Search this story by topic

The Chaos Mini-Series

Welcome to my chaotic life of FIVE small children and a traveling husband! This blog is actually a "work in progress" and serves as a loose outline for a humorous non-fiction book I strive to publish by the end of this calendar year. Each entry builds upon the one just prior to it so it is best to begin with Part I. This story begins just four short years ago when a tsunami of unfortunate, tragic and hectic events brutally pounded us one right after another. As my family and I endured and eventually overcame each wave of misfortune, we kept our heads (barely) above water and held high, eyes wide open and hearts on "stand by" as we witnessed new opportunities and blessings emerge from the CHAOS...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Coping with the Hurdles of One-Sided Deafness...Part XIII

Miracle baby had arrived and although I wanted to name him for my late brother, my religion mandates that when even a good soul passes due to suicide, such as it was in my brother’s case, it takes a solid year for that soul to come to rest and ascend to heaven. Additionally, it is believed that it could be a dangerous proposition and bring bad fortune to a new life granted the same name. Made sense to my husband and I and we opted to go with this prevailing belief on this one.

The child was born completely healthy and normal despite the OB-GYN´s hypothesis that he may be born with withdrawal symptoms due to his long exposure to anesthesia. Ha! This kid could outrun a champion thoroughbred and is so keen that he is the first to notice something as small as a new mug I purchased that day at the store!

At this leg of the journey, acclimating to the one-sided deafness was my main focus. The hearing ear became so super-sensitive that I could pick up tones to which only a dog could respond. Essentially, this ear was working overtime to compensate for its partner’s loss. I detected sounds that were not meant for human ears. Species of animals that came alive at dusk echoed inside my own bedroom.

At times the good ear would create phantom sounds and I would spend the entire day and night for example, insisting that one of my children was somewhere crying. This sound would reverberate inside my head and although everyone was sound asleep or we were out at night and kid-free, I still heard them crying! It also happened with car alarms, cell phones ringing, and door bells. I just heard these noises randomly all day long, like some worn out recorder.

Another obstacle about one-sided deafness is that you lose your entire ability to localize sound. What this basically means is that you can hear almost everything, yet have no idea from which direction it comes. I will give you a few examples of what this actually means.

If you are walking along side the street and a car honks at you or a person on their bicycle sneaks up behind you, you are completely defenseless and unable to react in time. There have been countless times that I had people standing inches from me on my deaf side striking up a conversation, and I would be completely unaware of their presence until tapped on the shoulder. (At this point, I would jump out of fright because I never knew for how long they had been there.) It leaves you feeling very vulnerable.

The comical part about all of this is that from an outsider’s point of view, it is like watching a Mr. Magoo cartoon with me starring as the slightly blind buffoon running all around in the wrong direction. All day long I hear, “Mommy, come, mommy, help, mommy, s/he´s hitting/biting/punching/bothering/hurting/killing me!” Most of the time, out of experience, I just nonchalantly shout out orders from wherever I am refusing to move.

On the rare occasion that it is something of importance, I have developed the useless habit of running like a crazed maniac in the polar opposite direction of where I need to be each and every time. I train my family to always identify their location by speaking clearly and making eye contact if within range. (I oftentimes need to read their lips.) Come to my house and you will think you are witnessing a military recon mission or surveillance drill where everybody is constantly updating one another via two way radio on their geographical positions. “Mommy, I am by the door, the front door, standing near your bedroom on the northeast corner…”

The most hilarious scene that takes place inside my home begins once my cell phone rings. I am notorious for losing the phone several times a day or just forgetting where I last set it down. When this happens it may as well be in another city because the chances of me finding it ALONE are slim to none. This is where the inability to localize sound is where one could really take advantage of me. When I hear it ring, and it is within reach, even in my own pocket, if I cannot see, I will NEVER find it… Any solutions???

No comments:

Post a Comment