“Do Not Go Gentle into That Deaf Night”. I have borrowed this title from a paper by Illg and colleagues that investigates the usefulness of cochlear implants in adults who are hard of hearing .
As Camisha Jones says in her poem, Disclosure (these are excerpts…please follow the link for the full poem).
I’m sorry, could you repeat that. I’m hard of hearing.
To the cashier
To the receptionist
To the insistent man asking directions on the street
Hello, my name is Sorry
To full rooms of strangers
I’m hard to hear
I vomit apologies everywhere
They fly on bat wings
towards whatever sound beckons
I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I am so, so sorry
and not hearing
The mother of a friend of mine can’t hear and refuses to use a hearing aid and keeps apologizing for not being able to hear, just like the lady in the poem. It is impossible to converse with her, unless you face her and speak slowly, in which case she can sometimes lip read, if she knows the language you are speaking in. It has become very difficult for her to go out and while large gatherings are impossible to deal with, at best, she agrees to attend small intimate family gatherings, where her near and dear ones take the effort to speak to her, facing her, slowly.