Building relationships and strength through vulnerability
Those of us who have a hearing loss often feel very vulnerable. On the best days, it’s bearable and you feel like you’re getting along, and on the worst days, it can be very disheartening. For example, as a friend recently relayed to me, when you are travelling alone in the airport, a gate change is announced for your flight, and you don’t hear it. You miss your flight, and the airline has no sympathy for your error, so you pay the difference for a new flight. Your family is worried and you are mortified that you’ve made such an error. You feel discouraged about being on your own. While this is certainly a worst-case scenario, this happens more than you might think.
From my perspective, my only option, as someone who has had a hearing loss since I was five, is to turn that vulnerability into an asset. I am not shy about telling people I have a hearing loss and I am not shy about asking for help. I’ve learned to tell the airlines when booking or at check in, that I might need assistance. I ask people to repeat things a lot if I’m not sure I heard things correctly. I ask for things in writing to ensure I understand. What I have found, is that by talking about what I need, I have built many wonderful relationships and feel much stronger when I am out on my own. For the most part, people are happy to help me. They often ask for more information about hearing losses because they suspect that a family member, or friend (or perhaps even they themselves) may have a hearing loss and they want to help.
If you would like to talk more or learn more about hearing losses, how to get assistance or an exam, what hearing aids and cochlear implants can do, what assistive devices might be available, or any number of hearing related topics, please join us at our Peer Discussion Group for Better Hearing. The Discussion Group continues to meet throughout the summer and, of course, continues into the fall and winter when our snowbirds return. If you would like support in a caring and open environment, as a person with a hearing loss or as a family member or friend of a person with a hearing loss, please join us! The meetings are held monthly, 10:00 a.m.-noon, at the MountainView Bistro building in SaddleBrooke (specific room assignments are below):
Thursday, September 12, 2019: Cactus Room
Thursday, October 10, 2019: Saguaro Room
Thursday, November 14, 2019: Ballroom West
Thursday, December 12, 2019: Ballroom West
If you have questions or would like more information please contact Jennifer Jefferis, firstname.lastname@example.org, 360-909-6212 or Dick and Judy Kroese at email@example.com, 520-360-5789. If you happen to be a retired hearing professional, an audiologist or an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist, living in SaddleBrooke, we would love to invite you to join us and support us with your professional knowledge and ideas.