Thursday, March 7, 2019

The Epic Otic Odyssey - Day One

Day One

I walk into my apartment.  A quiet but persistent siren greets me and my brain rolodex goes on alert: neighbour’s smoke alarm, phone malfunction, alien invasion. I walk carefully towards the source, steps echoing on the kitchen tile before I crouch before the fridge.  Preparing to attack the beast within I grab hold of the door and stop: there is no beast within, the appliance has just turned on.

I sit at my desk, turn on the laptop and try to write. The words don’t come. Instead a low static hum burrows into me as if someone next door left the radio slightly off channel. Fear reemerges: tinnitus. I could easily buy into this except I haven’t drunk red wine or indulged in any other of my allergens. I lean towards the sound and discover it is the droning of the computer’s subversive heart.

Two hours ago, I purchased my first hearing aid and now I am being inundated with noise. Not sound, not music to my ears, but the tinny, whinny, roaring of everyday sounds. Sounds that I haven’t heard in years and normal hearing people have learned to tune out. Sounds that have no business in my head but are there, regardless, wrecking havoc with my sanity.

As I write a steady tick appears as if a bomb might go off and I glare at the once inconspicuous alarm clock. They say I will get used to it but right now I am dreaming of the golden era of silence. Do I really need to hear what others say? Cant people just speak louder? Why should I have to hear what they no longer hear?

Stay tuned for Day Two of the Epic Otic Odyssey…

Disclaimer: I realize I write this Epic Otic Odyssey from a privileged place. Not everyone has enough extra cash to buy a hearing aid and truly, it’s a quasi-luxury for me, not a necessity. I first started writing about it as a way to cope with the feelings of frustration and irritation. It wasn’t in my plans to publish my thoughts, I just needed a place to vent. But as wrote I began to question more than whether I should or should not buy an aid. I began to ponder what it actually means to be vulnerable in a way that other people may not relate or even understand… and why do I feel the need to fix that vulnerability?

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  1. Jo-Ann, I totally 'hear' you! Buzzing, beeping, air brakes - its enough to drive one mad!

    1. And what does it say about us who live in this every day?

  2. Hope you get used to them soon. We need to to stay connected to us and our world. (What kind did you get?)

    1. I'm just not so sure its the kind of connection I am looking for ... (oticon)