0 and 40: Risks and side-effects, Part 2

0 and 40: Risks and side-effects, Part 2


In my post 0 and 40: Risks and side-effects, Part 1 I described a situation that causes additional stress, but hopefully it will be over in a few days. Some side effects of hearing loss, however, are permanent.

  • Tinnitus. In my case it’s a constant rushing, that becomes louder when I am stressed or in a quiet enviroment. But I learnt to deal with it when I was a little girl and turn it into music, then it isn’t so bad. I know other people have a hard time finding out how to live with it. However, this continuous noise in the back of my head can be a problem when I really try to focus on something (e.g. what another person is saying).
  • Psychological problems.
    1.) As every other person, I am expected to reach certain standards, but my limitations often are ignored or belittled. This is, of course, especially a problem were work is concerned, but this will be another post. Long story short: Be beware of burnout and depressive exhaustion.
    2.) Poor hearing means to be cut off from most people, because they communicate through speaking. Whisper in my ear? Sorry, I can’t understand. Loud music, like concerts or discotheque? I’ll have to pass, I don’t want to jeopardize what is left of my hearing. Go swimming? I got nasty fungal infection in my right ear after my last try, so I am reluctant about that. Meeting at a restaurant or a bar to talk? I hope there’s not to much background noise, because otherwise understanding you is really hard for me. Going to the movies? Depends. Too loud is as stressful for me as too low. And when the movie has been translated, so the language I hear differs from the language the actors speak, I can’t even help myself with lip reading. Many social gatherings are a real challenge for me. And if you can’t participate in such events, you become an outcast. I am more mindful of my abilities today, but after three hours of talking in a grop (e.g. family), I am just drained and need rest. I would like to stay longer, I would like to enjoy it more often. Sometimes I can’t help feeling bitter. It is a fine line between what I can do and “Damn, that was too much!”.
    3.) Invisible disabilities like deafness often are overlooked by society. This is understandable, but pointing it out to those around you again and again is a permanent struggle. Bystanders often can’t judge if a situation is easy to handle (in my case: a dialogue in a quiet setting without disturbing noises) or too much (when I try to follow a presentation and everybody around me is talking).

This explanation is a personal one and by no means representative. What I want to say is, that living with a disability is a hurdle race, where others run on a nice, even running track: You just can’t compare those two.

See also:
0 and 40 Part 1: Hearing the alarm clock without hearing
0 and 40 Part 2: Demand and and encourage
0 and 40: Risks and side-effects, Part 1


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