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.


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