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A Not So Quiet World

Categories: DisabilityWorld

As a child, I always felt curious. However, I was afraid to ask questions because I worried about how dumb it might make me sound. Why was I this way? Throughout my entire life, as far back as I can remember I have lived in a quiet world.

At birth, I failed my infant hearing test at Women & Infants Hospital. I returned 2 weeks later and was given the “pass” for the test. Fast forward 5 years later, I failed my routine hearing screening in kindergarten.

As I got older, my hearing in my right ear became worse at each audiological checkup. All through school I worked overwhelmingly just to fit in and feel normal. I refused any assistance with hearing devices. I pretended to laugh at classroom banter when I didn’t hear the original conversations. I totally refused to disclose to anyone about my hearing loss, not even my close friends or teachers.

As my hearing loss declined, it began to affect my relationships.

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It was sometimes difficult to hear words. The beginning and ending sounds meshed together and all I heard in my mind was the Charlie Brown teacher mumbling “wah, wah”. It was frustrating to me as I continued on.

Then, this summer at my routine audiological test, I had a meltdown. During the testing, I was asked to measure my ability to hear words and sentences with background noise. I hadn’t had a good night’s sleep the night before and became extremely agitated and emotionally upset with my inability to correctly hear those words.

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I totally lost it and just sat there crying.

From that point on, I challenged myself to make a change. It came to me that my hearing loss should not be a hinderance or an excuse to not speak up and ask those questions. I recently requested another audiological appointment to choose from a large range of hearing aid options. At the visit, I was able to select a hearing device that was blue-tooth enabled, and came in a discreet, but pretty rose-gold color. I am now anxiously awaiting its arrival.

I believe my hearing loss will not interfere with me being able to reach any goal I set for myself. I know this experience has made a lasting impact on me. I began to advocate for myself. I’m not afraid to ask someone please repeat what was just said to me. Nor am I afraid to ask questions in and out of the classroom. I recently began playing the violin again with orchestra class after years of having given it up. I now have a part-time job as a hostess at a nearby restaurant. I am confident and friendly in greeting each customer and do not shy away from pleasant interactions and conversation with the peopleI meet daily. I also have an internship at a local nursing home in training for my CNA licence. The people I connect with there make my heart melt. They truly show me to look inward at myself to be the best I can be no matter what disabilities or impairments I may perceive I possess. I truly have become more of a social person because I can empathize with others’ situations.

Several years ago, I would never have thought to imagine I would be where I am today. It is a relief like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. Working hard to conquer my hearing loss challenges, I now have the ability in me to take a leap forward to speak up and share my thoughts, fears, emotions and ideas. Having a voice and maintaining a positive outlook has given my life new meaning. With confidence and determination, I have transformed myself from living in a quiet world to a not so quiet world I love.

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A Not So Quiet World. (2019, Dec 12). Retrieved from

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