Easier To Identify as Deaf

I came across a repost on Instagram that says as followed:

“I feel like it’s easier to just identify as deaf because if I say hard of hearing, it gives me too much leeway.”

“People think I hear more than I actually can.” @deafinitelydope

This could not be more TRUE.

I honestly feel like this is my daily struggle. Whether I just met this person or have known this person longer. It really doesn’t matter.

The fact you tell them one thing, they assume the other way.

It’s definitely hard to identify who you are as a deaf or hard of hearing individual. Whether you should go by the audiogram, how hearing population think of you, how the deaf or hard of hearing think of you. I’ll explain this in a second. We live in a world where people have no clue and are uneducated on the hearing loss.

It’s also part of the reason I started my blog.

I’m constantly seeing adversity and judgements. People whispering stupid shit. We know this happens. I’m tired of it. Period.

Rant over. The audiogram tells you where you fall on the hearing loss spectrum. How much and what pitches you can hear based on the decibels and frequencies. It usually ranges from mild, moderate, severe or profound. For example, my recent audiogram showed I have profound hearing loss, I will never hear high pitches, the sounds I can hear without hearing aids are the kind where you’d have to be 5 feet from the train. My hearing loss basically nearly fell flat on the chart where I have severe to profound hearing loss. That means legally I’m bilaterally deaf.

The deaf and hard of hearing community has certain spectrums where we seem to think we fall on. For example, I use oral speech and wear hearing aids. To them, I’m hard of hearing. If I weren’t using oral speech and mainly used sign language to communicate and don’t wear hearing aids, I’m considered deaf. This actually came from someone I used to work with who was deaf and used sign. But then again, there’s certain ranges that makes them comfortable with who they are and who they rather identify themselves with. It’s a choice. Be you and be ok with it.

The hearing population is where this becomes a situation if they’ve never met a deaf or hard of hearing person. It can be good or bad. It can go both ways. I’ve always told them I was deaf. That’s who I’ve always known myself to be. There has been times where I’ve caught myself saying hard of hearing and they seem to think I’m not. Because I use oral speech and wear hearing aids. Thinking I can actually hear everything because my hearing aids are supposed to be magic and cure me.

Hearing aids are great and even the most expensive ones on the market, the most powerful ones out there are not perfect.

Pay attention here. Hearing aids are lifesaving technologies. They are there to help you hear better. If you’re a lip reader you may and will always still be a lip reader even with better hearing aids. Like I said it doesn’t cure.

(Cochlea implants are great too. But I have no experience in that department and am not ready for an irreversible surgery.)

I actually want to shut my hearing aids off at the end of the day because I’m exhausted from the overwhelming amount of listening I have to do. Think of it this way, a radio that’s gone static all day. Once I turn that off, I have silence and have peace with myself again.

My point is, people assume you hear everything or nothing at all. Be mindful of your actions.

Thoughts? Feel free to email me or leave a comment.

That Deaf Girl from MTV….

“Were you on MTV?”

This question still shocks me to this day. It’s been probably almost about 10 years since it aired. How do people still remember me?

It is probably an interesting story? No? Maybe? It still blows my mind this happened.

It was so random. I came across a deaf newsletter I used to get weekly. Remember those MTV True Life episodes? They were looking for deaf individuals. Long story short, I shared my story that I was about to audition for an NFL cheerleading team and next thing you know the film crews were here.

What is going on?! What am I supposed to do?  Why did I respond to that darn newsletter? Why did they pick me? Why me? I had no clue how I was going to continue to go to my classes, go to my pom squad practice, do homework, hang with my friends and get ready for an audition with a camera in my face constantly.

I had no problem being in the stage spot light growing up but when you’re faced in front of cameras that follows your every move and words…shit, that was a daunting process. It was unnerving because I curse a lot and felt like I really had to keep to myself.

Face it. It’s a reality show where you expose such a vulnerable part of your life. I hate crying in front of people. Who does? I really thought they weren’t going to air the show. It was a possibility. Either they were going to replace my character with another person or not air anything all together. I didn’t feel good about how I did presenting myself. My story wasn’t that great.

It aired.

I had a lot of mixed responses. Some great, some not so great. Some were inspired and some were disgusted.

Why not so great?

I’m deaf with hearing aids using oral speech and don’t use sign.

It still poses a problem today. What people think I should be doing…whether is to stop using oral speech or get cochlea implants or blah blah blah and the list can go on…is their issue. And most importantly, none of their god darn business.

The whole point of having the opportunity to be on MTV’s True Life was to show I’m just like many of you. Striving to find her place, over coming huge obstacles daily, that anybody, ANYONE, can achieve what they want to do and just BELIEVE.

It did open doors for me and opened my eyes to a world of bigger possibilities that I never thought I’d be in today.

Full episode below.

MTV’s True Life: I’m Deaf

Vegan Lemon Blueberry Protein Mug Cake

All this rainy, cold weather lately has been making me wish it were spring already. Mother Nature has been crazy. But let’s talk about how good this recipe is. Who doesn’t love lemon and blueberry together? This one tastes almost just like my lemon blueberry pancakes I’ve made in the past. Talk about a trip down memory lane. It’s so flavorful and really hits the spot. I made this recipe with Equip Foods Prime Plant in vanilla. It is 100% plant protein. But really any vanilla flavor plant based protein will do the trick.


Prime Plants Vegan Protein Powder | A Blend of Hemp Protein, Sacha Inchi Protein, Pea Protein and Pumpkin Protein | (Vanilla)

If you tried the recipe on my last blog  Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Mug Cake you’re going to like this vegan, healthy, low calorie recipe. I’m not a vegan, but sure love eating this delicious treat!

Vegan Lemon Blueberry Protein Mug Cake

Servings: 1

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 1-3 min
INGREDIENTS
1 scoop vanilla plant protein (I used Equip Foods)
1 tbs coconut flour
½ tsp baking powder
¼ milk choice or water (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
¼ tsp lemon zest
2 tsp juiced lemon
Small handful of fresh blueberries
DIRECTIONS
1. Grease mug with coconut oil spray (any cooking spray will do)
2. Combine dry ingredients in mug
3. Add wet ingredients with blueberries (save some for the topping!) and mix. Batter should be creamy. If needed, you can add more liquid.
4. Place in microwave and heat for 60 seconds or until center is done.
5. Top it off with some fresh blueberries.
6. Let it cool down a bit. Blueberries will be hot. Enjoy!
Side hacks: If you do not have a fresh lemon on hand, 1/4 tsp lemon extract will work just fine. Careful not to overload on it!

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Nutrition Facts: 181 calories, 7.1 g fat, 18 g carbs, 17 g protein