Most of the time, I cannot recommend being deaf highly enough. It’s such a godsend to be able to reach up and turn my doodads (hearing aids) off when the kid’s screaming gets to be too much. When I think I might lose my cool because they are being overwhelmingly…. annoying. When I just need some blessed quiet. And hearing aids are much better than ear plugs – they completely fill my ears, you see, and when they are turned off, my world becomes utterly, completely, blissfully silent.
Now before you go running over to the audiologist requesting your own pair, before you get on your knees to start praying for God to make you deaf, I want to tell you a bit of the downside. There is a downside – like anything else, after all.
This is it: I cannot hear without the hearing aids. If I am sleeping and the kids cry, I can’t hear. I wake up before dawn every day – partially to have my own time, yes, but it’s also because I’m scared to sleep in. Mikey leaves for work at around 5 in the morning – if I sleep in and the kids wake up or something happens, I won’t hear. I won’t wake up.
If someone is at the door, I won’t hear – even with the hearing aids in. If someone is calling me on the street, I won’t hear, even with the hearing aids in. If someone says something unsavory on the playground to my kids, I won’t hear – this I truly hate, because I don’t ever want my kids to think I won’t jump to their defense because I’m not responding – which I’m not doing because I simply didn’t hear what happened in the first place.
Once Micah was on the toilet calling to me to wipe his butt. He had gotten up from his nap and slipped out to poop. I was still sleeping with Moxie, my hearing aids had been bothering me so I had taken them out.
I don’t know how long he had been on that toilet seat calling (I’m sure the neighbours did though) before Moxie woke me up and pointed to the door.
That was the day I sent in my application for a hearing dog.
This is what a hearing dog will do: alert me to sounds like the kids calling. Sounds at the door, Alarms, kettles, things of that nature. Pretty much anything that I really, really, really need to be able to hear.
We’re going through the hoops right now. A hearing dog is a pretty big deal – just like a seeing eye dog. They are highly, highly trained and there is a a 2-week joint training between new-owner and dog. You have to be deaf enough, you have to have enough of a need, you need to have adequate space for the dog and you need to be able to care for the dog. They check all of these things.
Fingers crossed. I hope it will happen.
And in the meantime, I got new hearing old molds (that’s the bit that goes in your ear – they tend to get hard and shrink over time which affects the machine’s capacity to relay sound). I also got my ears re-tested.
Getting one’s ears tested is one of the most excruciatingly boring things one can do with half an hour. It’s just… numbing. No other word for it. You sit there, look at the dang wall, your shoes, the holes in the wall, whatever, and hit that button when you hear the sound.
Get that buzz thing by your ear bones…. YAWWWWWN.…and repeat the words like ‘baseball’ and ‘airplane’. Why don’t they even change the words, I wonder? It’s been the same set since I was a kid.
And audiology equipment is about as geriatric as it comes. WHY MUST IT BE SO? Kind of reminds me old-school Star Trek. Which makes me smile.
My new molds make me smile too. They fit very well, and it feels much better. The only thing left that will make my proverbial day? Hearing day, anyway. If we get the thumbs up for a dog.
Meriah Nichols is a career counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one gifted 2E). Deaf, with C-PTSD and TBI, she’s also a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.