I get up later on, we have a late breakfast and I check my emails and do some blogging. Then I join MLM outside where we do some gardening. (Or is that yardwork?) It was a glorious spring day and we sat under the tree chatting and watching the birds. I don’t hear birds at all; the only sounds I could hear were from cars passing by at the end of the yard, and MLM talking to me. The real Mog sat on my lap, this is a huge privilege BTW, and if I put my ear close to her I could hear her purring.
Back indoors I get ready to go to work. MLM talks to his mum on the telephone, I talk to mine on messenger. Everyone is well. Before I leave for work I put my hearing aids in, checking the program and volume levels with the remote control. My Blackberry goes in my back pocket so I can feel it vibrate when I get a message. I drive to work, no radio or music on in the car of course.
When I arrive at work I call by ER to let them know that I am working, when they need me they email instead of phoning. They don’t take replies to emails though so if they need to talk to me I have to walk round to them. No big deal really. I do some paperwork while waiting for patients. I check my BB often- just in case I miss a vibration, and also check the computer system too just in case I haven’t been emailed and there are patients waiting. There are notices on the walls explaining that I am deaf and if I don’t answer I am not ignoring them I just haven’t heard. I have to explain to each patient that I can’t hear. Most people are understanding and try to help me. Not all, but that’s life. “Most” is a good proportion. I spend the usual amount of time saying variations on “I’m sorry I didn’t hear you, please repeat that”.
On the evening shift I am the only person in the department. The other techs play music, or have the radio on when they are working alone. I work in silence apart from machinery noises.
Later on I jump out of my skin when I realise that someone is standing behind me. It’s a patient who has gone looking for the tech rather than sitting and waiting in the waiting room. I check my BB, no email, nothing on the computer which means ER hasn’t had time to enter the exam yet. Once I see the patient I apologise for being short with her and explain why, she understands. I decide to lock some doors to prevent this happening again as it’s not the first time.
Even later on I am with a patient and leave them in the exam room while I go to check my work. Yet again I jump out of my skin; the patient is now standing right behind me. Harmless enough but it’s downright scary when you can’t hear people approach.
I have a chat to one of the nurses that I don’t see very often, she’s hard to lipread and I realise that she doesn’t know I am deaf. I explain, we chat some more, then she tells me she’s from Liverpool. Well, once I know that I can understand her. I had been trying to lipread a Canadian accent when I should have been thinking Scouse. I don’t chat very much at work unless I can get just one person to talk to. At supper I usually go later when I know there’s not likely to be anyone there. I can hardly make out a word in the cafeteria so it’s easier to avoid conversation.
Nothing very exciting, but hearing loss creates a great deal of “added unvalue” in my life, all those little hassles add up and wear you down.