Those who have met me in person know that I am partly deaf. I was born that way, and when you don’t know what you’re missing, you get along OK. I seemed to cope with it, getting through life more or less fine. I never really felt left out, or overly frustrated by it – although those around me probably did. Getting hearing aids at the age of 20 made a massive difference – I didn’t absolutely have to be looking at someone when they spoke to me, although it still helped.
This year I’ve done some diving – 10 dives now – and people will of course think hey diving’s perfect if you’re deaf – you can’t talk underwater anyway! There is of course some truth in that. And of course you know about issues with equalisation when descend/ascend, and clearing your ears.
But what you don’t always know about is the aftereffects of the combination of water and pressure on your ears, and consequently your hearing. That water getting forced in there doesn’t really do it any favours, and so after diving you leave your hearing aids out, to let them dry out a bit. Not having your aids in, and having water in there makes you rather deaf – lucky it was good friends on the boat with me. It’s easier with voices that you’re familiar with. It does make you wary of joining conversations though, as you’re not sure if you’re missing things, or misinterpreting them.
We did a lot of diving that weekend at the Poor Knights, and it seemed to be too much, too deep, too soon for me. My ears were sore for a couple of days, and I felt a little more deaf than usual. Ronelle put me onto Vosol – a couple of drops in each ear in the evening. That helped a bit, but it’s not a cool look sitting around with toilet paper in your ears…Things weren’t quite right by the weekend though, so rather than exacerbate the problem, my advisor said I was better to give it a rest. So I’m going to have to wait until this weekend to try again – not too deep this time though.
On a completely different note – There is No Depression in New Zealand. I went out to Sale St Bar last night to catch up with some old university friends. The place was pretty busy, for a Wednesday night. It’s a big place, so that means quite a few people there. That place must be absolutely heaving on a Friday night, all the people who want to be seen out for a good time.