A Hearing Loss & Late Deafened Blog

One Red, One Blue

In Deafness, Hearing aids, Hearing Loss, Travel on February 4, 2010 at 5:25 pm
I am traveling…  I just walked down to the lobby area of the hotel to get a cup of coffee.  As I was descending the stairs, a little girl, about age 7, exclaimed “Your shoes are different colors!!”  I had to laugh, as I’ve gotten so much mileage, literally, out of my odd matched pair of Crocs–one is bright red, and the other is navy blue.
 
Back story…  I left for a trip to the Philippines, in April of 2007, with a pair of red Crocs on the shoe rack beside the door.  I came home, three weeks later, to one red Croc for my left foot???  My daughter Kate was living with us at the time, so the possibility existed that she left my Crocs on the doorstep (she often wore them to and from the barn–sometimes it stinks, no pun intended, having the same size shoe as your daughter!!), outside, and one of the neighboring dogs carried it off to chew on, as no one seemed to know, or much care, what happened to my right, red Croc!!!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr….  For some reason I kept the one shoe?  Was it providence??
 
Two years later…  I purchased a new pair of navy blue Crocs that were on sale at the AAFES store.  I enjoyed wearing them, all of four months, before leaving for a three week (hmm, maybe three week trips are the Bermuda Triangle of Crocs??) visit to New England.  Again, I returned home to one shoe missing, but this time it was the left shoe.  Kate no longer lived with us, but our younger daughter Sam did, and like Kate, Sam had no clue or care as to what happened to my left, navy blue Croc???  I dug out my saved red Croc, and as luck would have it, it was the opposite of the navy blue Croc–thus a pair, a mismatched pair, but a pair, none the less.
 
What does this have to do with hearing??  Not one thing, other than I was thinking, as I walked back up to my room with my cup of coffee, how delighted the little girl was to see me with two obviously mismatched shoes, and that maybe if those who wear hearing aids, myself not included (I’ve never had success with them, but the last pair I tried were bright, transparent red!!), would take to putting two different, brightly-colored hearing aids in their ears, and flaunt them so that others would notice, they might not be such an invisible cross section of the population?  Little girls might exclaim, “Her hearing aids don’t match!!” bringing an opportunity to explain why they don’t match, as I explained to the girl in the lobby how it came to be that I was wearing mismatched shoes.
 
Yes, there are those who still try to hide the fact that they wear hearing aids at all, but others such as Kim (a frequent blogger here) and other SayWhatClub members, who are doing their part to erase the stigma of wearing hearing aids, and awareness plays a part in that effort.  Going the mismatched route might net even more attention even than zebra stripes and/or bright colored aids in one’s ears!  It’s like a dog that has one blue eye, and one brown eye, it’s not what you would expect, so it makes you take notice even more!!
 
Thanks to Kim, and others who do all they can to make the public aware!!  I love that you embrace wearing hearing aids, as it takes some owning on the part of those with hearing loss to make it okay, first with ourselves, then with others.  It’s what has made the difference for me–ownership.  I almost wish I could benefit from hearing aids just for the opportunity for little girls to exclaim, “Her hearing aids don’t match!”  I know it would make me smile.
 
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  1. Aww Thanks Michele! I love that kids are so observant and will ask about stuff without feeling embarrassed. One time, before I got the zebra striped aids, a little girl noticed my hearing aids in my ears. She blurted right out, “Mommy what are those THINGS in her ears?” The mom shushed her. But I went on to explain to the little girl that I couldn’t hear very well and these ‘things’ were called hearing aids and they helped me hear. We talked a little bit, and the mother thanked me for being such a good sport. I know adults often wonder why I lost my hearing or how bad it is, but they are afraid to seem nosy by asking a personal question. I wish they would. I never mind talking about my hearing loss.

  2. As someone who has suddenly lost my hearing, I am looking forward to wearing hearing aids- and I am actually hoping that they will be relatively obvious hearing aids. I have always been very social and very conversational, but since losing my hearing, it is very hard for me to follow conversations. Since this isn’t a visible disability, I think people wonder whats wrong with me… am I upset with them? depressed? No, none of the above, lol. I just can’t hear you!

    If people could see hearing aids it might make this whole thing easier for them to understand, yanno?

  3. My two cochlear implant processors are one red one blue. But I have long hair that covers them entirely unless I make an effort to put it up and
    show them off.

  4. Kim,

    Kids are wonderfully blunt and if they want to know something they ask–so refreshing!! It’s wonderful that you use the opportunities that present themselves!! The little girl who now knows about hearing aids because of your explanation will draw on that when she comes across another with hearing loss. We are all connected!!

  5. Diane,

    I can’t relate to losing hearing suddenly, as an adult–I’ve had a hearing loss since early childhood–I’m sure that it’s very hard to experience sudden hearing loss.

    I’m so happy to hear you say you are looking forward to wearing hearing aids, and I do hope you flaunt them, becoming one of the soldiers for awareness in a war of making what is invisible, seen!! People don’t understand and it is up to us, whether we like it or not, to make ourselves understood to the masses.

    You don’t have to give up being conversational or social, but just have to figure out the way to make it work with less hearing–a real challenge, but doable!! I think with your attitude you will do just fine!!

    Maybe we should invent some hearing aid charms that bring attention to hearing aids?? !!! It would be so much easier if people could see that we can’t hear, I know, I know!!

  6. Sara,

    Show off those odd-matched, blue and read, CI processors!!! Give ’em somethin’ to talk about!!!

    Can I ask why your processors are different colors? Was this an on purpose thing?? Good for you!!

  7. “Maybe we should invent some hearing aid charms that bring attention to hearing aids?? !!! It would be so much easier if people could see that we can’t hear, I know, I know!!”

    oh miss iseewhatyousay, I absolutely love that idea. Hearing aid charms: now there’s something I could get excited about, lol. What an absolute hoot!

    • Diane,

      I hope you’ve been thinking of what kind of charms you would like see, and I’ll be working on some prototypes!!! LOL That, along with the safety vests, I can’t find online, that let people know I need the right of way when I’m on trail with them. I’m amazed that there is more available for deaf dogs, than for deaf people!!

      • OK Michele, you might think I’m a real weirdo, but I am seriously thinking of making some hearing aid charms… I’ve actually looked at beads and such at the craft store. I’m so ignorant about aids though at this point, I’m not exactly sure how they’d work. Where would be the best place to hang them from? Would they interfere with the working of the aids? In front of the ear or behind?

        But hey, if we get it figured out we could sell them on Etsy. We’ll be rich!! Rich, I tell ya!!!

        Well, probably not rich exactly… but maybe we could make enough to keep us in hearing aids;)

    • Diane,

      I thought you might be interested in this website of a young girl who has come up with hearing aid charms: http://www.hayleighscherishedcharms.com/

  8. My hearing aids are creme bruele (sp?) colored. I thought about lime green because I really like that color; but I never wear my hair up unless I’m exercising and then I don’t wear my hearing aids. Those I work most closely with know I wear hearing aids. It would be nice for the general public to know so maybe they wouldn’t be put off when I have to ask them to repeat themselves several times.

    • I often wish I could somehow install a roll-up captioned sign on my forehead that continually announces to the world that “I am deaf. I read lips/speech, and I need to see you speak in order to hear you.” Then maybe I wouldn’t have to ask for a repeat and explain again and again throughout my day.

      Sigh…. I have seen people who literally use their bodies for advertisements, maybe I should tattoo my message across my chest and wear low cut clothing to attract attention??

      Nah… I’ll keep working on those hearing aid charms.

  9. That’s really tihnnkig out of the box. Thanks!

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