Hearing Loss Experiences - Can you find humor in some of it?

Posted by Julie, Volunteer Mentor @julieo4, Jul 20 12:22pm

People with hearing loss can easily mishear and respond to something out of context. Obviously, this can be a big problem. Most often it's not. How about sharing some of the experiences we have had. I believe that being able to laugh and find humor in some of our experiences can be healthy. What do you think?

There's a song by Michael Jackson called "The Way You Make Me Feel". Before I knew the name of the song, and even now, it still sounds like he says "Wait a minute Lucille"

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It's very difficult for me to see humor in hearing loss. As a musician and professor of music, it is painful and embarrassing. In the history of health problems of musicians, deafness is considered the worst possible fate. Beethoven, for example, almost killed himself.

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Tony, you aren't the only one who believes (not just "thinks") that song is about Lucille!
Seriously, the biggest problem for me is making appts. via the phone. Covid has ramped this up. I used to be able to simply stop at the medical office to make an appt. without being unsure of the date or time; I live in a very small town where nothing is more than four or five miles away at the most. My cat needed a booster shot, so I called the vet, which I knew was open Mon-Sat. Heard the day and time, wrote it down, arrived 15 minutes early…and quickly learned that I was a day late: they had started being open on Sundays, and I had heard "Monday" instead, so I was a day late, but 15 minutes early. I had to pay $25 for a "walk in" appt.

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@tonyinmi

There's a song by Michael Jackson called "The Way You Make Me Feel". Before I knew the name of the song, and even now, it still sounds like he says "Wait a minute Lucille"

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Years ago I played in a uke group. We had no sheet music, but all had a good ear for music so we got our songs off records (Yes, I'm that old.) We had fun with the folk music that was popular at the time. Often, I had a whole different set of words to the songs we played and sang. In fact, we actually wrote a few new verses to some of them. At the time I did not know I had an issue with hearing loss. They just thought I was poetically creative. 🙂 I had no trouble with the tunes, just the words.

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@jshdma

It's very difficult for me to see humor in hearing loss. As a musician and professor of music, it is painful and embarrassing. In the history of health problems of musicians, deafness is considered the worst possible fate. Beethoven, for example, almost killed himself.

Jump to this post

I too was an educator in a different field. While I tried to be open and honest with my students about my hearing loss, there were often times when embarrassment hit the mark. When I started using assistive technology, it helped. It also showed because one of my best 'tools' was a hand held microphone that connected to my hearing aids with a plug in wire. (Today those devices are wireless.) I have had former students tell me they admired me for being open and honest. One told me that her parents had benefitted from her experience watching me. The technology available today is far better than it was back then. Do you use any assistive technology?

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@joyces

Tony, you aren't the only one who believes (not just "thinks") that song is about Lucille!
Seriously, the biggest problem for me is making appts. via the phone. Covid has ramped this up. I used to be able to simply stop at the medical office to make an appt. without being unsure of the date or time; I live in a very small town where nothing is more than four or five miles away at the most. My cat needed a booster shot, so I called the vet, which I knew was open Mon-Sat. Heard the day and time, wrote it down, arrived 15 minutes early…and quickly learned that I was a day late: they had started being open on Sundays, and I had heard "Monday" instead, so I was a day late, but 15 minutes early. I had to pay $25 for a "walk in" appt.

Jump to this post

Yes, the phone can be one of our biggest challenges. There are some wonderful phones that provide captioning. Also cell phone apps that have speech to text capabilities. Have you tried any of these?

REPLY
@joyces

Tony, you aren't the only one who believes (not just "thinks") that song is about Lucille!
Seriously, the biggest problem for me is making appts. via the phone. Covid has ramped this up. I used to be able to simply stop at the medical office to make an appt. without being unsure of the date or time; I live in a very small town where nothing is more than four or five miles away at the most. My cat needed a booster shot, so I called the vet, which I knew was open Mon-Sat. Heard the day and time, wrote it down, arrived 15 minutes early…and quickly learned that I was a day late: they had started being open on Sundays, and I had heard "Monday" instead, so I was a day late, but 15 minutes early. I had to pay $25 for a "walk in" appt.

Jump to this post

@joyces Yes, I'm surprised you did not get a reminder about your appointment with the vet. Seems every business does that. So, you are not alone in missing an appointment, but for a different reason. Shame on them for charging you extra. You may want to make it a habit to repeat back important details before leaving a place to help avoid a reoccurance.
I used to really struggle on the phone and would purposely not answer so that any message would go to voicemail. I could have my wife help with trying to understand the message, if I couldn't figure it out myself. I had since gotten an iPhone and could use the transcription to help understand any message. However, the best feature that the hearing aids/iPhone did for me was the direct streaming via Bluetooth. I haven't waiting until people leave voicemails in a long time. I do listen to more spam calls now that I pick up the phone, LOL.
Tony in Michigan

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@julieo4

I too was an educator in a different field. While I tried to be open and honest with my students about my hearing loss, there were often times when embarrassment hit the mark. When I started using assistive technology, it helped. It also showed because one of my best 'tools' was a hand held microphone that connected to my hearing aids with a plug in wire. (Today those devices are wireless.) I have had former students tell me they admired me for being open and honest. One told me that her parents had benefitted from her experience watching me. The technology available today is far better than it was back then. Do you use any assistive technology?

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Thank you, Julie. I have not yet reached the point of using any aids. But I know I probably should be and it feels very depressing. As a musician, it marks me as failing in some way. Also, it is interesting that opthamology seems far more advance than audiology– e.g., with contact lenses your poor sight is completely hidden. Also, glasses seem to be a kind of fashion item, unlike hearing aids, which seem to be associated with aging. Altogether it is just depressing.

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@julieo4

Years ago I played in a uke group. We had no sheet music, but all had a good ear for music so we got our songs off records (Yes, I'm that old.) We had fun with the folk music that was popular at the time. Often, I had a whole different set of words to the songs we played and sang. In fact, we actually wrote a few new verses to some of them. At the time I did not know I had an issue with hearing loss. They just thought I was poetically creative. 🙂 I had no trouble with the tunes, just the words.

Jump to this post

@julieo4, that is funny. Understanding lyrics may be someones first realization of a hearing loss. I've struggled for many years before AND after getting a hearing aid as an adult.
Tony in Michigan

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@jshdma

It's very difficult for me to see humor in hearing loss. As a musician and professor of music, it is painful and embarrassing. In the history of health problems of musicians, deafness is considered the worst possible fate. Beethoven, for example, almost killed himself.

Jump to this post

@jshdma I miss hearing the music that I remember. Losing hearing later in life may be worse than never having hearing. I was born with mild hearing loss but I am in the severe to profound range now. In case you do not know, there is a group of musicians with hearing loss. Here's the link: https://www.musicianswithhearingloss.org/wp/
I'm not a musician, but I've attended several of their virtual concerts.
Tony in Michigan

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@tonyinmi

@joyces Yes, I'm surprised you did not get a reminder about your appointment with the vet. Seems every business does that. So, you are not alone in missing an appointment, but for a different reason. Shame on them for charging you extra. You may want to make it a habit to repeat back important details before leaving a place to help avoid a reoccurance.
I used to really struggle on the phone and would purposely not answer so that any message would go to voicemail. I could have my wife help with trying to understand the message, if I couldn't figure it out myself. I had since gotten an iPhone and could use the transcription to help understand any message. However, the best feature that the hearing aids/iPhone did for me was the direct streaming via Bluetooth. I haven't waiting until people leave voicemails in a long time. I do listen to more spam calls now that I pick up the phone, LOL.
Tony in Michigan

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Tony, the vet here in this small town has been almost the only game in town for decades, but the much smaller vet office has just built a big new building, so perhaps the competition will make them be more client-friendly. FWIW, not even all the docs here call to remind you of an appt. Small towns are different places! I've set up our Charter/Spectrum cable phone service to convert any messages to an e-mail, although that doesn't always work. If we had cell reception here, the streaming would be great. I even bought a much better router to get WiFi, but it's not compatible with the modem Spectrum provides: I installed it carefully, and lost the cable connection for phone and 'net! It's back in the box, with the Spectrum router in place. The lack of cell service really hurts when there's an evacuation: we didn't now that we'd been Phase 1 or 2, let alone 3, which is "leave immediately" last fall. I've arrange with my closest neighbor a quarter-mile away to let me know in the future. They live on a hilltop so have cell reception. Seems that you can't have deer or elk just outside your office window and still have cell reception: I've opted for the critters!

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@tonyinmi

@jshdma I miss hearing the music that I remember. Losing hearing later in life may be worse than never having hearing. I was born with mild hearing loss but I am in the severe to profound range now. In case you do not know, there is a group of musicians with hearing loss. Here's the link: https://www.musicianswithhearingloss.org/wp/
I'm not a musician, but I've attended several of their virtual concerts.
Tony in Michigan

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Thank you, Tony in Michigan. I will check out the group you mention. Hard to imagine wht a "virtual" concert is.

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