Since my last couple of posts were about my teenagers, I thought I’d write about my teen years with a hearing loss.

When I was 13, I took my hearing aids off, and decided I wasn’t going to wear them anymore. A typical teenager, I wanted to be just like my friends. My logic at that age consisted of, “None of my friends (wear hearing aids, have speech therapy, etc.), so why should I?” The only problem with my brilliant reasoning? None of my friends had a hearing loss.

I remember sitting in the back of the classroom with all the cool kids, which of course, made me cool, too. The cool kids didn’t lipread, so, say it with me: I didn’t lipread, either. My teachers could have been speaking Swahili for all I knew. Expend energy to understand the world around me? Nah, that would be Uncool. Everything had to be laidback and easy. The only time I had a clue about the topic was when the teacher wrote on the board.

My coolness was rewarded with really cool grades: Ds and Fs. The word, “DOOFUS” described me and my report card:

D – below average

O – outstanding (in music)

O – outstanding (in music)

F – fail

U – unsatisfactory (my conduct in class)

S – satisfactory (my conduct in music)

When I saw my cool son’s latest report card, I sat down, took a deep breath, and reminded myself that I was once a DOOFUS, too.

If you grew up wearing hearing aids, did you refuse to wear them as a teen?

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