Can you be Deafer?

People tend to wonder how someone who’s deaf can still lose hearing.  And why, though the person has no speech understanding, hearing aids help her read lips and she can’t read well without them.  Of course, that person is me.  I was telling someone that I’ve lost more hearing and she couldn’t understand how you can be deaf and still lose more heairng.  It’s a fair question, but when she said to me, “Can you be deafer?”  I couldn’t help but laugh.   I think it was an innocent question – after all, either you can hear or you can’t, right?

 

Well, no, that’s wrong. Hearing loss and sounds are complicated. Sounds are in different frequencies and can be heard at different volume levels. You can be profoundly deaf and still have a few frequencies with sounds left – until you don’t.  Which is where I am now. I’m out of frequencies and decibels.

The bright side is, I can sleep on the runway of an airport and the sound of the plane won’t wake me up. Of course the down side to that is that I’ll get run over and squished by the plane, but that’s a whole different ball game.  In reality, sleeping on the runway isn’t part of my plans.  But in reality, I’m not communicating too well. You can always tell I’m in trouble when I do a lot of the talking.  If I’m talking, I don’t have to hear and I don’t have to suffer through uncomfortable silences.

 

This time with the new hearing aids has been interesting.  There are moments I think I’m doing better, but overall I’m not.  But they have such amazing features, it’s frustrating me terribly that they’re probably not going to work for me.  For instance, they have a “sound recovery” system.  That means they take the sounds and move them to the frequencies that do work for you.   Like playing an instrument in another key!

 

Unfortunately I don’t have the frequencies to put them in so they bounce around and around and they echo.  The bad part of that is I can’t hear and they drive me crazy. The amusing part is that I can sing a duet with myself and it always sounds like I’m in a crowd!   Finally I have imaginary friends.  I wish they’d say something different though.

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