New Website!

Why did I abandon this blog?

I let my domain name expire, and someone from the Bahamas bought it.  Not only that, he/she copied MY ENTIRE BLOG even down to the comments.  This blog exists in two separate places now – here and at my original domain name:

http://beethovensears.com

Yes, those are MY stories.  The spammer has them on his/her Website and there’s nothing I can do about it.

If you’d like to read more of my stories, check out my new blog:

http://www.4ears4eyes.com/

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Seen, But Not Heard

Normal hearing children that grow up with a hard of hearing (HOH) parent naturally adapt to the parent’s hearing loss; from an early age, both of my children muted the television, turned off music, and made sure I could see their lips before they attempted to speak to me. Sometimes I felt just a little bad that “talking to mommy” required more work than talking to other people.

But that was BEFORE Super Hearing Boy (SHB) became a teenager.

SHB gradually came into the realization that he could take advantage of my lipreading ability and USE IT AGAINST ME. And do it in a subtle, sneaky manner… and make me look like I’ve gone berserk! How is this possible?

 I’m at the piano, rehearsing with the band at church after potluck, and glance over at SHB. He’s staring at me, trying to get my attention without any of the guys noticing. The instant I look at him, he starts moving his lips without making a sound. The sight of his moving lips puts me in an almost hypnotic trance and I’m compelled to lipread until his lips are still. I shake my head to indicate “no” and his lips move again. Finally, I stop playing, and say firmly, “No, I am NOT going to drive you home now and come back here to finish rehearsing! Just sit tight for another half hour and stop arguing with me!”

The guitarists and drummer are silenced by my outburst.

 Guess who looks like a raving lunatic and who looks calm and composed?

The Beethoven Effect

Is anyone still interested in reading this blog? Due to major changes in both my professional and personal life, I’ve seriously neglected it, and I apologize for my laxness. Now that I’ve adjusted to my situation somewhat, I feel like writing again.

Let me begin the “rebirth” of my blog by telling how I stumbled upon a very effective method of upgrading from a semi-private hospital room to a private room, at no additional cost. If you are hard of hearing, you’ve got the necessary tools to do the same!

Sixteen years ago, I welcomed Super Hearing Boy into the world. He was delivered via C-section, and powerful drugs dulled the pain inherent with this major abdominal surgery. I vaguely remember being wheeled into a semi-private hospital room, and later that day another mom who had also recently given birth was assigned to my room. Family members eager to see my precious newborn visited while I drifted in and out of consciousness.

That night, shortly after I slipped into a drug-induced sleep, I felt someone grab my wrist.

Me (Momentarily forgetting where I was): “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”

Nurse: “Mmdghskdlfk”

Me (fumbling for the light switch, hearing aids, and eyeglasses and speaking in a loud voice): “LET ME TURN ON THE LIGHT AND GET MY GLASSES AND HEARING AIDS.”

(A minute later)

Nurse: I’m just taking your pulse.”

(Repeat scenario a few hours later)

When night turned into day, I woke up in a private room. Bewildered, I pressed the call button, and a nurse soon appeared.

Me: “Why have I been moved into this room? Is my baby alright?”

Nurse: “Your baby is fine.”

Me: “Why am I in this room?”

Nurse: “You woke your roommate every time the nurse checked your vitals last night, so we decided to give you a private room.”

Me: “Oh.”

And there you have it – solid evidence that there ARE benefits to having a hearing loss!

The Bold One

I could hardly believe my hearing aids when I encountered this customer recently at the Reference Desk:

Library customer:  I need to use a computer and my “liberry” card isn’t working.

Me:  Let me check your record – I’ll need your card, please.  Hmm.  It looks like you have lost book fees on your record.  Sorry, you won’t be able to use your Library card until the balance is below $10.00.

Library customer: (irate) What!  I ain’t NEVER checked out no books!  What do I need books for?  I ain’t read no books! The only thing I ever do at the “liberry” is look for jobs on the computer!

Me:  Ma’am, the titles of the books are, “How to Write Better Resumes,” and “Resumes that Knock ‘em Dead!.”

Library customer:  (with lots of neck action) Well, I ain’t payin’ for ‘em!  I’m going to ANOTHER “liberry!”

She spun around and defiantly marched out of the Library.  I wonder how many times this scenario will be repeated before she realizes all the Public Libraries in the County have access to her record?

Librarian = Detective

The elderly gentleman wore a white Guayabera, a man’s shirt popular in Latin and Asian countries, and walked briskly towards me at the Reference Desk. I have to admit, from past experiences, because of the way he was dressed AND his age, I prepared myself to focus on a heavy Spanish accent (Before I get any hate mail, my grandfather wore Guayaberas, and he was from a Latin American country). But nothing could prepare me for what I heard. The first sounds out of his mouth weren’t English or Spanish. They weren’t even Spanglish.

Elderly gentleman (in a loud voice): “Chair Lee Ho. D-B-D. Chair Lee Ho.”

Me: You want a DVD?

Elderly gentleman: (nods head excitedly) “Chair Lee Ho!”

I glance at my normal hearing coworker and he shrugs his shoulders, indicating he has no clue what the man is saying, either.

Me: (handing the gentleman a paper and pen) “I’m not quite getting the title. Can you write that down for me?”

Elderly gentleman: (looking offended) “Chair Lee Ho! Okay, I write!” He writes down the printed version of “Chair Lee Ho,” triumphantly hands the paper to me with a big smile, and once again says, “Chair Lee Ho!”

Me: (trying not to laugh) You want a Sherlock Holmes DVD?”

Elderly gentleman: (grinning from ear to ear) “Yes! Chair Lee Ho! Chair Lee Ho!”

Sometimes you have to be Sherlock Holmes just to understand people in the Library!

Hard of hearing/Deaf Readers!

What do YOU do for a living? No, this has nothing to do with Big Brother – I’m just curious, and I’m sure a lot of other hoh/deaf people would be interested in knowing the different careers held by other hoh/deaf. I’ve made it easy for everyone to remain anonymous by temporarily disabling the sign-in requirement. Stay at home moms and dads may participate, too.
Please list:

  • your first name (or initial)
  • job title
  • accommodation(s) provided by your employer

Lurkers – this means YOU, too! Thanks!

New Audiogram

Last week my audiologist adjusted the settings on my hearing aids. I had reached the point where I didn’t want to wear them at work because it was too painful to hear. Environmental sounds were so magnified that I almost jumped out of my skin, yet speech remained barely audible. In the Library, the “clunk” of books, CD cases, and DVD cases landing on book carts and tabletops drowned out all speech. A coworker’s lingering cough EXPLODED in my ears all day for weeks. Crying babies made me rip my hearing aids out! Yes, I looked nutty reacting to sounds that normal hearing people swore were soft!

I was experiencing the wonder known as “recruitment,” explained here by the very knowledgeable Neil Bauman, Ph.D. Recruitment goes hand in hand with a sensorineural hearing loss. The more severe the hearing loss, the worse the recruitment. I’ve been aware of my recruitment for a couple of decades, but the new level of discomfort was unbearable. My wise audiologist decided to test my hearing before adjusting my aids, and discovered that one ear has changed SIGNIFICANTLY; I can no longer hear any high frequencies in my left ear.

If you wear hearing aids and sounds are becoming painful, please make an appointment to see your audiologist right away.

audiogram-10-09-9-3.JPG