28 February 2006

Tuesdays are for Self Portraits

I will never understand. How can something so small be so loud? How can it be the source of so much misunderstanding? Why does sound matter so much? Why is every little last bit of hearing so important to have? Why is it supposed to be a good thing to have sounds in your ears at the 120+ dB range as a matter of course? Did it never occur to anyone that even a deaf person's ears can really hurt with loud noises? How does my life change for the better because I hear clattering dishes? What talismanic secrets do I discern as I realize going to the bathroom with a hearing aid on is the most second annoying sound on the planet? How can anyone survive all day every day listening to the infernal click clack spronk tappity tap tap blonk thronk of the keyboard? Does anyone know that I have never once woken up in the morning wishing I had it on? Do the people who paid for this thing realize how silly it was to buy this expensive of a toy for someone as deaf as I? Should I confess that it lives in a little container in a drawer in my closet 99.9% of the time? Do most hearing people realize that using hearing aids make most deaf people deafer, due to all that loud noise blasting in their ears? Does anyone but me see the profound irony in having children wear hearing aids for the "every little bit of hearing helps" reason when in the end, these children will hear less as adults than they did as children? Will anyone care if I confess that the only thing I ever wanted to hear with the infernal thing, I never will? What is a meow meow meow meow like? Does it make me a bad person if I confess that I see nothing in life worth wearing the hearing aid all day every day for? Do people realize that understanding sounds is different from hearing them? Has it ever occured to anyone that they could listen to their mother's voice for decades with this thing, and yet have it be possible that they would never be able to identify said voice anyway? Would it seem strange if I confessed that I didn't think music was a part of the infernal racket of life? What would you do if I told you that I loved Gustav Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde so much I wrote a 20 page paper on it for grad school? Would it surprise you if you learned that the only time I make sure I pack the hearing aid in my bag is when I'm going to watch a movie in the theatre? Would you find it weird that I have more than 50 CDs? What do people think the pratical application for hearing aids are? What would you say if I told you that in junior high I had to have permission to take off one of the two hearing aids I wore at that time? Can you envision never having understood words in your entire life? Can you wrap your mind around the notion that if you try really really hard, are well rested, and actually, for some strange reason, care, you can only see inflections, emotions, stresses in sounds when people speak, and that's only if you can hear their voices anyway? Do you see that my ears, let alone this hearing aid, have absolutely nothing to do with my writing? Do you see why it would be possible for someone to find more meaning in a single song than in a lifetime of all the random everyday noises that seem so normal to everyone else? Do you realize I would be living my life exactly the same way if this thing melted into a pile of plastic goo tomorrow?


Blogger Scoutj said...

Thank you for sharing this with us.

9:04 AM  
Blogger Mr. Sandman said...

There's a post over at deafdc.com talking about hearing aids, so this was a timely post! I too leave my aid in its lovely little box most of the time-- it has its uses, but the ability to hear background noise, as you pointed out, has nothing to do with one's skills, cognitive or otherwise. What frustrates me (and Bobby at deafdc points it out too) is that insurance companies won't cover the cost of a hearing aid, but they WILL gladly pay for a cochlear implant. Sheesh. That's akin to not paying for glasses, but shelling out for corneal surgery or the like. Not the best analogy, I know, but think about it...

11:10 PM  

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