Thursday, 9 June 2016

"The Sound of Silence"

"The Sound of Silence"
Guest Blogpost 

I watched anxiously as my beloved father battled against his encroaching deafness. It gradually cut him off from his friends; golfing companions and even other members of our own family, as they grew tired of visiting him in his room in Health Care. They would talk, ask him questions and he would just smile. It was quite obvious that he had completely missed the whole conversation. The nurses took to shouting into his better ear. I took to writing messages, which he would read carefully and reply normally. It was hard for him, as he could not tolerate his expensive hearing aids. However, he was in his nineties and perhaps at that time of life, some hearing loss is to be expected, especially for a veteran of WWII, with all that thunderous "noise pollution" of the battles he took part in.

I am now in my seventies and my own deafness seems to be rapidly taking over. I have one hearing aid, made for my left ear, which has a perforated tympanic membrane, which cannot be repaired. Although the help that aid gave me was quite remarkable, it kept falling out of my ear and became such an inconvenience, that I no longer try to wear it. I am lucky in that I can lip read fairly well as long as I can see people's lips clearly. However, if not, I am lost and more and more I feel cut off - left out of conversations and the loneliness, especially in a crowd, is quite profound. I want to go out less and less. Even shopping has its difficulties as I can not always hear what the assistants are saying. I get tired of saying: "I'm sorry, can you please repeat that?"

Having recently moved to Israel and not being familiar with the language, has been more difficult than I ever imagined. Having my daughter and her husband with me much of the time has been "life saving", as I have had to negotiate all that is involved in a move of this nature. Opening a bank account; filling out documents; applying for my passport; registering for my medical aid, are just some of the many processes which need a good pair of ears!

I don't want people to think that I am rude or snobbish or G-d forbid, senile, so I think that until I can be fitted with new hearing aids for both ears, I would rather stay at home. I'll get used to the sound of silence on my own.

RosemaryKahn is a retired teacher and a published author of children's books and a teenage novel. She has many hobbies: arts, crafts, doing puzzles, playing scrabble, walking in nature, reading. She loves to write for children or about her experience, insights and varied hobbies.

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