Gathering in

Long story short, more than a decade ago I had surgery that involved relieving pressure on several cranial nerves by a blood vessel.  As a result of this procedure, I lost hearing in one ear, except for a constant whooshing sound.

Hearing loss is devastating for some people.  For me it is sensorially overwhelming and physically fatiguing in a room full of conversation, and frustrating to strain to hear something I want to hear, but like most disabilities, you learn to cope with it.  Luckily, I’m an introvert, so I relish the quiet and isolation hearing loss brings, especially since my cancer diagnosis.

I’ve learned to gather in, get inside my head, meditate, piece things together or take them apart, stay mindful of the moment, discover or marvel at something I might have missed if I were busy hearing and talking.  It helps me transcend the constant turmoil of cancer.

I’ve been mulling over a post about this gathering in that comes with my hearing loss, but I couldn’t find words that made any sense, so I laid the idea aside.   Then yesterday, while catching up on blog reading, I came across a beautiful piece by one of my favorite writers, Jan Wilberg at Red’s Wrap.  This last paragraph of her post called “Old Pony” (about her hearing loss) captures what I could not.

There is talking going on but I’m not part of it. I marvel at the oldest pony’s white eyelashes and the wrinkles on his horse nose. Deep wrinkles like what you would see on a person, what you would see on me. I think about this while the others are talking, little pieces of their words slipping in under the wind. I think only about the old pony’s precious, soft nose and wanting to smooth his wrinkles with my hand.

Thank you, Jan.

7 responses to “Gathering in”

  1. Beautiful. I am starting to have age related hearing loss. I haven’t resorted to aids but I know the frustration of trying to make sense out of noise in a crowded room. Very fatiguing. Next time I will focus on something I can see and enjoy that sense instead.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is fatiguing! I can’t discern what direction noise is coming from either, so I just look stupid(er) looking around to see who is talking to me.

      I’m catching up on all your posts and love them!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve learned the head bouncing thing. I do it with a big smile so I must look incredibly stupid when someone tells me their grandmother died. Good to see you posting again!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. When I’ve asked someone to repeat something 3 or 4 times but STILL cannot hear them, I just smile and hope the same thing you do. It’s awful!


  3. I, too, like you, Jan, and Kate have a hearing loss. Mine is in both ears and not yet extreme. I wear hearing aids, and they help somewhat; but I hate them and the way they magnify everything. By the end of a day of wearing them, I am anxious and edgy. My favorite times are when I’m by myself, without my hearing aids, and free to think and watch the world around me. I related to all of you and your frustrations. I’ve started doing what my commonsense mother used to do: when I can’t hear someone, I say, “I’m hard of hearing. You’ll have to speak louder or come closer.” Like my hearing aids, it helps somewhat.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I also enjoy Jan’s blog! I love that you’ve turned a seeming trial into learning.

    Liked by 1 person

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About Me

This blog started out as letters to my dog maizie but devolved into meaningless observations from a half-deaf cancer alumnus introvert navigating the noise you other people make.


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