April 25, 2013
Just to have a laugh and sing a song… Carol Burnett was one of my favourites growing up! I laughed so much at the antics of the four of them.
I don’t really talk about myself much but for this post, I need to explain a few things. About a year ago (almost exactly now), I woke up one day and noticed the world sounded very funny. I thought maybe my car needed a new muffler because it sounded like the sound was going loud and quiet and everything was off. Within two weeks, I was in layman’s terms, deaf. For the hearing community I’m “late-deafened” and / or hard of hearing since my hearing is not stable and some days I can hear a little bit and other days, not at all. I’m sure you can imagine the nightmare to be hearing one day (and a musician at that) and not the next and I’m not going to kid you, it really has been tough. I have not picked up my guitars once. Last year was an extremely difficult year for me on many levels and no longer being able to hear certainly didn’t make it easier.
Adjusting to a life of no sound requires adjustments you don’t think about as a normal hearing person. For the first month or longer, I couldn’t sleep. The reason I couldn’t sleep is because I knew that if a person broke into my home they could literally walk right up beside me while I was in bed, and I wouldn’t hear them. That is not a normal thing I would think about under other circumstances but when things change like this, your world doesn’t feel safe at first. That’s very unnerving. Combined with the fact that you get used to house sounds in your sleep and your brain constantly processes those sounds and it doesn’t wake you up. For the longest time, it was waking me up because when I did hear something, I couldn’t tell what it was because everything sounded different. I have hearing aids but they only work so much because they can’t make you hear what you can’t hear (only amplify).
I also run an organization where I need to be able to hear people and I could end up unemployed if the government chose to no longer fund the programs we provide. As such, I’ve gone back to school online because my qualifications are awesome for what I do but not awesome for finding a new job as a deaf person and unless I win a major lottery someday, I’m far from being able to retire. I’m very, very lucky that my board of directors and my staff are so willing to make adjustments and compromise to keep me where I am. So, I’m back in University part-time and I’m also driving to another city to learn speech reading (also known as lip reading) and when I get through both levels of that I’ll learn sign language next.
This is my long-winded way of saying, I am a busy soul. I work over 50 hours a week in my regular job and now I’m coming home and doing a few hours of homework or driving to the next city over to attend classes. To say I’m tired would be an understatement. At first it never occurred to me that writing a blog two times a week would be a problem but I have to say, I found it tough.
This blog has been really good for me to work through issues of raising a couple of kids that are technically not my own. I thank you for hanging with me while I work this stuff out and I hope I gave you cause to laugh or even things to think about. I will keep my blog and keep it online and even occasionally post about the kids but it will be very occasional at this point. As the last kid standing moves on this fall, maybe I’ll switch to a blog about being deaf or something silly and fun or maybe not at all. I have no aspirations to be a writer on any level, I just appreciate the opportunity to work stuff out in my life in this way and I thank you for being with me on the journey.