A Hearing Loss & Late Deafened Blog

What is a loss?

In Deafness, Hearing Loss on April 12, 2008 at 11:15 am

When is a loss a loss?  I recently lost a good friend to a massive heart attack.  I also recently heard some people debate whether it was more difficult to adjust to losing your hearing at birth or later on in life?  I guess, its all relative, yet I can’t help but feel, we need to put things in perspective.  I guess to me at this point in time, the question in my mind is, is it better to be dead at age 57 or be alive with a hearing loss at age 57?

Naturally, losing one’s heairng is not easy at any age but it certainly depends on the individuals’ personality as to whether they will adjust as well as possible, or fall into the hells of depression.  I’m sure some people out there would rather be dead than experience the hearing loss or deafness that they’ve acquired, yet I can’t accept that as an alternative.   Sure, I have no idea how I would react to being deaf.  I have a hearing loss and at times my speech discrimination is so bad, its as good as having a bubble over my head.  But is it better to be “dead.”   I don’t believe so.

There are so many ways to get help from people who’ve been there and done that.  People who can share their inner most feelings about the depression that comes sometimes from losing one’s hearing.  Sometimes we just need to put things in perspective, as hard as that might be.  We need to think of those we love and those we share lives with and say, Is it better to be here or better to be six feet under.  We all have this one life to live, deaf or with a hearing loss, whatever the situation is, if it cannot be changed, than living our lives to its fullest is the ONLY alternative.

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  1. Thanks so much for this post. The death of a loved one often causes us to reflect on what’s important in life. You’re so right about living life to the fullest. Hearing loss? Deafness? It’s not the worst thing. However the loss of one’s hearing needs to be dealt with as hearing loss leads to many other losses that pile up over time– mainly the loss of hobbies that require hearing, and relationships with people who can’t/won’t accommodate us. We CAN learn to adjust, but it isn’t always easy.

    Kim

  2. This is such a touching, powerful, and honest post. Thanks so much for sharing it. I agree totally that life is worth the struggle. There is pain, there are joys. The very best thing about life is that we have each other, and of course, when one of us is taken away, we must grieve. But for the sake of those gone, if for nothing else – for we know in our hearts they would want us to – continue.

    And just as a thought – I would imagine that folks born Deaf would feel offended at the idea that death could be a preferable option. To me, that’s why we’re here – that’s why we’re SWC – because there’s definitely life (and joy!) after deaf.

    Hugs,
    Paul S (AKA LifeWrecked)

  3. Paul,
    That’s so true about how born Deaf view themselves, and we need to be careful about their feelings as well. But we must remember that they haven’t experienced hearing LOSS. I’ve come to realize it’s not all about the hearing, but about the unexpected life transition you go through when you lose something– ANYTHING. I think it was you who mentioned earlier that you learn who your friends are when you lose your hearing. Forgive me if that wasn’t you. It’s SO TRUE though, isn’t it?

    Those of us who developed relationships prior to hearing loss have had a huge adjustment as we’ve watched our friends and relatives drift away– simply because they couldn’t handle accommodating us. Many of us have lost hobbies that meant a great deal. Those who were musical suffer especially. For example, I used to play the piano for at least an hour every day from about age seven until it got to the point I couldn’t hear the upper keys on the piano even with my hearing aids. I stopped playing about seven years ago. That left a big hole in my day. Those who were super social need to learn how to socialize differently and often have to make new friends who don’t mind the endless repeats. It hurts. A progressive hearing loss means many losses bit by bit over time, as you well know. I used to cry after each new drop in hearing. I felt this sense of panic because I couldn’t imagine life without hearing, and it kept dropping, so I could never fully adjust before the next drop. Then finally I stopped crying about it. Why? I think it’s because I had reached that “tipping” point where my hearing was so bad a new drop didn’t make a big difference in how I managed my day anymore. Deaf is deaf. Does that make sense? I had finally adjusted. I had developed new hobbies and new friendships and learned new ways to cope. I’ve been lucky to have supportive family and a few close friends who have stuck by me. One friend has even offered to learn ASL. She means the world to me. Friendships are SO important. That’s why Say What Club is unique. 🙂

    Kim 🙂

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