A Letter to my Friends and Family about my Hearing Loss

Hi there,

I know you don’t quite get what it feels like to hear like a 90-year-old WWII veteran who was stationed next to a cannon for 5 years, even though I have tried to tell you.  So, please allow me to clarify things.

I can’t hear so good.

Nope, not even with the hearing aids.  You see, the hearing aids magnify ALL sound, not just you. So, if we are in a restaurant, or if the TV is on, or if music is playing, or if there is running water next to me, I can’t fucking hear you.

Especially when I’m in another room, with the door closed, even if you yell. Nope.

If you are my salon person, or aesthetician, and you do that cute, atmosphere keeping, spa whisper thing you all do, because heaven forbid someone should raise their voice in an environment of wax and hair color, I can’t fucking hear you.

My hearing loss is not temporary, and it’s not exaggerated.  I really can’t hear well at all.

No,  I don’t read lips. So, stop doing that.

No, I don’t know sign language beyond the basic alphabet.

It’s not something I enjoy either. Believe me.  It is frustrating.  I hate saying “what?” or “huh?” over and over again, and then shaking my head no to let you know I still didn’t get what you were trying to communicate. At this point, I usually just say, “uh huh” and fake like I heard you. Who knows what I have agreed to.

So please, have patience.  Look at me in the eye when you talk to me.  Talk louder and a little slower than you normally would.  Don’t do that high pitched, “I’m a little lady” voice. I don’t hear that pitch.  I’m trying to hear you, but I need your help.

Thanks,

Your middle-aged, geriatric, hearing impaired friend

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