The bringing in of the sheaves has been postponed indefinitely.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a very depressing piece called “Bringing in the Sheaves” about the impact of my hearing loss on my work. At the time, I was a couple of weeks in to using a new hearing aid system, touted as being the most advanced set-up on the planet (the Resound system that pairs with iPhone) and it wasn’t working. Everything was worse. Much worse. As if total deafness was just minutes away.
Solving hearing impairment is not as simple as making everything louder. If that was true, I could hand out megaphones everywhere I go and skip the incredible cost of hearing aids. The problem is being able to organize and manage sounds and to recognize and understand words. Basically, this means that somebody could be screaming at me (like they often do) and I still might not get what they’re saying. You can imagine how irked the screamers get when that happens. “Act it out,” I tell them. Some do. I love them. Others? It’s WTF? Whatever. Can’t you take a joke?
Anyway, by late last week, I was ready to shed my business suits, button up my hair shirt, and live in the attic. I plodded around the block thinking I will never discourse with anyone but my acting-out husband (who has also perfected his own very wacky but increasingly useful sign language). I will never work again, I thought. Or talk to anyone. Or have any friends. I will have to get more pets, I thought to myself, because, as you know, I am heavily into Plan B thinking. Recently, I have become fascinated by the Beagle Freedom Project, the idea of liberating a Beagle from a lifetime of being experimented on my cosmetics manufacturers appealed to me in countless ways. Revenge, redemption, wordlessness.
Earlier this week, I had two terrible experiences of being in a group and being able to understand maybe 25% of what was being said. Show stopping anxiety and depression. 100% glow in the dark fuck me experiences. But then, I went back to my audiologist and she adjusted and tweaked and reset and the result was immediate and amazing. I had another meeting with several key people about an evaluation I just finished on a new system for homeless people to get into emergency shelter and I could hear them. I could hear them!
Did you get that? Did you hear me? I could hear them!
Yesterday, I put up a Facebook post that talked about having a ‘near-deaf’ experience (get it?) in which I said that I’d been contemplating Helen Keller’s answer to the question: Is it harder to be blind or deaf? Although there were many supportive likes and comments, no one asked me what her answer was. Is that because everyone knows?
This was her answer: “Blindness cuts us off from things, but deafness cuts us off from people.” And that’s why it’s some super scary shit, my friends.
But for the time being, I am living in the reprieved column. It’s nice here. Birds are singing and people are humming.
Who knows? Maybe someone will whisper something to me. You never know.
#34/100: 34th in a series of 100 in 100