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.

Music

How do you interpret music? Did it make it hard for you as a cheerleader? As a massage therapist, did it help calm you or not make a difference? How has music affected your life as a child and as an adult? What’s the one kind of music that you feel is like a language to you, that speaks to you as a person?

I cannot live without music.

I grew up dancing. I learned how to adapt to different tones and pitches. I would stay up late looking up lyrics online to study them for the next dance rehearsal. I would watch music videos via closed caption to follow it better. It even helped to learn their dance moves to it. That’s how I learned the songs to help me dance better to them. Being on stage, lights are shining on you, the music is playing and in that moment it’s you moving to the soul of the music.

As a massage therapist, I’ve always enjoyed therapeutic music. It’s very relaxing and there’s no lyrics to learn from aside from voices in another language that can make you wonder if you’re actually hearing voices or if there’s a ghost in the room. (Crickets in background…)

I’m kidding. I mean, if I’m being honest, sometimes I do drive myself crazy if the house is super quiet…

I was at a ZBB concert recently. Some of the songs I did not know and some took me a while to pick up. I do know they played our wedding song. It was a loud concert. It doesn’t sound like what you hear on your usual car radio or ITunes. There’s a ton going on. They do remixes and play other songs you may have heard of but don’t know the words to. Some concerts I’ve been to will have the lyrics on their projector screen. I do rely on Justin to relay the words or to tell me what song it is they’re playing. But honestly to me, it’s really all about having the best time of your life at your favorite bands concert. I danced all night long with my husband and some of the best people I know. Sang along to songs I could understand and smiled the whole time because that’s simply music.

Same thing when I cheered at the stadium. The music isn’t the same you hear in rehearsal. You might be off the routine just a millisecond than the rest of the girls. I relied mostly on my sight to make sure I’m moving with everyone else. If it’s raining, I’m dancing without my hearing aids and no one notices it. It’s a huge place and the music is very loud, not clear, the fans are screaming, players are yelling, the loudspeaker is mumbling nonsense. It helps that you can rely on the vibration of the beat of the song and sight of other dancers.

I think music really uplifts the soul of a person. Music really is the universal language of the person. It varies for all of us, even in a hearing person.

Deaf-Hearing Marriage

“Did your husband think twice about the fact that you were hard of hearing when you met? Does it cause any difficulties in your marriage?”

This question….kind of perplexed me.

It’s really a normal marriage. He got down on one knee, I said yes. We ended up doing that ‘getting married’ thing. We said our vows and agreed to agree how red meat should be cooked.

I think when the question was asked, I had no idea people think it could cause difficulties. Now, I can see people wondering that. If people knew us, then maybe that wouldn’t be a question.

I supposed people often question Justin. I’m sure once they meet me it’s like “oh…she’s normal.” “With a funny accent.” No, I’m just kidding.

People might automatically think we communicate via sign language. (He knows zero)

This was the first time I asked Justin if he thought twice about the fact I’m hard of hearing. This was his response.

“Nope. I think because we got along right from the jump.”

Be more like him.

It’s a problem if you make it a problem. Remember, love is universal.

Let’s get to the difficulties of how it is in our marriage!…..NONE. No difficulties whatsoever. I mean, we sure have communication issues. JUST LIKE ANY OTHER MARRIED COUPLE.

We wouldn’t be married if we didn’t mesh well. He knew what he was getting himself into and we simply had to work itself out. He happily makes the necessary phone calls that I need. I make fun of his New England accent because he will say a whole sentence in one word. Can we cue the eye roll here?

No, our marriage is not perfect. It’s normal. Like a unicorn is normal.


I am loving all of your questions. Please send more!

Email me – hello@thatdeafgirl.com