Can You Hear Me Now?
On top of my Apraxia of Speech diagnosis, and this is something I don't speak about as often as I should, I was 90% deaf in both ears at the age of 2-3 years old.
No wonder I had speech delays, right?
Our ears filter out wax, allowing our eardrums to vibrate and interpret the beautiful sense of'sound. However, my ears were not filtering out wax-actually there was such a buildup of wax behind my eardrums that they were hardly vibrating at all.
My parents discovered this after some stubborn exchanges of me turning up the TV volume, them turning it back down, and me turning it back up again.
I had about five sets of tubes in both ears to drain the wax. And I don't necessarily recall the procedure but I do recall the pressure and the discomfort. It was scary! It feels like a balloon about to pop and all of a sudden you hear this gushy, liquid noise whistling out of your ear.
For my age, and what little I knew of the human anatomy, I was wondering why these adults were trying to pop my head!
Anyways, after the numerous sets of tubes and the numerous doctors' trips, I did obtain my 100% hearing which I try to take good care of as an adult.
I think it's still behind me, but my Doctor always comments while looking inside my ear, "Wow, there's a few incisions in this one--Oh in this one as well."
Thanks, Captain Obvious.
When speaking about my short-lived deaf experience, people are often confused as to how to respond.
Some respond with, "Wow, you speak so well," or, "I could never tell."
Now others, well, they raise their voice and speak slower to me, "Can-You-Hear-Me-Now?!"
Are they kidding me?
They just spent 5 minutes talking with me beforehand, know I can speak and hear them, but the second I say 'used to be deaf' - they lose all ability to communicate with me in a typical fashion.
Usually, I respond by laughing and sarcastically saying "Yes-I-Can-Hear-You-Now, just like I heard you perfectly minutes ago."
They ease up, usually out of embarrassment.This brings me to my next point- People must learn to communicate to one another appropriately and respectfully regardless of other's so-called 'disabilities' or 'disorders.'
Would they change the way they speak to someone who wasn't deaf? No, they wouldn't.
I know that this is unintentional, and I must believe that people do their best to be kind. But I just wish that people didn't make implications about others. I even mention the word 'deaf' and some people completely change their tone with me.
This is only on occasion, I know it happens so much more often with those with more severe hindrances or more visible disabilities.
I just wish it didn't happen at all. A lofty goal, I know.