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?
If you like this blog, please "like" my FaceBook page and get notices on your timeline when a new article or poem is posted. You can also "follow me" by signing up on the right side of this page.