(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.