Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Nightmare on 'deaf ' Street.

I found myself on deaf Street.

Being no longer able to hear over the phone, was the single biggest heartache for me to deal with. I was used to speaking over the phone at work as a site foreman. I needed my hearing to communicate effectively to my workers, clients and suppliers. With my ears now 'disabled' I simply delegated these duties to my colleagues. In more ways than one, I demoted myself...damn, menieres did that!

Conversation became far more challenging and uppermost in my mind. I had to learn to lip-read and fast. I took an instant dislike to watching peoples lips. My brain was having to work overtime, guessing what people were saying. I quickly lost interest in the daily banter that went on between colleagues and became Jonny no mates, who has moved to deaf Street.

I spent a good deal of time, trying all sorts of alternative therapies to reclaim my lost hearing. I went to an acupuncturist and had needles stuck all over my face and feet in order to stimulate the pathways to recuperation. I even tried one of them crackling candles that you put into your ears. All I got was an ear smelling of Jasmine.

I spent a fortune on all kinds of vitamins, taking them for months. Along with eating all the right foods to try and flush out evil menieres out of my system. But the damage was done and I was truly stuck on deaf Street.

Being deaf meant I had to find new ways of coping. The phone was ditched for Type talk. First time I ever used Type talk was hysterical. Speaking using VCO, I'd yell down the receiver saying 'Can you hhhhhhear mmmmmmmmme'?? and 'Are you receiving me, one two, two, over to you'. lol Type talk is Crap talk, just unbelievably frustrating.

Wearing two hearing aids, I'd get folk looking at me as if I was a simpleton. From going to shops to ordering food in restaurants, I'd get people exaggerating their mouth movements and speaking ever so sssssslowly so that I got the message. That message came across to me as ' You're deaf so you must be dumb'!

All these labels and misconceptions that come with deafness had me to-ing and fro-ing from hysterics to downright anger. Inwardly, I had to dig deep to keep it together. No one I spoke to really understood how it felt. I had lost a life and got a half life instead. Born deaf, couldn't make out what all the fuss was about. HOH folks just shrugged their shoulders and thought themselves fortunate not to be in the dungeons that profound loss catapults you to. Hearing just didn't have a clue, I couldn't expect them too really. So there I was, stuck between worlds and in one that even Freddy wouldn't touch!

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