Sunday, April 7, 2013

Giveaway! Want to win a free eBook?

I will giving away a copy of my newest release, Compass, as a prize today!  All you have to do is pay attention to my posts - I will be asking questions later on for everyone to answer. 

Here's a hint: you want to check out my Author page at Facebook -

If you've been following my posts, you'll know that I'm hard of hearing and wear two hearing aids.  They are called BTE's which means Behind the Ears aids.  They are small enough to fit in the palm of my hand and on most days, can be easily spotted if my hair is not covering them up.  Why? Probably because they are a shade of plum purple and the earmolds feature a beautiful mix of vibrant pink and white swirls.

I don't believe in hiding my hearing loss and in fact often remind people, especially strangers, that I may not hear them.  I have to be upfront about it otherwise they might make the mistake that I'm ignoring them on purpose or being rude.  Being hard of hearing is actually more of an invisible disability since the signs can be easily missed particularly if someone is not aware that the person they are speaking to cannot follow the conversation.

You're probably wondering what signs I'm talking time you go to a social event, a birthday party or family gathering, look around and see if anyone is not actively engaged in a conversation.  They may be sitting in a chair, watching everyone else in the room and seem very alone.  Chances are that person has a hearing loss. 

Large, noisy venues are the worst possible places for people like me since the din of the crowd drowns out voices. Even though my hearing aids are meant to help me hear speech, unfortunately they also amplify the surrounding sounds.  I have to work very hard to follow a conversation even if the person is standing in front of me.  I rely on reading lips and watching body language to keep up.  In a quiet room with just one other person, I can hear an average of 75% of what is being spoken.  At a noisy location, where there are overlapping voices, that number drops to 40%.  That's a huge difference.  Since I miss so much of what I said, I get tired out very quickly.  Sometimes I'll just nod my head and say "Uh huh" just to keep up the appearance that I know what they're saying so I don't look like an idiot.

Even though I'm smart, the severity of hearing impairment makes it very difficult for me to demonstrate that since I have to work so hard to follow conversations.  I'll give the wrong answers or give the impression that I'm dimwitted, kind of like the servant Merlin on the tv series when in fact, he's very smart.  First impressions can be very misleading.
 We live in a very social society where we love to talk.  We all enjoy engaging in conversations, gossiping and sharing stories.  It's just the way we are.  For people like me, it can turn into a horrifying experience.  For most people, it's easy to pick up the phone and chat with a relative on the other side of the world.  I can't do that.  My hearing aids garble speech on the phone as if I'm trying to talk to tech support in India.  It's faint and I miss so much what is said that I end up slamming the phone down in tears.  It's a potent reminder that I can't be like everyone else and I feel more like an outsider.  It's hard at times.  

Thankfully, we are blessed to have technology such as the internet, emails, and social media like Twitter and Facebook. For me, that is my lifeline.  I can talk to people anywhere in the world and it has opened up a brand new world that has enabled me to reach out to my friends, relatives and fans. It's the dawn of a golden age for people like me. 


1 comment:

Debby said...

We have a teacher who has a hearing loss. It makes it very hard for him.
debby236 at gmail dot com