Late deafened adult – Pauline’s story
I was born hearing, lost hearing in my right ear at age 32, by an acoustic neuroma.
In my 40’s the hearing in my left ear began declining due to another acoustic neuroma. By the time I got my cochlear implant I was profoundly deaf, the implant only providing a little sound to help with lip reading. I rely totally on lip reading for communicating.
The hearing of my right ear declined very quickly over a few short years, it was very upsetting and stressful on myself and family. Still is. Although I can lip read better depending on the person.
We found there was no support for me or my family to help us go through this harrowing transition. The medical profession handed out my diagnosis and basically said ok off you go. They had no thought as to what us late deafened adults have to cope with. I felt totally alone and isolated.
In group discussions with more than 2 people I am lost, I can’t keep up. Most of the time people give up and talk a million miles an hour and leave me for dead.
I live and work in a hearing environment, I only know one other person with a hearing loss.
We are a minority I know, but I hope one day there would be more support out there for adults losing their hearing. Captioning would be great at transport venues for us profoundly deaf adults. I live and dream of a hand held caption device that I can carry around with me, and use anywhere anytime.