I am hard of hearing. I believe my hearing loss is genetic, because my mom was profoundly hard of hearing.
Over the years, I hear less and less and will continue on this path. About 4 years ago a ringing suddenly started up in both ears and never stopped. I got an MRI to try to find the source, but it is just part of my disorder and will probably start to include bong and bing sounds and even music like it did my mother. Right now it just sounds like there is a cicada taking up residence inside my head.
At present my current amount of loss is merely an annoyance. I have to say “what” every time someone says something to me and I often appear dumb because I can’t always understand the conversation. I will nod and follow your facial expressions for the proper way to react, because I am only catching a third of your monologue. I use subtitles for watching all television, which is a god send, but I also keep the volume way up, because for live or unscripted TV, the subtitles are always behind and often wrong. Like during an entertainment news show, the announcer said: “Hanging with the boys from Duran Duran” and the person typing the subtitles translated that as “Hanging with the boys from Tehran, Iran”. I kid you not.
I get pretty sick of asking people to repeat themselves; Sasha is the number one violator of talking to me from another room. He knows I cannot hear. Now instead of yelling “WHAT?” and walking to where he is, I just ignore him until he speaks to me face.
My mother’s issues with hearing taught me not to be embarrassed by the disability, so I am not shy about telling people to speak up because I am half-deaf. I just made an appointment to get my hearing tested once again and to be fitted with hearing aids. My insurance does not cover the hearing aids and they cost about a grand a piece, so I might just get one, but it will be bright red with jazzy stripes, because I am so damn excited about the possibility of hearing you better, my dear.