One thing I miss the most about losing much of my hearing is the sound of my own voice.
When I was little, I was dyslexic. I was taught at In preschool to read out loud as opposed to silently to myself. The teachers years ago had their own method of dealing with short comings. Mine along with a few male classmates was dyslexia. All through elementary and middle school I was separated from the rest of the class and grouped with others whom suffered dyslexia.
I can remember in kindergarten sitting on bean bag chairs in a circle with my classmates. Each one of us reading softly to ourselves. Well, maybe we thought it was softly.
I recall the last slow reader class I was in. The basketball assistant coach taught it in a small class room upstairs in the unairconditioned school built during the Great Depression by WEPA. A handful of students and I read these stories on cardboards and answering the questions on the back. Once finished, we would file the card and take another after another. In that small warm room, daily after lunch I sat with mostly pubescent boys full of flatulence and scent of body odor as each one of us read softly to ourselves. Coach, did not cope well with the mumbling and occasional poot, so he entertained himself with playing the guitar and softly singing to himself. “A diddy about Jack and Diane…”
Now, as a grown adult the one soothing habit I do still enjoy is the sound of reading aloud to myself.
Approximately three years ago, I fell on ice and hit my head with great force on the cement patio. Since then, I have been losing my hearing at a rapid pace. I do wear two hearing aids. I have lost the ability to hear certain high-pitched sounds to include certain constants and vowels. I am ok with it. At first, I was ashamed. but I am an adult and have accepted the fate. I was so lucky to have lived so many years full of hearing. Today so many children are born without the ability to hear at all or impaired.
When I first put on hearing aids two years ago, the audiologist warned me that my voice would scare me. It did. It brought tears to my eyes. Not happy tears, but tears of sadness. The sweet high-pitched voice I remembered hearing was gone. I now sounded like a computer or robot. I sat with tears rolling down my checks as the technician handed me a tissue. She put her hand on my shoulder. Then she said, “It will get better. You will get used to it. I promise. I know it is difficult right now, but over time your brain will retrain itself and you will hearing much more. I promise.” She gave me that motherly tender look. I shook my head in agreement.
Two years later, I am better at accepting my new voice. It is true that my brain has reprogrammed the noise and made it sound less robotic. Yet, when I am alone, I still not wear my hearing aids, because till enjoy the sound of voice talking to my dog, Snow-po, reading aloud, singing and such.
As technology improves in hearing aids, I hope that one day I will be able to hear my voice again while wearing my hearing aids.
Next holiday, treat your loved one suffering from hearing impairment with special hearing assisted living products. I use the Resound Hearing aids and they offer many products to improve one’s life. Do something meaningful to those who need it.
Something as simple as a new door bell can improve the quality of one’s life. For instance, the ring door bell, can be produce noises of all ranges Santa Clause’s “Ho-ho-ho” to low pitched harmomies and more.