Silent Voices, Ringing Waves

I found the following post in my drafts. It was written during the Summer of 2019 and never finished due to the emotional nature of hearing loss and how it affects your life. While I am no longer completely deaf, my hearing was drastically damaged from years of ear infections and my own premature birth. This final set of infections from working in dust and dirt for weeks did leave my hearing worse than ever but I am thankful that it is not gone.

Ruminations from the Summer of 2019. Ringing covers the sounds of my world. There is no sound of thunderstorms, breezes, birds or nature. What is worse is the loss of the sounds of my loved ones. No more childish giggles, no tones or inflections to their voice. Everyone sounds the same; when I can hear them which is infrequent at best.

Illness came upon me like a thief in the night. One moment I felt an allergy attack the next a double ear infection and ruptured ear drum. Swiftly the illness moved as a squall from sea to land.

Three weeks I live in a world of ringing and uncertainty. I feel isolated in a room of people because I cannot hear anyone so conversation is impossible. The ringing alone is enough to drive me mad. No break, no silence just constant noise.

The uncertainty of recovery is frightening. My youngest is just learning to speak. The middle child about to enter school and the oldest loves to chat and share. Currently, I am missing so much because they have to face me and yell for me to possibly hear them. They are tired and frustrated; as am I.

Constant reminders that if I am yelling I don’t know it because I cannot hear my own voice. Reminding them it is alright let me know I am yelling.

Now, I have learned to modulate my voice and tone more consistently, but when you cannot properly hear yourself it is difficult. Tinnitus is an almost constant companion and I am immensely grateful for the rare moments of true silence. What I am most grateful for is that I can still hear the voices of my loved ones. The silly way words form when toddlers learn to speak; the way losing childhood teeth impacts speech on big kids. Their precious laughter.

Stay Sassy, Viking Mama

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