Lynda Leigh: What it feels like to be a silent rebel – not wearing my hearing aids

Posted on June 2, 2014



I decided to not wear my hearing aids today, tomorrow and the day after. Why? My house-minding companions are furry or feathered. Cluck, neigh and woof is a language I don’t understand.

I’m not required to answer my host’s phone as it goes straight to message bank.

Not expecting any visitors as I’m a visitor myself and being on a rural property, the neighbours are so far away I can turn the volume up on the tv on without disturbing them. Or the stereo on full blast or sing loudly or let the dogs bark constantly….

Screen shot 2014-05-09 at 15.41.53I had forgotten how nice it is to not hear anything! Oh except the ringing, bells and whistles of my ears – the soundtrack to my life and I suspect yours.

I don’t know about you, but I find my ears get sore from the rubbing of the ear mould, the behind the ear bit, not to mention the occasional blackhead/pimple that can arise (oh the pun) too.

I live alone and work from home. I recently realised I may not see, let alone have a conversation with a person, for days. Yet I put on my hearing aids as part of the daily morning ritual of showering and dressing and I wonder why.

Is it to save me embarrassment from an unexpected visitor, someone just might want to talk with me and I’ll have to say to them “let me get my hearing aids”.

My door bell/intercom flashes so I’d ‘notice’ someone on the other side of the door. My friends know I hate unexpected visitors so they always txt me first.

My mobile flashes and vibrates so I won’t miss the call, or txt, or message, or email, or whatever!

I live in the inner city of Canberra (Australia) – the roar of the traffic is like a stormy sea, the nearby nightlife reminds me of a laughter track on a bad sitcom and work on construction sites can be jarring.

Why don’t I take my hearing aids out if it’s so noisy?

I might miss the fire alarm – I am kidding myself. It’s so damn loud and it has a flashing indicator. The building manager is aware of my deafness and has duty of care to locate me in an emergency. Or maybe he’ll send a cute fireman to rescue me in such an event.

Maybe I’m afraid. My hearing loss is degenerative; I know one day hearing aids won’t be of use – I’m using the “use it or lose it” excuse.

Or should I be more selective then – appreciate good sounds rather than the bad sounds. Music yes, traffic no, friends yes, construction no.

Either way – it’s certainly liberating not having to wear my hearing aids because ‘I have to’!

Lynda Leigh is using her difference to make a difference to business! She’s a profoundly deaf professional speaker and speaks on such topics as accessibility of websites, how to network, accessibility as the key to customer service as well as resilience having lived in the normal hearing world all her life, she’s learnt how to adapt and thrive.

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