"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive." Anaïs Nin

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Friday, April 29, 2011


Where I was raised, the term "hearing impaired" was tagged on me when I was young. Then, it was just a mild loss, hardly noticeable to me or others. The recurring ear infections caught up and rendered me in the ranges of severe in my 30's when I was categorized as "disabled", and some ranges of profound by the time I was in my 40's. As I approach my 60's, who knows? I may be even more profoundly deaf by then. All my life, we've referred to my hearing loss as a "hearing impairment". This simply means my ears don't work as well as they used to. My hearing has become impaired.

I always felt that the term "hearing impaired" was a great description of how my EARS and HEARING are impaired. I don't see well these days, I wear glasses. I have no trouble saying I have a vision impairment.

For some of the isolated communities farther up north from us here in the Eastern U. S., "hard of hearing" is the traditional phrase going back generations, kind of like using "thou" and "thee" in our Bibles. It is passed down generation after generation. Some of us still use these words, some of us don't. 

I took classes in college when I was losing my hearing. We did not have ASL in the decades I lived there. I learned Signing Exact English. I'm currently teaching young children ASL and learning the beautiful language by watching the interpreters and the Deaf at church.

Neither I, nor anyone else, mean any disrespect when using the term "hearing impaired" or using the initialized "h" and "i" next to our ears for the sign "hearing impaired".

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Most Spiritual Gift

I like to read blogs. I try to visit various ones throughout the week, never knowing what I'm going to learn.

I read one this week where someone wondered if there were people waiting for her to fail so they can take glee in her failure. Personally, I don't think she needs to worry about that because her life appears to be filled with kind Christians. People who love God generally love others enough to want the best for them and want to see them succeed, even if they have different opinions and views.

In Psalms, we are warned not to gloat when an enemy falls. If it warns us about gloating over the mistake an enemy makes, how much more serious the warning is toward us regarding our fellow Christian brothers and sisters?

If you happen to read a blog where someone is going through a difficult time and is sharing that with you, take a moment to pray for them. You don't need to leave a comment telling them you're praying for them, and you don't exactly need to know how to pray for them. Just lift them up to God. Sometimes, the most spiritual and greatest gift you can give someone is a prayer.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cochlear Implants

I had an email from someone today who has gone through the process of being born deaf, and now hears with cochlear implants. It's a fascinating story. I never realized that there is a process of "learning to listen, learning to hear." It makes sense though, because I'm often wondering, "What is that sound?" So many sounds today are indistinguishable to me. I'm constantly asking my husband what he hears. I can see on his face when he is listening to or for something.

What I found to be so wonderful about Julie's story is that she went from being profoundly deaf to actually hearing AND understanding what her daughter is saying....in the next room! That is amazing to me. I do remember a time when I could hear things in the other room. I don't know when it faded away, and sometimes, I actually forget I can't hear well anymore. In my dreams at night I hear perfectly well.

Although noise often confuses me and grates on my nerves because it is unclear, it's just noise or static. With an implant one can actually hear and understand what the speaker in front of them is saying. Currently, my hearing aids have microphones in the back, so I pick up noise from behind me or electronic noise. I can usually tell when someone nearby is getting a call on their cell phone. Once in awhile, there is a zap when walking into stores through the metal detectors that absolutely drive me nuts. I would hate to think what those could do to a pace maker. Noise can really put a person on edge if they are not accustomed to it. With the implant, as with hearing aids, it can be turned off. However, unlike hearing aids, sounds through the implants are clear and distinguishable from what my new friend was describing.

I have decided to look more into this. I see so many wonderful possibilities with this technology that can truly change a life in so many positive ways. Have you or someone you know tried this technology? I'd love to hear your story.