Tidying Up

It pays to purge your stuff. Last weekend I decided to tackle a huge pile of files that I had put away in one of those file boxes a year or so ago telling myself that I would ‘get to it later’.

Much to my surprise, in amongst a series of training files for one of my clients was a long lost file called “My Story – Growing Up Deaf”. When I first started this blog I looked all over for this particular file as it included my boiler plate speech and had lots of tips that I have shared with my audiences. I thought it was lost forever.

So herewith in today’s post, some of the lessons I learned and tips I shared in a speech I called ‘Men’s Moustaches and Other Tricky Challenges’.

WHAT I HAVE LEARNED OVER SIXTY YEARS WITH HEARING LOSS

• Talking about it helps.
• One of our many unique talents is the result of the need to read lips. We pay attention when others are talking. People like that.
• It’s okay to be tired. Listening is very hard work.
• Don’t apologize because you can’t hear. I notice this all the time. People with hearing loss saying “I’m sorry I can’t hear you.”
• A sense of humour really helps.

SOME TIPS FOR FRIENDS AND FAMILY

• Losing your hearing is scary, especially later in life.
• Get advice from professionals. They often have good suggestions for managing everyday life with a deaf family member.
• Share your own frustrations.
• Create a place of peace for yourself.
• News flash: Hearing aids don’t always work! Be patient, especially with someone new to hearing aids.

TIPS FOR THOSE WITH HEARING LOSS

• Be knowledgeable about your hearing loss and share that knowledge.
• Let others know what helps. For me this means others facing me and talking in a normal tone of voice. Talking in a loud voice just distorts the lips making it difficult to read the words.
• Advocate for yourself.
• Be kind to friends and family. They want to do what’s best.
• Control what you can and let the rest take care of itself.

P.S. For those who may not know, the moustache often covers the mouth, making it more difficult to lip read, hence the title of my speech!

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