For what it's worth....

Phyllis Miller

c 1999

Being deaf is, scary, terrifying, isolating, a total loneliness that is like no other. It is the sadness of knowing you can't keep up no matter what. It is missing the vital word here and there and knowing that no one is going to remember or care if you miss it. The jokes are fast paced and if you miss it, then it is gone.

It is the lack of communication with your surroundings.It is like you are waiting for something to arrive and it never will. When the snow arrives and Iknow I will be snowbound for days with no human contact, I get nervous, depressed, I hate it. Ido not want to be deaf.

My family really don't know what it is like and they have been around it all their life. It is bad to be alone for days. The normal sounds that intrude onyour life are a must. Silence, even with the noise level, leaves you in a limbo situation. You have no outside stimulation at all. Sure there is the t.v. and there is the tty. That is all well and good. I have my dog. Great! But alone and deaf is very different than alone and hard of hearing.

It is as if you are the only one left alive in the world and there is nothing and nobody else there. I am not explaining this very well. What else is new? Right?  .

You are sitting there and there is a vibration. Well, how am I to know what it is? Is it the furnace, the refrigerator, have I left the garbage disposal on again? I can't find out what it is and that is scary. I have left the vacuum on for hours. And the garbage disposal. And the water running in the sink.

If you have someone living with you, then these things aren't a problem. They definitely are a problem if you live alone. Driving in the car and the radio is on full blast? Oh yes, darn those kids!! I live in dread of my horn getting stuck and not knowing it! Really, that is a secret fear of mine.

People think you are so stupid if you don't hear them.I think they are stupid if they don't try to make a special effort to help us. I don't mean it is all effort on their part either. I know we have to go the extra mile. I try, I really try.

Yes, I sure do want that implant and I will be happy with the noise level. It will give me something anyway. I am hoping for voices and music and I will work hard toward that goal. But I am going for the implant.

There is just such a difference in the quality of life when you are hard of hearing and when you are deaf. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.  (nope, not even on my ex!!)

Gee, I am getting to be nice so better get off here!!