I guess it’s time to voice out about this. I know I’m not the only one who’s hard of hearing person, there are deaf people and hard of hearing, but I’m not deaf because I can speak and I wish I knew sign language (and I can read lips sometimes). So, I wanna share with you the struggle of a hard of hearing people.
I don’t know or I’m not sure about the others, but to me, the environment feels quiet and the feel of ambient. I usually don’t wear hearing aids when I’m not at school, party, or other important occasion because I save batteries (and batteries are expensive). I only wear one hearing aid in my left ear and I’m used to the surroundings. If I’m wearing hearing aid and when I’m outside, I hear chaos, the loud music, the honks of the cars passing by, the microphones, the crowd. I feel like I was eaten by sound in my mind. And sometimes it’s uncomfortable to wear in my case even it’s already been almost 10 years of my use.
My main problem is usually pronunciation. I may not be good at hearing pronunciation sometimes and I have to get used to listening to those people. Even without hearing aid, I can still hear too but a minimal sound and there’s no problem with that. But to new people, I have to deal with my hearing senses and their pronunciation. Example of this is when I’m at the mall, school, or other occasion where there are new people. And sometimes when the cashier tells me something, all I do is nod or say “Yes? or Ha?”. And this is the most disadvantage for people with hard of hearing. Communication is the major struggle.
One time, I remember when I had appointment for dermatologist. It was my turn and the assistant mouth-syncing me with something. I was disappointed of course. When the doctor was telling me, all I could hear were a few. She speak fast, as if she’s in a hurry. She knows that I’m hard of hearing and it’s like she doesn’t care whether I heard her or not. And I was damn disappointed and mad at her in my inside. When I got out, I’m still mad and I promised myself not to go there anymore.And until today, I never got back there. I will find another dermatologist.
Maybe you have someone you know who have low voice? Because in my case, people with hearing aid can speak normally according their level of sound, which means they probably speak at low voice. And yep, my voice is low, so I feel like I have to shout a little instead of talking or raise my voice. (I’m not referring to normal people that has low voice). So sometimes, they ask me what I’m saying and I’m repeating my words. Being not heard is a struggle too. How much more if you are traveling and you wanna stop by or if you’re getting help and not heard?
Sometimes people think we’re quiet. This maybe in connection with being introvert or extrovert. But since I’m hard of hearing, I don’t want to be quiet, I mean I want to communicate more and I’m sure all of you want to talk. Who wants to be isolated? No one. So sometimes we just want to communicate but we can hardly hear words but still at least there’s communication. We are normal people too. I don’t know to some people who are hard of hearing, but this is based on my experience. Feel free to drop comments about anything.