“Is that mean?”
I always say no. Strangers often tell stories of their relatives with hearing loss. This particular one stood out to me the other day. A sweet lady shared with me how her grandma lost her hearing to scarlet fever at 5 years old. She received cochlear implant at 70 and proceed to tell me how she gained 90% of her hearing back.
All this sounds great. I was very happy for her. I did bite my lip when she told me how she gained 90% of her hearing back. I didn’t ask her if that’s really possible. I didn’t ask her who her doctor was. I didn’t ask her “can she really hear that well?” All I did was say “wow, that’s awesome” as if Ive never heard this before. It’s human nature guys.
It’s not ‘mean’ for her to tell me because I can see where she’s coming from but it does sting a bit. Not for me but for other deaf and HOH people. I’ve been told I’m a candidate for cochlear implants but would rather stick with hearing aids for numerous reasons. Seriously, for days, this was bugging me. She did know this was “mean” in a way but had to ask me? I find people who ask this tend to deliver the question in an apologetic way like there are only a few of us out there like I’m part of some heavily burdened group.
I can’t help but say this. Not everyone is a candidate. Not everyone “gains” almost 100% their hearing back by an electronic device implanted in their ear. It doesn’t give you perfect hearing right away and takes a long time to fully function but does HELP you hear better. Someone with severe to profound hearing loss may have PARTIAL hearing restored. Not everyone with cochlear implants can hear the same way everyone can. EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT. I will tell you it’s definitely better than a hearing aid. Now, I might sound like I’m against the surgery. I’m really not. I’ve done research. I’ve exchanged conversations with many who have cochlear implants. It’s hard to explain your hearing loss, you have to be in everyone’s shoes.
Have you told someone who can’t walk again that your paralyzed grandma got up out of a wheelchair and ran a marathon?