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SWC Online Voices

September 2009

Poetry Corner

WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
by Dee-Ann Mercer

What would you do if your world fell silent? try to be brave?
take on the new?
only to be filled with disappointment?

If this happened to a friend, would you care? would you change your
ways?
would you step up and be fair?

If someone in your family saw the world with new deaf ears! would you
call them as often,
maybe listen to some fears?

Would you understand the hurt to be left out?
in a room full of people,
alone in silence without a doubt!

Do you know what it's like to watch a conversation?
the laughs and the smiles,
and all you can feel is big frustration?

Do you understand what it's like
to struggle and fight
for something as simple
as a human right?

Do you know what it's like
to have people stare?
to pass by and whisper,
misjudge and not care!

I'm angry and mad,
and inside I'm hurting and sad.
If you knew how I felt,
would it bother you?
What would you do if this affected you?

Dee-Ann Mercer June 11 2009


ABOUT DEE-ANN MERCER, POET

My name is Dee-Ann Mercer, I was born in March 1979 in Calgary Alberta Canada. I'm the mother of Kayla-Ann (Aug 22 2004) and married to Robert Mercer. My family lives on half an acre in rural Alberta just outside Calgary. I have inherited Neurofibromatosis type ll (NF2) from my mother who fought the battle of NF2 and lost in 2003. I was diagnosed in my preteens shortly after my mother was diagnosed. My younger brother also has NF2.

NF2 is a genetic disease that causes tumors to grow throughout the nervous system. The hallmark of NF2 is bilateral acoustic neuroma (AN), also known as Vestibular schwannoma (VS), which basically are fancy names for tumors that grow on and around a person's hearing nerves. I became deaf in my left ear in 2003 and completely deaf in 2005 from removal of AN/VS. The hearing nerve is neighbored with the balance and facial nerves. From surgery I was also left with poor balance and very noticeable facial palsy. I'm legally blind in both eyes; and adjusting to a world of silence proved hard -losing what I relied on most, my hearing. I have several spinal tumors in which we are "wait and see" status and have had several surface tumors removed that have caused pain and/or numbness.

Despite all the challenges I am facing I am learning to adapt. I have been learning ASL (American Sign Language) which has its own battles because I am visually impaired. But it is my main form of communication other than people writing to me.

I use an intervenor for errands and doctor appointments - this person is an interpreter for a deaf-blind person.

"NF2 has taken so much from me, I'm not willing to let it take more than it has to." That has been my attitude toward most of my fights with NF2. NF2 has defiantly made me a stronger person and I have learned to not take things for granted as you never know when you can lose it. I have been having some ups and downs but I try to live as normal a life as possible with all the challenges that keep facing me.

Many things in life I have changed including hobbies. I now enjoy reading, gardening and spending time playing and crafting with Kayla-Ann.

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