Hard of hearing


August 13th, 2015

bondi beach
Source: http://www.freeimages.co.uk/galleries/sports/lifestyle/slides/beach_side_swimming_australia_PB181577.htm

Because of the recent heat waves, I was thinking about whether or not I should go swimming. Normally, I would go, because I love to swim, but there were a few things that gave me pause.
The first issue was that the all of the beaches and public pools were overcrowded, and I do not like crowds. Maybe it is because I am not very tall (no, I will not reveal my height!), and so I quickly feel claustrophobic.
The second reason is that swimming increases the risk of getting a middle ear infection.
The main reason however is that I would feel lost without glases and hearing aids while in the water. I don’t hear or see much when I am swimming. And that makes me feel insecure, especially with all those people.

As a Flat lander, I naturally learned to swim. We had swimming lessons every week at school. At first I was scared of the water, and the many ear infections I got did not help to ease that fear. When I did finally get the “taste” for swimming, I learned quickly. I was just not allowed to dive because of my eardrums, but that wasn’t so bad. Not long after that, swimming lessons stopped, and I was not in the water much.
Later, when I lived across from a public pool, I still did not go, even though I love to swim.

A long time ago when I spent a couple weeks in London with my cousin, it was so hot that we decided to go to a public pool. So decided, it was done. My cousin dove a few times while I swam a few lanes, and everything went well… Until I realized that my name was being called on the intercom. Back then, I had no hearing aids, but my ears were waterproofed, and I wore a swimming cap as well. So it took a while for me to become aware of the intercom.
When I then responded, it emerged that my cousin had somehow dove right onto a person, and had a bleeding head wound. We were driven by ambulance to the hospital where her wound was sewn shut. We were “lucky” that the wound bled for a long time, and therefore that my cousin was quickly treated. Besides a nasty headache and shock, she was none the worse for wear. Looking back, we had an “exclusive” experience: in a British Ambulance and in the Hospital.

Were I to go into a public pool now though, then I would be afraid of inadvertently missing a warning or other announcement because my ears and eyes do not work so well.
I will have to think about what I will do the next time there is a heat wave. Maybe I will go for a swimm and bring my husband with me to be my eyes and ears. There will probably be a year to think about this because the heat wave seems to be ending tomorrow.

Hard of hearing

Social Media

August 11th, 2015

soziales netzwerk.jpg

Source: http://all-free-download.com/free-photos/download/system_network_news_214349.html Author: geralt

For many hearing impaired people, social medial is a an important way of communicating. It is easier to maintain friendships, communicate rapidly, and stay in contact with each other.
Even I am “only” on three social media sites, and that is enough for me. To maintain all of my contacts does take up quite a bit of time. For example, I am a member of a secret cat group (what can I say, I love cats!) and we spend a lot of time posting and showing, videos and photos inclusive.
I have also found old friends and acquaintances on social media with whom I fell out of contact long ago which is nice.
Despite all that, I am very cautious with my use of social media because there are enough examples in social media where a post that was posted comes back like a boomerang. Job applicants have been rejected because of pictures they posted to social media, because potential employers googled them.

A further, known risk of social media is that of isolation and loneliness. There are plenty of examples of people who no longer meet in person with their friends or acquaintances, because they use social media to the exclusion of all else. Or people are cyber bullied over social media, something that seems to happen particularly often to the young folks.
Regardless, social media is here to stay, and my previous experience with it has been positive. Because I live so far apart from my mother, I often use Skype instead of the phone. It’s good because I don’t have to try so hard, and we can see each other. I can also read lips over Skype to an extent. Or we send each other a text message (or two, three…).

I don’t phone using my mobile out of principle, and haven’t for a few years. The only exception I make is for my mother. Recently, the Dentist’s office called me onn my handy a few times to schedule an appointment. I never answered. Instead I went to the office, and set up the appointment there.
It is naturally a pleasing development that the hearing impaired are no longer dependent on the phone, but can instead text or video call each other.

To my great surprise, when I recently let some online friends from my Cat Group know that I was coming to London, my husband and I received invitations to Lunch, Dinner and even overnight stays. It is really amazing how friendly and hospitable people can be to complete strangers. I am therefore looking forward to our stay in London, and meeting my online friends in person for the first time. Social media is good for contacts, but in my opinion, it is no substitute for a meeting in person.