The Secret Deafie: The sound of silence (with a touch of tinnitus)

Posted on April 2, 2012

The Secret Deafie is a series of anonymous columns written by different writers. Today’s Deafie tells us about how her relationship with her hearing aids has changed…

I got out of bed, went to the bathroom, got dressed, went downstairs, put the kettle on, fed the cat. Then it occurred to me. The light on the kettle was on, but I couldn’t hear anything.

Well I could hear something, but it was the high-pitched whooshing of tinnitus rather than the lower-pitched whooshing of the kettle.

Then I realised. I’d forgotten to put my hearing-aids on.

This may not sound like much, but when I was young, I had to wear my hearing-aids. Adults would check that they were on and working. I needed them for school. Later, I needed them for work. Forgetting to put them on would have been unthinkable.

But nowadays, I don’t rely on them so much anymore. I can sign, I’m confident in my identity as a deaf person, and that I can do fine with or without them.

I’m relaxed enough about them that I can be well on my way to starting my day before remembering to put them on. This, for me, is a sea change in how I regard my hearing-aids, and I feel all the better for it.

Now where did I put them…?

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