Do You Laugh or Cry at Hearing Loss Hiccups?

Misunderstandings and communication boo boos are a normal part of the hearing loss life, but when they happen, do you laugh or do you cry? Sometimes it’s hard to decide in that exact moment. 

If I am embarrassed or my confidence is shaken I may feel a bit teary, although I do my best to shake it off. But most of the time I try to laugh at hearing loss hiccups. It’s a lot more fun that way. 

Hearing loss hiccups

Travel Woes Compounded by Hearing Loss 

It was July 4th weekend and the airport was packed. Amid flight cancellations and afternoon thunderstorms, we were heading to Wisconsin for a family party. The trip was complicated. It included two groups of travelers with two flights each and a plan to meet up in a small regional airport. There we would pick up a rental car and drive for another two hours. Snafus were to be expected. 

But not this type. 

Our second flight was delayed due to a mechanical issue but luckily the flight was soon switched to a different plane at a new gate. In a previous post I asked, “How many gate changes does it take to trip up a traveler with hearing loss”. In this case, it was just one. 

When we arrived at our new gate it was already a sea of travelers. I sat in one spot and my family (or should I say my “ears“) sat in another. After some time the gate agent made an announcement over the the PA system. “If you are in the gate area waiting for flight XYZ please identify yourself.” 

Well, that’s what I thought she said. So I stand up and start waving my hand at the agent. But nobody else did. Instead, they all looked up from their phones to stare at me. 

“You need a wheelchair?” The gate agent asked again, this time with surprise since I had jumped so easily to my feet.

“No!” I replied, horrified at my error and sat down as quickly as I could. I certainly didn’t want to take someone else’s mobility device! It was hard to miss the irony that airlines often offer wheelchairs to people with hearing loss for who knows what reason. 

“That’s what you get for having the deaf girl sit alone at the airport gate,” I say aloud to no one in particular. One man catches my eye and chuckles. 

So I do too. 

Hearing Loss Peers Dampen the Blow

Feeling rather sheepish, I texted one of my hearing loss besties. Who better to share a hearing loss hiccup with than a fellow hearing loss warrior?

And she laughed too.

It was certainly better than the alternative. 

Readers, when you have a hearing loss hiccup, do you laugh or cry? 

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Book: Hear & Beyond: Live Skillfully with Hearing Loss

6 thoughts on “Do You Laugh or Cry at Hearing Loss Hiccups?

  1. Jerry Henderson – Pownal Maine – Thank you for coming to my space. This is where I post thoughts, opinions and commentary on a variety of subjects at irregular intervals. I try to do something weekly, but have not nailed down a rigid schedule, like every Wednesday, yet. If you would like email notifications of new posts, you can make that happen right on the site. Simply enter your email address to subscribe. Also, if you would like to comment I welcome that. Just do so in the space at the bottom of any selected post. Sharing thoughts, opinion and commentary is a peculiarly human characteristic. It must be exercised to be enjoyed. Jerry Henderson
    Jerry Henderson says:

    Well Shari, I guess it really depends on the situation. Humor is usually the best lubricant for a squeaky wheel. That works just fine until you brought up the airport scenario. There is very little about an airport experience that even remotely suggests that anyone gives a flip about your hearing loss challenges.

    I rarely fly anymore but when I do I make up my own rules. When they begin announcing the loading sequence ( I never understand any airport PA system) I simply go in the first group. If in doubt, I grab a uniform and ask for assistance.

    I’m old enough to look like I need help whatever the situation. On my next flight I plan to carry a cane or request a wheel chair – with my balance issues I qualify.

    Your point is well put: A smile can work miracles.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a passionate hearing health advocate and internationally recognized author and speaker on hearing loss issues. She is the founder of Living with Hearing Loss, a popular blog and online community for people with hearing loss, and an executive producer of "We Hear You," an award-winning documentary about the hearing loss experience. Her book, "Hear & Beyond: Live Skillfully with Hearing Loss," (co-authored with Gael Hannan) is the ultimate survival guide to living well with hearing loss. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, she will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Well said. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. I usually tell the gate agent when I arrive at the waiting area that I am hard of hearing and am afraid of missing my call . they usually accommodate me in some way. P>A> systems are very difficult to understand.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a passionate hearing health advocate and internationally recognized author and speaker on hearing loss issues. She is the founder of Living with Hearing Loss, a popular blog and online community for people with hearing loss, and an executive producer of "We Hear You," an award-winning documentary about the hearing loss experience. Her book, "Hear & Beyond: Live Skillfully with Hearing Loss," (co-authored with Gael Hannan) is the ultimate survival guide to living well with hearing loss. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, she will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Good strategy. Thanks for sharing what works for you.

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