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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

The Truth Be Told- Along with One-Sided Deafness Comes a Few Perks...Part XIV

Any kind of social engagement that includes more than a “party of one” leaves my head spinning. The reason is because with one-sided deafness not only are you unable to localize sound, but sound lacks dimension as well. What this means is that the words spoken by a couple privately conversing at the next table are perceived to be just as loud as the person speaking right next to you. The competing noises actually drown out one another and if you were to close your eyes, it would be utterly impossible to detect which is the sound closest in proximity.

This could also be interpreted as a "gift" as well because I end up unwittingly eaves-dropping on other people’s conversations. It is not my intention and I would much rather focus on the person to whom I want to listen, but since it all sounds so up close and personal, I have no option! Perhaps I have a future career in detective work.

The best is when my children all talk to me at once. I end up gesturing to them like a New York City deli butcher on an early Friday afternoon trying to put some order to the lunchtime blitz. “You, first; one second, hey wait; no wait until you are called.” With my finger pointed, I proceed to direct, “Go ahead, you’re up, talk fast because he is waiting….quiet; wait your turn; no; you are already finished, next!” Its fun, kind of like being a traffic cop signalling everybody and attempting to run the entire show with a few basic hand motions.

Truth be told that when they do bombard me all at once, all sounds blend together and I understand nothing. I just have to tune out or I’ll bring a migraine upon myself straining so hard to decipher words from the jumbled onslaught of noise. Of course they don´t (want to) get it and continue hammering away as my eyes begin to glaze over.

There are some benefits to this “condition” however, and the first one being that I can sleep on my good ear and drown out all nighttime activity in my home. This could be dangerous when my husband is travelling as I can sleep right through a full blown nightmare crying episode. For the record, just in case you are a Department of Children and Families employee, when my spouse is away, I do sleep on the dead ear in an effort to be a "responsible mother who willingly surrenders all her peaceful slumber for the well-being of her children."

Another bonus is that when I am on the phone and because my hearing ear is completely covered physically, I could sit smack dab in the middle of my kitchen during the “witching hour” and continue to chat along unaware of all pestering background noises. Good for me, bad for the listener who is tormented by the obnoxious surrounding clatter. This aforementioned “asset” is also potentially dangerous as my burglar or smoke alarm could go off and there I sit, continuing to gossip away, oblivious to all external chaos.

Another advantage to one-sided deafness is that when I simply have no more desire to hear somebody, I shift my body to put them on my left side. When seated with other folk at large tables for family gatherings or other social engagements, whoever is on my left, will inevitably and inadvertently get ignored. If I really do want to talk with that person, I have to make a tremendous effort by turning my head 180 degrees thereby resembling a move out of the movie, The Exorcist.

I do admit for the first time ever, that at times I exploit this “benefit” and outright snub someone if I have no interest in what they are discussing. Afterward, if they appear perturbed, I automatically apologize and claim that I am unable to understand due to my “deficit,” and 10 times out of 10, they buy it and don’t take it personally! In fact, they end up feeling sorry for me. Could you imagine after all that I have confessed somebody feeling pity for my “situation?” Being handicapped sometimes has its perks...

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