On the days when I am not totally bombed out of my mind on painkillers (it happens more than I’d like since there is some interdimentional inquisitor with a big knife pick who regularly attacks my right shoulder – if you see it, please ask it to stop now) I sometimes contemplate a meaningful post.
On the day I was transported to the hospital in an ambulance there was a mantra I voiced over and over. “I’m deaf. I can’t hear you. I’m deaf. Please look at me when you talk to me. I’m deaf and I can’t hear you when you stand on my left side.” One woman walked in and knew how to sign and I was enormously relieved, but I never saw her again.
When, like me, you can voice adequately, “they” assume you hear. It seemed ever time I saw someone I’d say, “I’m not hearing you. I’m deaf. Really.” One woman said, “Okay, I’ll speak more quietly.”
I am right-handed dominant signer and my left hand wasn’t up to the task.
The day I left the hospital I was yet again saying something about being deaf and said, “My daughter is acting as my interpreter.”
“Why do you need an interpreter?”
“Because I can’t hear you! I’m still deaf. I got here deaf. I stayed here deaf. I’m leaving here deaf. My daughter has told you over and over again I can’t hear you.”
In a small voice she said, “We have a sign language interpreter on staff.”
I need a button to wear that says, “I am very hard of hearing. Please call your ASL interpreter.” (sigh)