Archive for July, 2007

My Journey Into Deafhood: The Floodgates Opened ~

Posted by LaRonda on July 31st, 2007

(Ch. 44 of my story of my journey into Deafhood…)

One afternoon, about 6 months after I had lost my hearing, a former choir classmate called me on the phone. Her name was Rachel, and I admired her greatly. She was an extremely talented musician and songwriter. She could play piano, pen tunes, and sing like nobody’s business!

By that time, I had exchanged our regular phone receiver for one with an amplifier on the handset to adjust the volume, but I still couldn’t hear well over the phone. I couldn’t wear my in-the-ear hearing aids while using the phone either because they would whistle with feedback when the receiver covered them. I had to take one of my hearing aids out and try using the phone amplifier at the highest volume, but speech was still too distorted for me to understand clearly without seeing the speaker’s lips. So Mama often got recruited to pick up the other phone from her room and bring it around to the one in the kitchen so she could orally interpret what the caller was saying.

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My Journey Into Deafhood: The Moment of Truth ~

Posted by LaRonda on July 31st, 2007

(Ch. 43 of my story of my journey into Deafhood…)

About 5 months after my illness, a choir friend of mine paid me a surprise visit. The two of us went out for a short walk and ended up sitting on a curb down the street under a streetlight, so I could read his lips.

We began talking about the loss of my hearing. My friend, like so many others, asked me how my hearing was, how the hearing aids were helping, and if I would ever get my hearing back. The doctors had told me by then that my hearing loss was probably permanent, although still fluctuating some.

I think my friend came with a hidden agenda. He seemed extraordinarily curious about the science of my hearing loss. He wanted to know just how much I could hear, especially as it related to hearing music. He decided to do a little test. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the pitch pipe he always carried with him. He was the one in the Men’s Quartet at our high school who always blew out the beginning notes to get them started.

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My Journey Into Deafhood: Ear Horns & Flapping Lips ~

Posted by LaRonda on July 31st, 2007

(Ch. 41 & 42 of my story of my journey into Deafhood…)

In 1981, at the young age of 17, I recovered from a rare illness that took my hearing. The second month following my release from the hospital was marked by that all-powerful first trip to an audiologist to be fitted for hearing aids. This was as dreadful as it was exciting. It was a strange concept to be fitted for hearing aids at such a young age, as I had always associated hearing aids with senior citizens and being old. I had never seen anyone my age using hearing aids before. I also wasn’t fond of wearing them. I thought they were ugly and drew unwanted attention to my new disability. I was not yet comfortable in my new identity as a hearing impaired person and I didn’t want other people to see me as “broken.” I was glad that my hairstyle was long and covered my ears so my hearing aids would not be seen.

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