

Snooze Eatery – If you enjoy brunch, this place has the best, lightest, fluffiest pancakes I’ve ever had. We got their special, a Mocha pancake. Literally coffee spilled on pancake but better. They have some delicious burritos and lighter fares. There’s usually a line but put your name down, help yourself to some free coffee in their orange mug or order a Bacon and Egg drink while you wait for your table.

Even get a chance to stay at the Gaylord Texan or Omni Hotel. They both were fantastic.

I’m sure some of you are wondering why I’m writing this but I have some news for you.

 

We are moving to Texas!

 

Read it again.

This was probably one of the hardest decisions we’ve made. We looked at every option including moving closer to DC.

This wasn’t an easy 4 months. There were a lot of tears shed, indecisive decision making, even a declined offer, lots of flights to Dallas and back, not to mention a ton of sacrifices we’re making. We will be moving further from our families. But giving up our dream home was probably the hardest for me. I love my home, the huge back yard we created just for our dogs, the sweat, blood and tears that went into building this thing we thought would be our forever humble abode.

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Then I realized, life doesn’t always go as planned. It never has. I read this quote somewhere.

If we’re meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet…

This couldn’t be more true. I’ve always lived life in the craziest ways even my family thought wouldn’t be possible. That deaf girl? I went to an out of state college. I gave up my life in NJ to be with Justin in Virginia. I’m traveling the world. I’m constantly seeking greater things ahead and what life has to offer.

 

 

 

With that being said, I’m looking forward to our adventures in the big state of Texas!

 

We will miss everyone and the memories created with our friends and family. Virginia is a place I truly believe for lovers and will forever hold a place in my heart.

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