Frustrated. That’s how I feel right now. Others around me are feeling frustrated too but mine is heighten further as we are stuck on a train going nowhere fast. They can hear the announcements but all I heard is garbled words. I have literally no idea what is being said thanks to my hearing.
“Oh but you have a cochlear implant?! That restores hearing doesn’t it?! Ooh it’ll be just the same as a hearing person right?!” No. Quite simply no. A cochlear implant improves the sound quality but it’s still not on a par with someone with normal hearing.
People take hearing for granted. They jack up the volume on their headphones, mobiles, tv and other gadgets and when told they run risk of damaging their ears roll their eyes and say “Won’t happen to me!”
The irony is that I’m the one often telling my own family to turn the noise down as it’s too loud and I’m the deafest person in our house. That’s got to be saying something if a deaf person saying it’s too loud surely?!
You take it for granted that you can go out in a group of people and hear every single word. You walk along the road chatting and I’m there desperately trying to pick out and piece the words together to make sense of what is being said so that I can feel part of the conversation too. Imagine doing that sat in a loud meeting room, pub or anywhere where there is more than two of you in a room day after day.
Imagine being me trying to listen to information, processing what is said and understanding what to do whilst still listening to next bit of conversation. Now throw in having to write that info down whilst trying to lipread at the same time in a noisy room. I don’t just mean people talking, I’m talking about background noise like photocopiers, coffee machine, telephones ringing and so on.
Maybe then you’ll understand my frustration, why I’m so exhausted at the end of every interaction and why it’s a struggle for me to follow conversations and not feel like I’m stood on the edge every single day.