OMG – 64 Years of Hearing Loss!

The other morning, I woke up and thought, today’s my birthday. I’m 64.

How in the world did this happen to me? How can this be?! It seems I’ve only just started feeling like an adult, and all of a sudden, I’m a senior

Then I went into the bathroom and looked in the mirror. The answer was right there, in the face, 64 years of living.

And my hearing? I can’t even say I have the ears of a 90-year-old, because I know many nonagenarians (this is an age bracket, not an eating style) who can hear a pin drop. But after almost six and a half decades of hearing loss, I’m getting a little concerned that we’re running out of time to find a cure for it. What good will it do me when, at age 90, some perky young audiologist in the nursing home says, “Hey, guess what, Mrs. Hannan?  They’ve found a cure for your hearing loss!”

“Eh?”

After she’s repeated herself several times and finally found my hearing aid which I’d once again hidden under the mattress, I say, “Well, isn’t that nice, dear. When’s lunch?

OK, I’m just ranting along here. I’ve long accepted that I’m going to take my hearing loss and maybe my tinnitus into the next world with me. Just as I’ve long been grateful for the technical advancements that have saved me from a dependent on lipreading. My hearing technology is a life essential – along with water, air, food and wine – even though I’ve tried to drown it, stomp it to pieces, bake it to a crisp in the sun, and bury it in the sand.

Yet this amazing hearing technology needs to be available to everyone and anyone whose life could be changed by it. For this to happen, we have to keep pushing for more affordable access to hearing technology from governments and corporations – access that is necessary to put us on a level playing field with the hearing people.

Young people across the continent are standing up and demanding safer schools – surely that should inspire us to support organizations that are working for our needs as people with hearing loss.

64 years of hearing loss. During that time, things have changed a lot (including my face). Miracles have happened – and we need to keep pushing for more.

Let’s do it.

 

Photo: Dr. Odd

About Gael Hannan

Gael Hannan is a sought-after speaker for her humorous and insightful performances about hearing loss. Unheard Voices and EarRage! are ground-breaking solo shows that illuminate the profound impact of hearing loss on a person’s life and relationships, and which Gael has presented to appreciative audiences around Canada, the United States and New Zealand. A DVD/video version of Unheard Voices is now available. She has received awards for her work, including the Consumer Advocacy Award from the Canadian Association of Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists. Gael lives with her husband and son in Toronto.

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