I have read about the five stages of grief — denial & isolation, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance — and they remind me a lot of the stages of hearing loss. This makes sense, because for many, myself included, the loss of hearing is something to be mourned, to be missed, to be fought. We hide it, we hate it, we ignore it, we are sad about it, and eventually we accept it, or at least the lucky ones of us do. But for people with hearing loss, these are not the only steps.
Hello. It’s me. I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to go to a concert? I have two extra tickets. To Adele. Do you and your daughter want to come? [sing this to Adele’s “Hello”]
I rarely go to concerts — I am afraid to damage my hearing any more than it already is. But when my sister invited my daughter and me to the Adele concert in Madison Square Garden, the look on my daughter’s face said it all. We had to go. It was my job to make sure we could enjoy the concert safely.
I am proud to share my hearing loss story and tips on Mango Health.
Have you ever struggled to hear a conversation? Whether you were in a loud environment or speaking to someone soft spoken, you’ll know that being hard of hearing can be uncomfortable and even embarrassing. Hearing health advocate Shari Eberts shares how she learned to accept the onset of hearing loss.
I grew up the child of someone with hearing loss. My father wore hearing aids, but they were never seen — always hidden by sideburns grown long for that purpose. He never discussed his hearing loss and went out of his way to hide it. I remember social gatherings where he would disappear only to be found sitting at a table in the corner alone. I always wondered why, but now I know. He probably couldn’t hear and was embarrassed, or exhausted and just couldn’t bring himself to bother.
So when I first started having problems hearing in my mid-20s, I hid it, following his example. And when I got my first pair of hearing aids, I refused to wear them. I was embarrassed. I am not sure why. Was it a learned response from watching my father, or was it something larger — the stigma associated with hearing loss — that I wanted to avoid? In any event, my mother’s reaction was not encouraging. “Do you really need to wear them?” she asked me.
Eventually, the answer became yes, I really did need to wear them. But still, I avoided them as much as possible. I remember sneaking them in on the way to work, wearing them all day hidden behind my long hair and whipping them out as soon as the elevator door closed behind me on my way out of the office. I hated my hearing aids and only wore them when I absolutely needed to, and never socially or with my friends or family.
But then I had two children of my own, and this forced me to come to terms with my hearing loss. But how?
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It’s the time of year for resolutions. I will be more patient. I will start a workout regiment. I will eat healthier food. You know the drill. Most of the time, the motivation for these changes lasts a few weeks and fizzles away.
But this year, let’s try something different. Let’s make some hearing loss resolutions and stick with them throughout the year. Together, we can keep each other focused and make our plans a reality. Are you on board?
Happy holidays from Living With Hearing Loss! 2016 was an exciting year! Visits to the blog almost tripled while engagement through comments and likes more than doubled. Thank you to all my readers for making this an inviting and vibrant community for people with hearing loss! I am excited to see what 2017 will bring!
My goal for the blog is to share my story in hopes of helping others live more comfortably with their own hearing issues. All of you have certainly helped me feel that way. Thank you!
I am taking next week off, but will be back in January with more posts. In the meantime, please enjoy some of my most popular posts of 2016.
- Hearing Loss – Know The Facts
- Five Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Hearing Loss
- How To Choose A Restaurant When You Have Hearing Loss
- Ten Reasons Hearing Aids are NOT Like Glasses
- But, You Don’t Look Deaf
- Do You Get Hearing Loss Exhaustion?
- Why Is It Still OK To Make Fun of Hearing Loss?
- Does Hearing Loss Make It Harder To Remember Things?
- How To Have A Better Conversation With Someone With Hearing Loss
- Hearing Loss Should Not Be Embarrassing, But Sometimes It Just Is
Happy New Year!