Friday, April 27, 2012

Our Increasingly Silent World!

My greatest fear is to wake up some morning and not hear anything at all.  I am not sure I would want to live in a totally silent world, never again to hear the voices of my love ones, my favorite music, the birds singing, all of those annoying little noises that make up everyday life.  I'd probably even miss the sound of my alarm clock going off at 3 a.m.

My hearing loss started when I was young and has gotten increasingly worse with the years.  When I remove my hearing aids, the world is a much quieter place, but I can still hear a little bit.  My husband, Homer, also has severe hearing loss.  I can't hear low pitched sounds and he can't hear any high pitched sounds.  Between the two of us we almost have one good ear if we stay close together!  All those sexy, low pitched male voices are wasted on me.  How I used to love the sound of a soft southern drawl.  Homer has never heard the alarm clock, the beep of the microwave, the high pitched squeal of his own hearing aids, the beep of the smoke alarm or any other high pitched beeping noise like all those devises that beep at you when their batteries are low.

I have often wondered why, with all the amazing technical devices around these days (those smart phones can do almost anything) no one has ever been able to design a hearing aid that really works.  My hearing aids cost over $5000.00, I have to replace the batteries every three day, and I still can't hear.  The telephone is nearly impossible for me use with any degree of understanding.  I have gotten very good at nodding and smiling and bluffing my way though most situations, however, anyone who has had to be around me for very long soon realizes that I don't have a clue what they are talking about most of the time.

Anyone who is severely hearing impaired can tell you that it is extremely frustrating and the lack of ability to know what it being discussed around you often leads to anger or depression.  I can't go out to dinner with a group of friends and take part in the conversation, enjoy a stage show or a comedy routine and I have mostly given up on watching TV.  On the plus side, if anyone is talking about me behind my back I'll never know!  There are still people out there who will treat you as if you are stupid because you can't understand what they are saying.  That always generates some anger on my part.  Some people will cover their mouths with their hands when they speak, how can I read your lips if you do that!

Homer and I have great conversations.  He says What? and I say Huh?  but he has a great smile and when he smiles at me I feel good even if I don't know what he is saying.

To all you young people with the volume turned up full blast, take heed.  You will be here living in my silent world someday.