T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 102438
posted 02-15-2013 02:56 AM
I'm deaf and I wear a hearing aid In my left ear. I also have something called an fm system to help me hear properly in school. My sister and none of my siblings have hearing problems apart from me. i have a twin sister who has NO hearing problems at all also.
I have a boyfriend who is hearing and he is extremely sweet and supportive but sometimes I just feel awful because I can't hear and people treat me differently and I sometimes get people saying that their grandparents have hearing aids, and that makes me feel super weird. My close friends are really supportive and good about it, I have even named my hearing aid (Dory) and they think it's cute I just was wondering..anybody got some tips or advice or even stories of anybody they know with a hearing aid? I would honestly love to hear them because I don't know anybody else with a hearing aid except my granddad and i dont really wanna sit there and compare hearing aid batteries with him! haha! no offence grandad and also..im not at all shy about my hearing aid...i wear my hair up at school and people always ask me about it and i happily tell them.. i dont use sign langauge though..i speak. also, i have trouble with communciationing with my boyfriend sometimes when he calls i cant hear him and we both get really annoyed about it...him because he cant hear me and cos he feels sorry for me..me cos i cant hear him and i just wana be normal :\ also, when im out with him and his family...they know i wear a hearing aid but sometimes i feel like they dont understand i still cant hear them...how do i politely tell them to face me and speak slowly etc? thanks so much =) xxx
Member # 79774
posted 02-15-2013 04:31 AM
I'm both deaf and hearing too (one ear's great, the other's completely deaf), but I have no experience of hearing aids because they wouldn't be any use to me. So, I can't speak to the hearing aid part of this, but I'm very familiar with a whole load of issues that tend to come up pretty universally for deaf/Deaf/hearing impaired people, and I'd be happy to chat if you'd like. One thing I found was that nobody realised that I might have some different needs because of my deafness, Because I was also hearing. So, I've spent most of my life figuring it out for myself and discovering Way later that many of the things I experience aren't peculiarities about how I interact with people, but regular features of deaf people's experiences. It would've helped me so much more if somebody had clued me in earlier and I hadn't had to figure Everything out for myself. Is there something similar going on for you? It doesn't sound like you have much or any contact with any other deaf people or much information about deaf people's shared experiences - do I have that right? When you have difficulty with communicating with your boyfriend, can you identify any circumstances that make a problem more likely? It can help if both you and he are more aware of when it might be harder, and maybe it's easier to find solutions. Just as a few ideas: do you find some kinds of sounds easier to hear than others? If so, if you don't always hear when he calls, might it help if he made some other sound to attract your attention, for example clapping once loudly? If he's close to you, you both might find it quicker and less hassle for him to tap you twice firmly on the back of the hand, lower or upper arm to get your attention. (That's a personal favourite of mine and also fairly standard within the Deaf community, which uses touch much more frequently and easily than most hearing communities do.) Also, in rooms with floorboards (or any floor other than concrete, really), stamping firmly on the ground sends vibrations that you can feel and can attract your attention that way. I know that it can feel odd at first, doing these things that are "different". The way I've come to see things is that my communication needs Are different, and my and my friends' lives are much happier, easier and more rewarding if we do things that enable me to be involved as fully and quickly as possible. The situation you're describing with your boyfriend's family is very common for deaf people. There's a huge lack of deaf awareness in the world, and most people just really don't know what to do and prefer to act as if we were solely hearing. It doesn't help! I also know how awkward and tiring it can be to try to get through to people what we need. You have a right to be able to communicate fully, so it's not rude at all to tell them what you need. Depending on how big his family is, you might find it easier to talk to people one or two at a time rather than the whole group? You could frame it as wanting to interact with them more - that's quite complimentary You might find it takes a while for them to grasp things and really make changes and that you have to remind them a number of times what you need. If you just explain and ask, recognising that they can't know what it's like for you and what you need unless you tell them because they're not deaf, I would really hope that no-one would have a problem with that, because it's just common sense and basic empathy, really.
Member # 90293
posted 02-15-2013 06:53 AM
Redskies has already given you some fantastic suggestions, so I'm here on the hearing aid side of things. I wear two of them! I have since I was a toddler. It sounds like you'd feel a lot less alone if you knew other young people who wear hearing aids. I'm not sure how you could make that happen, but let me think about it for a bit. I want to reiterate what Redskies said about talking to your boyfriend's family. It's absolutely okay for you to do so. They won't know how to include you in the conversation unless you tell them. When you're talking about your boyfriend calling you. Do you mean on the phone, or calling out to you in person? If it's the phone, do you have an amplifier on it? If not, that's something you can ask your audiologist about. I know personally how isolating it feels to not be able to hear what's going on around you, and I'm going to look around to see what kind of support we can find for you around this.
Member # 79774
posted 02-15-2013 10:01 AM
Reading what Robin wrote, I realise I probably completely misunderstood something you said and wrote you an entire irrelevant paragraph. Sorry about that! I think it's partly a language/culture thing; I'm more used to someone saying "rings" or "phones", and it just didn't occur to me!
Totally seconding Robin on the feeling of isolation, and that's one of the fairly universal deaf person's experiences I was thinking of. It made me So happy to discover that a load of other people were describing what I was feeling and had never been able to properly explain. Also, yay deaf/etc people
Member # 95598
posted 02-15-2013 01:06 PM
Totally seconding Robin and Redskies on it being 100% okay to ask people to face you/turn up the lights/whatever you need to be able to understand them better. My boyfriend is hard-of-hearing (he wears hearing aids in both ears), and, honestly, I forget this so often that he has to remind me to speak up/speak more slowly/face him, especially if he doesn't have his hearing aids in. (We do sign with each other a little bit, but I'm not very good, so we tend to rely on speaking.)
Coming from an all-hearing family, it's something I definitely had to get used to, and, like I said, I still need the reminder every so often. This sort of thing is just par for the course: Me: <words> BF: Hm? Me: (dawning realization) Was that an "I can't understand you" hm? BF: (nods) As for talking on the phone, like Robin, I wonder if one/both of you has/have phone(s) that aren't compatible with hearing aids. My boyfriend was recently looking for a new phone and called me to make sure the phone he wanted was as compatible as it claimed to be. (Side note: You didn't mention texting--I'm just curious whether or not you have it and would be willing to use it. I know it's nice to hear the other person's voice, though--it's just a thought.)