my soft spot

just a mom who plays hockey and knits

Monday, June 01, 2009

I can't hear you

Last weekend was my church's Conference's Annual Meeting. I got a call last week asking if I would be a "scribe" for a meeting that was to be held there. I agreed, and gladly. I love being part of the process and what happens in the smaller meetings is interesting and enlightening.

It wasn't until the meeting actually started, in a section of the large meeting hall, that I realized what a challenge it would be. I don't mind typing fast, or paraphrasing, or even interacting in a meeting. I do have problems hearing.

This meeting really underlined my continuing hearing problems. Everyone who spoke quietly was nearly silent for me. SO frustrating, as I was supposed to be writing down not only the thoughts expressed but also the names of the speakers and their churches.

I had a similar experience in a later discussion group for which I wasn't a scribe. A woman at the end of our kidney-bean shaped group was speaking and I considered asking her (and everyone who would speak) to speak up, but was caught between embarrassment and an urge not to interrupt. I cupped my hand around my good better ear and listened as well as I could. (I also, I realized years ago, use lipreading extensively in low hearing situations.)

Not hearing makes me feel frustrated but also a bit panicked. I hate missing out. I hate seeming different, too (with the hand up around the ear, or asking, "I'm sorry?" or "What?" over and over). sigh

It's time to face the devil, as a friend says. I'm going to visit the Costco audiologist this month and see what s/he says about which aids would work for me. And bulk up my "cafeteria" pre-tax medical costs plan for next year, when I'll buy a hearing aid or two.

As my friend Mike says, Growing old is not for wimps.


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