Oh where, oh where…

I was reading 4 Ears 4 Eyes yesterday when I happened upon What I Miss About Mosquitos and realized, I too don’t hear them.  In fact, a few days ago I was near a place being assaulted by borer bees and I could not hear them either.  Since they’re about the size and shape of bumblebees, they are not quiet things.  Then we were chatting on a private Deaf FB group and started talking about the sounds of footfalls. And I thought – sound? Steps make noise?

Then I remembered seeing a ballet practice without the music and hearing the noise I associated with a thundering herd on TV westerns.  Hmmmm, so walking, dancing, feet on solid surface makes noise.  Uh, huh..  Then I remembered BitcoDavid telling me that earbuds make one unable to hear street noises or conversations.  Hmmm, really?

After I sent off a document to a firm, I walked up and down the stairs (granted, in my stocking feet) and yes, there is a very soft sound associated with walking.  I am not sure whether it is the friction of the foot against the stair or the swish of fabric. Almost subliminal to me. Which explains comments about “walking too loud” or “don’t clomp your feet.”

People sometimes assume the Deaf or Hard of Hearing are soundless creatures. No, quite the opposite. For those who voice (as I do) my voice is quite loud as I was taught to project to the back of a theatre.  Apparently, I have only an “outside voice.”  Well, not exactly, because I have a much louder voice acquired to be heard over long distances.  And since I can’t exactly tell how loudly I speak I don’t have a medium, but I do have a soft voice, which I was told by my late husband was “too soft.”

These hearies! – Picky, picky, picky!

I remember the first time I had the “aha!” revelation that newspapers make noise, explaining the hairy eyeball I’d sometimes get from others while reading a newspaper.  I don’t hear high sounds well, if at all, so things like piping songbirds are out of my range of hearing.  And I don’t understand how much noise is actually made by dishes rattling and the like. Yes, I hear those, but not that the same volume a fully hearing person does.

If you want a quiet home, go to people who can hear a bug fart at 5 miles, not someone who doesn’t understand that car engines don’t just jiggle when they run, they also make noise.  Although, I can hear a backfire.  The first time I heard car engine noise I thought the car was falling apart – I was in a total panic!

Now, I used to hear better than I do at present.  I’m not sure how much better, but I know it was better in that I heard mosquito whines and knew to get out of the way.  I probably missed a whole lot of stuff, but it was good enough to get by.

If we can teach dogs to recognize ASL can we teach mosquitos to spell out “Blood sucker attack!” with their bodies?  Probably not.

Where, oh where, did my hearing go – oh where oh where can it be?  (Sung to the tune of Oh Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?)


  1. A deaf friend and I were emailing and she asked if I could hear myself pee. we had the biggest laugh. Both of us have lost our hearing late, so this is something we always heard before, but not now. It’s actually a little strange at first, now I don’t pay attention….unless I think about my friend. She just had to know if others couldn’t hear that. hahaha

    Funny the things we take for granted, and things we just wouldn’t notice if someone didn’t point it out.

    Personally I was thinking of things I used to enjoy recently, and realized how much I used to listen to music. Now, I can’t understand it. Maybe if I did a direct connect to my CI, but then it would be just one ear, and not the fun dance around the house music. Perhaps after the second CI?? Maybe we’ll loop the house. ha

    I remember writing a post about hearing a bee buzz…..while I was losing my hearing I was having a good day. This was a big bumble bee, and he just played with me…I’ll never forget hearing that bee buzz, even if I never hear anything like it again.

    It’s been less than 2 years…people do seem to ask me….where did your hearing go?

    1. Ahh, yes, the bathroom humor thing. 😉 Well, that’s one thing I CAN often hear, but not always – depends on the ambient noise level. The funniest thing about that topic is… when I was in law school I requested professors to wear FM systems so I could get a better read on what they were saying – especially if they were mumblers. One professor forgot he was wearing his and I found out just how far the range could be when I realized he was entering the bathroom. I cut the connection immediately, was convulsing with laughter, and my classmates were staring at me wondering what was so funny. After that I always cut the connection during breaks.

      Since I don’t remember being fully hearing I have no idea what it is like. My world exists to the right and the front right. The left, meh… I know I used to hear the wind in the leaves of the trees because I used to listen to tree “conversations.” Mom called it a vivid imagination, I think I’m just attuned to the lives of trees. 😉

      When I found out snow made sound when it fell I teared up, because I’ve lived in snow country much of my life and I always thought snowfall was silent, like a soft feather floating the air – only now I wonder if those blasted feathers floating on air make sounds and I never knew. For all I know they play “76 Trombones in the Big Parade!”

      I still love music, but not as much as I used to. I used to play guitar until it triggered tinnitus so often I had to give it up – first the electric guitar, then the acoustic. The vibrations simply set my ears ringing like there were gongs in them with Shinto Monks hammering them. I do still play drums (sometimes) the handheld kind.

      I love the concept of looping the house so you can play music. That would be totally cool.

      No one asks me where my hearing has gone, but if they asked and I were feeling playful (which I mostly am, given my temperament), I’d probably say, “Oh, it went to Tibet on a spiritual retreat and got stuck there due to the present hostilities with China.” or “I accidentally left my eardrums open one time when I went deep sea diving, my hearing decided to go exploring, and I’m hoping it comes back soon.” And then I’d give a serious answer if one was called for, but only if called for. Life is too important to be taken seriously.

  2. Your affliction may affect your hearing; but not your sense of humor or ability to cope with your condition. I always enjoy your posts; they make me grateful of the abilities I do have and more understanding of those with limited ones.

    1. Hello my dear Cranky One,

      You are never cranky when I talk with you. 🙂

      Yes, my hearing is compromised, and sometimes my balance (some days more than others) but in large part I have no idea what I’m missing. I did have better hearing at one point – in fact, full hearing for 18 months – but it is hard to miss what one doesn’t recollect having.

      My late husband was blind at birth, later partially sighted, then fully blind again. Hence, he never really understood sight like a fully sighted person and would lecture me that “if he could see he would not have to ask.” I’d respond that unless he could see around corners or had x-ray vision he’d still have to ask (about that situation). He never saw the humor in it. Oh, well…

      Similarly, I tend to think hearing people can hear everything. My late husband was blind as a bat, but could hear so well I swear he could almost do echolocation. So I’d assume he could hear just everything. Of course he couldn’t, anymore than I could see around corners or look through walls… although, with the new technology the military can literally see through walls (in terms of heat) and using periscope type technology we can see around corners. hmmm… well, maybe.

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