…and other strange questions the hard of hearing or deaf might ask.
There is endless fascination on my part how much noise there is in the hearing world. Until I got fitted for my first hearing aid I never got things like why people gave me dirty looks for reading the newspaper. Even then, there’s a lot of noise that’s lost on someone with significantly impaired hearing. Like escalators.
And now, after lovin’ my new hearing aid I realized the car was no longer quiet. Today I asked my roomie – how much noise do cars make? This was not an academic question. I figured it depended on the car because I remember commercials for quiet cars. Then she realized I mean MY car. Since I’ve never really heard anything more than sort of a quiet hum before, I was a little alarmed that maybe nuts and bolts were going to start falling off.
Tonight at ASL meet-up I talked to a deaf participant and we got in a conversation about how hearing people deal with all the noise. So how DO you deal with it? If I am hearing only a fraction of what the rest of you do, it must be like living inside a cement mixer filled with ball bearings. And you can’t turn it off. Don’t you ever want to stick your fingers in your ears, scream, and run around in circles until you collapse from exhaustion?
I have friends who burp or make other body noises and feel compelled to point it out to me, saying, “Excuse me,” and I often say, “The nice thing about having a hard of hearing friend is never having to say ‘excuse me’ unless it smells bad, because otherwise I’ll never know.” I sometimes wonder just how loud body sounds are. Is it like listening to someone banging on a radiator with a pipe or something?