Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Finding my way...

It's been almost a year since I've logged into this blog and I can't believe I've ignored it for this long.  I've been in a state of denial/depression/guilt about my hearing loss.  Ignoring it, pushing it down, deeper and deeper, feeling guilty about my role in life and towards my family.  But as my hearing loss progresses, I find myself back in the anger/guilt stage mostly.  The stage that makes me want to do something about it.  Anger and guilt are the feelings that are most likely to provoke and motivate me!

I had another audiogram today. The results were not good.  I've moved out of the moderate-severe levels and into the severe-profound levels with nothing left in the moderate range and more peaking into the profound range than before.  My speech discrimination levels have been cut in half.  I'm now only understanding 28% at 105dB in my left ear and 44% in my right ear.  The sound was turned up so loud, I could feel my ear drum vibrate but I couldn't make out the words.

A lawn mower is 100dB.  I cannot hear a garbage disposal, hair dryer, crying baby, or a vacuum cleaner at all without my hearing aids, and a lawnmower sounds like a bee buzzing. I unplug the hair dryer when I'm done because I can't hear if it's still on or not.  I hear about 35% of what you say with my hearing aids in, in a quiet environment.  I will become profoundly deaf and will not be able to use hearing aids in the next decade according to my current rate of progression.  And I am f-ing mad about it!  I have so much anger and depression and guilt in me right now, I don't know what to do with it.

I've lost my career, my friends, my life as I know it.  My daughter is counting on me and I can give up or I can beat this and deal with it.  I have a daughter...I will deal with it, beating it is not an option.  I will make her proud and I will give her the confidence and build the virtue of empathy in her that she will need to deal with this!  At this point in my life, I can't say that I'm strong enough to do it for myself, but I will be strong enough to do it for her!


  1. Hugs!! I don't know how i found you but I just wanted to give you some hugs!! I haven't experienced any progressive hearing loss so I can't say I'm in the same position!

    1. Thanks! I try to avoid writing posts that are self-pitying but sometimes, I just need to get it off my chest.

  2. Wow, Heather. I can't even begin to imagine all that you're going through, but I was so glad to read a new post. You're an amazing writer so no matter what happens, you'll always be able to connect to others this way. Don't give up on the blog. Just as it's therapeutic for you to get all of these thoughts and feelings out, you're also inspiring so many people around you. Please don't ever give up!~ Kerri Pelham

    1. Thanks Kerri, it feels to good to write again!

  3. Hi :) I stumbled on your posts when I was researching hearing loss. My husband was born deaf - was never taught to sign because his family didn't want to admit he had a permanent problem. They put him through surgeries for years and he can hear now, but he's still hard of hearing and it's been slowly getting worse.

    We started taking ASL classes last Summer to help with communication. He stopped going after only a few months. My daughter and I still learn and now and then I'll force it on my husband by signing instead of talking (like when I'm eating and he LOVES asking me questions when my mouth is full... well... it FEELS like he does lol - timing, ya know?) Or I'll sign and talk at the same time.

    I'm lucky in that I learn languages fast. I don't know why... I guess my brain is wired to be ultra receptive... they just come naturally to me! And I love learning them, too, so that helps!

    I have been LOVING deaf culture!! I also love being able to talk across a room - silently!! :D

    Ironically, I was born with a vision impairment. While it can be correctable with surgery, I just don't have the cash to get it... and I can't say I'm pleased with the risks. I notice more problems the older I get. I LOVE art... painting, quilling (NOT QuilTing, although, I'd LOVE to get fully into that... this is a paper craft... quiLLing ) , sewing, crocheting, pastels, etc.

    I understand how frustrating it feels to have a sense not be there fully for you. I hated in college when I took an art class that I had to go to the professor and ask him to reconsider a grade based on my disability and to keep in mind that I am vision impaired and while what I painted wasn't what he sees .... or what the class saw... it WAS how ~I~ saw and I did the best I could... I HATED IT!!!! From that moment on he just gave me A's w/o any feedback on how to improve ... I had stopped painting for years after that - I felt so discouraged. I have started arts back up recently, though... I do it for me and then hide it lol

    ANYWAY, *HUGZ* I know it's frustrating. But on the other hand... there is a WHOLE NEW world opening for you. Yes, you're losing sound... but you have the ability to learn ASL fully and have a WHOLE community there for you!

    I'm sorry your friends aren't real friends... That sucks that they're not willing to learn ASL with you and your family, so they can stay friends with you!! If either of my good friends lost their hearing, I would've learned ASL... well... I AM learning ASL for my husband lol even if HE is resisting learning it :) I think he's in denial. But it'll be ok :)

    I hope you had a good year so far... I see it's been a long time since you've posted. I'm glad that you HAVE been posting! And thanks for the info on the hearing aids and caption phone thing :D!!

    Hang in there!! *HUGZ*



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