Thursday, 29 July 2010

The Farm

Guy Takes the Bathtub Test for Mental Health.

During a visit to the mental asylum, Guy asked the Director what the criterion was that defined whether or not a patient should be institutionalized.

'Well,' said the Director, 'we fill up a bathtub, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup, and a bucket to the patient and ask him or her to empty the bathtub.'
'Oh, I understand,' said Guy. 'A normal person would use the bucket because it's bigger than the spoon or teacup.
'No.' said the Director, 'A normal person would pull the plug. (Pause.)
... Guy, do you want a bed near the window?'

Someone who works in mental health, once said to me ‘I don’t how a deaf person is going to cope in the nuthouse, deaf awareness is not their forte.’

How true that is. I’ve had dealings with mental health practitioners, therapists and the like.

‘Get out the way son, you’re using my oxygen.'- McMurphy quote.

First one was with some sage for some therapy sessions. This sage obviously skipped his deaf awareness course and it was me who had to give him a crash course. But after like 10 minutes of us talking, he’d slip back into his bad old habits of mumbling. I thought who needs help here? I’m the one who needs my head sorted out and I’m getting another headache over the very things I’m trying to get away from!

He was like a broken record. His cheesy line was “You can’t change who you are, but you can change how you think.” Hell, this guy needed to get a job on the Jeremy Kyle Show or something..

I had to laugh, because after 8weeks of therapy, he started telling me all about his wife! LOL

Next up, was a meeting with a mental health practitioner, which turned out to be one of the funniest guys I’ve ever seen.

He looked me in the eye and sized me up. Then went on to ask me some bizarre questions.

‘What do you eat for breakfast?’ he asked

What do you think,..Cocaine with Shredded Wheat.’ I replied followed by manic laughter from both sides.

Next question ‘Do you have a roof?’ he said

I replied ‘My roof is thinning somewhat,' pointing to the top of my head.’ Again he rolls about laughing.

‘Do you hear voices in your head’ he went on.

‘No, I have tinnitus’ I said

‘What’s that?’ he asked

‘Well, if you squeeze someone’s acorns, then that will give you an idea.’ I said

This guy was off again, laughing and pulling out his hanky which resembled a table cloth to blow his horn.

I figured by now, I’d like to have his job. It sounds like a lot fun asking all these weird questions that you just wouldn’t dream of putting to David Cameron.

Then he pulled out this card with a bunch of numbers on and passed it to me. ‘If you get into a pickle, call up one of these numbers.’ he said.

On looking at these numbers, I looked at him and said ‘OK, so I call up the Samaritans via type talk and ask them to get me out of a pickle?’

‘OK, we have a problem here.’ he replied

He didn’t have a clue, so it was down to me to keep it together and not get into a lather.

Seriously, where do deaf go for help? NADP and LINK are as useful as a chocolate teapot. Depression and deafness goes hand in hand. For treatment of bad depression, then medical professionals are needed to be seen for some happy pills.Other than that, it is down to the company you keep that will either help you, or be of a hindrance to you.

I didn’t really know anyone who could relate to what I was going through. I got frustrated and even angry, whenever people tried to down play my problems. Even family members can be annoying as hell, as they try with all good intentions fix you up. Only people who'd been in my shoes really understood how it felt. And by chance, I knew a mate who was going through similar stuff as I was. We got together and chatted about it all, there was no need to hide anything like you would with others, who weren’t on the same wavelength. A little help from my friends does in some way ease the pain a bit.

I got that Beatles song going on now.

I get by with a little help from my friends,
I get high with a little help from my friends,
Going to try with a little help from my friends....

Wednesday, 21 July 2010


Aight ( Alright ) guys and girls. Me went to have a listening test today.

Was wicked man. Firstly, I had the medical, to check everything was in order. I still have my meat and potatoes so that’s the most important thing.

Next, was the listening test. I had to look at this TV, that looked like 50 years old. This guy appeared on the screen and I thought ‘Youse for real man?’ He looked something out of Jackanory. Man,.. I’m 41 years old, not 4!

Anyway, he starts moving his mouth, only there ain’t no sound. Jeez, I had to lip-read this guy and repeat, what I thought he said to me. This guy needed to go on a deaf awareness course, he weren’t not talking sense! My score on this was 27% , which the lady thinks was pretty good.

Next up was the same test, but with sound. Each ear was tested. I did wicked in these tests, scoring 70% in each ear.

Then things were to get a lot harder. I had to listen to sounds without no face. Each ear was tested separately before both ears were used together. It were well hard, I did so bad that I needed to go back to school. I got 0% in these tests! Straight up, I ain’t kidding you…0%. Does that mean I can get a job in McDonalds or something?

The lady says, I lip-read to live, man. Too right, I do. Everyday I look at rubber lips to keep it real, I'm dissing it big style. She says this CI will be like having a new baby, only without the contractions. A baby? me ain't having a baby. Oh shit, was this the maternal ward I was in?

Ha ha, had you there didn't I? Respect man..respect. Nope, this is where they fit you up big style. Ain't pulling no punches here.

Big up Yaself (Ali G speak)

Thursday, 15 July 2010

My momma always used to say..

Life's like a box of chocolates, you're never know what you're gonna get.

I love that phrase, and, use it often. I have a wry outlook on life. A lot more so, since the shit hit the fan. That fan stopped working a long time ago. I kinda got shit for brains, like scrabbled eggs. I kinda like scrabbled eggs. You can do so much with eggs. You fry it, poach it, beat it, boil it, scramble it, saute it, serve it with beans, tomatoes, burgers, salad and toast. That's about it.

I like the weather too, from rain with cloud, cloud with wind, wind with sun, we got it all. One time we got rain.. It rained for forty days and forty nights. Every kind of rain there is, we got. From little bitty stingin rain..and big ol'fat rain. Rain that flew in sideways. And sometimes rain even seemed to come straight up from underneath, I love rain.

The youngest of four, I was the black sheep. My momma had to explain things in a way I could understand. I was a kinda loner, with only a Canary for company. He was called George. George liked a bit of Golden Delicious on Fridays. One Saturday though, I spent all weekend talking to him about hearing aids. On Monday, he got the lurgy and died on the Tuesday. I buried him next to Mildred at the bottom of the garden.I never did eat apples again.

I hated school too. Every break-time, we were made to drink a bottle of milk, only that this milk had been left outside in the blazing sun all morning. It tasted like something dished up from Junior masterchef. I hated it that much, I'd lock myself in the loos every break-time from Monday to Friday. I went to a lot of schools,and, I'd get into a lot of fights. My momma used to say 'Sticks and Stones.....' I figured it better to use sticks and stones instead.

One time a big lump of lard called Fredrick, was playing a game called 'Hit the Joey' using stones, and, whatever you could get your hands on. I was asked to join in. We had to hide behind some trees, and, throw stones at each other hoping one will hit the Joey. Well, I hid behind this giant Redwood tree, it was the biggest tree there. Fat Fredrick was 20 yards away behind a puny Pine tree. I threw my 5 pounder stone,.. it missed the target by a yard. I popped my head round from behind the tree to see what Fredrick was doing. As I did so, this giant brick bounced off my head, and, wow I got hit. It didn't hurt at all, I looked at Fredrick and said 'You've hit the Joey!' That was the last memory I had. I wound up in the Matrons hospital, where this nurse who looked like Nanny Mcphee fixed me up. This is where I learnt the saying 'Stupid is as stupid does.'

I like girls too. There was this girl called Alison, who lived next door to me. Me and Alison went together like peas and carrots. One day, me and Alison decided to get married. So we invited the whole street to come along to the wedding. We were dressed up to the nines and had all our bridemaids and pageboys fitted up. We got married, and was about to go off on our honeymoon, when we ran into a problem. My older brothers got wind of what was happening, gatecrashed and called the whole thing off. The problem was, I were only 5 years old.

I was an energetic kid, lots of energy to burn. On the Fridays we had P.E . The hall was set up, ready for junior paralympics to start. Kitted out in all white, that R White lemonade should have used for their advert. I had to run up to this trampoline, bounce, do a somersault over this dead horse, and land on the mat in front, feet first. Only that, with my name being Joey, I ran full pelt and launched myself off the trampoline, somersaulted right over the dead horse, missing it by miles,..landing on the last 6inches of mat left. My arse hurt like hell,.. worst of all my hearing aids came off my ears whilst airborne and hung by their tubes for dear life. I had to figure out a way of fixing them to my head, so I stole some Blu-Tack from the art room and used that.

I was different, but my momma used to say 'Don't let anybody tell you, they're better than you. If God intended us all to be the same, he'd have given us all hearing aids.'

Like magic shoes Forrest wore, I had hearing aids instead . Now, if I told you that I could have the wind blowing in my ears again you'd think I had the lurgy or something. Well, the wind is coming, and, it's going to take me places I never dreamed possible.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Big D, little d, hoh, W or a T.

I find all this big D, little d thing amusing, if not annoying.

I have been on the receiving end of the D question on a number of occasions. And, it is funny how the Deaf community play it out. On the assumption that I can speak well, they are quick to tell their common fellows, that I'm really hearing or HOH. Whatever they say sticks like the proverbial does to a blanket.

Have you heard the one where a D, goes up to a comedian? Well, the D asks the comedian if he thinks the D is a little d or, infact, a big D. The comedian replies in timely fashion and says, 'No, you're a W instead.'

So the sorry saga continues...

Everyone is segregated like a Terry's chocolate orange, only that the chocolate tastes better. The D's are in the language of sign and fully absorbed into the Deaf community. The little d's, are the late deafened ones and ones who cannot hear for toffee, but can speak for toffee. The fact they can speak, gives them the prized 'd' title. Then you have the HOH, who are moderately deaf, but with hearing aids can understand speech.

Each to their own really, but we are all interconnected by default.

Hearing folk will banish us under one group and label it to whatever takes their fancy. I have been refered to as the 'Deaf and Dumb brigade' and 'The Simpletons' which as it happens I find funny. Being able to laugh at what gobshite comes out of their mouths keeps the tubes clear of condensation.

I think all these Terry's have their own unique personalities. An old mate of mine who happens to be a D, often popped round unannounced at any hour of the day or night to see me. One time I was in my room listening to Heavy Metal, with my own disco going on. Ringing the doorbell wasn't going to get my attention and I didn't have one of those flashing lights you can get down the social.

Anyway, the mate is banging on the door trying to get my attention to no avail. Now, most would just give up and go home, but him? no no, he had another trick under his sleeve. He managed to let himself in and made his way to my bedroom door and knocked. I heard this knock and thought it was coming from the stereo, so I went to check the stereo. Then, as I did I let out an almighty scream, that any opera singer would be dead proud of. This Terry was standing by the doorway, laughing his head off whilst a 101 things raced through my mind.

'You're a T' I shouted out.

Lip-reading me he replied:

'Mine's white with two sugars please'

Friday, 9 July 2010

Deaf? then no Chicken Masala for you.

True story...

One time, me and the missus was feeling peckish.

We'd fancied a indian takeaway. So we called up using trusty typetalk...

Operator has connected you...'Oh yes, please could we order some food?'

Indian guy says 'What?' are you for real?'

'Yes, Im for real and would like to order a number 22 and 14 please.'

Line suddenly goes quiet, but operator is still engaged with the Indian man.

Operator says 'I'm very sorry, the man was very rude and said deaf people don't like takeaways.'

'Im speechless for once..totally dumbstruck,' then blind anger kicks in a couple of seconds later.

'Thanks operator, I'll deal with this.'

So me and the missus jump in the car and hare down to the town centre like Starsky and Hutch with hearing aids whistling in tow.

We apprehend the guy at the takeway. He looks sheepish, turns and walks into the kitchen. Shouts followed with pots and pans flying.

The man returns a minute later. He says, 'Me very sorry, you order now and no pay ok?'

'Why did you say deaf peope don't like takeaways?' I ask.

' Indian man says ' Me say sorry, please order ok..please order.'

Some way to get a free takeway eh?

Deaf? then order your takeaway via typetalk and hope for the best. lol

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Yeah but, but, does it come with a bag of Jelly Tots?

Ive spent a lot of time procrastinating about cochlear implants. I didn't think cochlear implants were pretty, in fact I thought they looked pants. Actually they still look pants. lol
I was born with a pretty head and it's not the done deal to send myself off to Toy'r'us and return as Frankenstein. Hardly anyone has a CI these days?, I mean just take a trip to your local town with your friend and play a game of 'Spot the Cochlear'. You'd have a hard time seeing a magnet on someone's head, and if you do then that's a rare find.

For the women and hippy men can hide theirs under their hair bonnet. The rest of us, can only hide under the bonnet of a car. The cochlear would then stay there for it has a magnet. So remember don't go anywhere near a car or anything metal, if you are going to play hide and seek with the kids or from the cops.

Whenever I did see a cochlear, I'd scream out 'Holy Crap.. what happened to that guy?' Did he take part in Scrapheap Challenge and went too far this time? It looks like it was designed by a bunch of kids at Kindergarten. First prize for uglinesss and none for prettiness.

Whenever I was asked in the past to go for an implant, I'd give them a funny look as if to say 'Are you being serious here?' They were deadly serious, for I was deaf as a door knob. I was in denial and it wasn't my time to go Cyborg . I was maxing out on my turbo charged hearing aids instead.

Hearing aids have been a huge part of my life. In my ears for years, they'd become part of my essence. Lots of people have hearing aids. During my last trip to 'Spot the Cochlear' I spotted ten hearing aids users and just one Cochlear. So, hearing aids are abound and I felt part of the brotherhood..brotherhood of hearing aids.

Hearing aids are all very well if they do that, help you hear. But probe further and a whole can of worms will emerge. Whistling feedback is one of the most annoying things about them. For if you are a profound deaf user, you won't hear much of it, but everyone else will!!
I remember a time, when I did a site visit for some new clients. The new clients didn't know I was deaf and with us all stood outside chatting, they would excuse themselves because they could hear something.. so inside they went and after a few minutes checking the alarm etc, they'd come back outside. I figured it all out and mentioned that the sound they were hearing could actually be from my hearing aids! The look on their faces was priceless! LOL

Hearing aids also won't help with speech if you haven't got enough 'hair' cells in your cochlear. With mine being fried by menieres, I get distortion and squeaky voices instead that make no sense to me. I've had people yell at me, whenever I'd ask for them to repeat. Repeat as many times as they did, and it still sounded the same abet louder. You then start to fiddle about with the hearing aids, blowing into the tubes to clear any blockages. And change the battery, only to realise that it made no difference. In a fit of anger, you throw your hearing aid across the room, only for it to end up in a goldfish bowl and die an early death.

So what's the alternative? A cochlear that comes with a bag of Jelly Tots??

Cochlear users tell me, they are the mutt's nuts. They tell me they can hear a fart 50 paces away. They can hear the neighbours munching on their tortillas. They can hear like a normal person! Their speech recognition goes from 0 to 100 % in a matter of months. They fire their interpreter along with their mother, father and auntie Betty. They go on a mad spending spree and end up looking like Susan Boyle from Britain's got talent. They don't care, because Access to Work can pay for it. lol

They love their CI, caressing it every night singing a lullaby as they put it to sleep. They wear them like women carry Gucci bags, proud as hell. They order a takeaway with extra toppings over the phone, because hell they can hear again and it's been a long time coming.

And they actually get to hear the punchline of jokes!

I'll have one with a bag of Jelly Tots please.