New here

#1
Obligatory background:

57, male. Started losing my hearing in my late twenties, started wearing HA's in my mid 30's. Hearing has gradually worsened over 20 years, plus constant tinnitus. Speech discrimination is deteriorating. I'm working, but it's becoming an issue and I feel as if those around me must make lots of accommodations to the point that I'm feeling more trouble than I'm worth at work and my days are numbered.

Last week lost all residual hearing in left ear overnight, so I'm down to one bum right ear with an HA. No point right now using my HA in the left. (The ENT is trying steroids, etc, for the sudden left ear loss but no one is optimistic.) Some people I can hear OK with my aided right ear, some not at all. I cringe when some individuals show up at my office door knowing I'll not hear a thing they say.

I've browsed here occasionally over the years but thought I'd register, and possibly participate. May be forced to look into a CI before long. I've been all my life on the hearing side and don't sign, etc, nor do I know anyone within that culture.

A bit bummed out today...
 

AlleyCat

Well-Known Member
#2
I’m sorry you’re bummed. You are not alone.

Try to not worry about your days at your job being numbered. There are a lot of laws in place to prevent you from just losing your job just like that. Could you think about a possible different job within your company? I don’t know what you do.

Mind sharing where you are from, even it’s just a general location? We might be able to help you with connections to people and such.

We deafies are usually good people. :) needed to put a smile on your face. I’ve been deaf since birth, so I’ve not walked the same path as you. I learned to speak and sign at a very early age, so that has been dominant all my life. I’m in Minnesota, and there’s a very large Deaf community here, so I never fail to find somebody any given day of the week :)
 
#3
I'm in NE Indiana. I actually have a reasonable sense of humor about my hearing loss and do my best to make a joke or two about myself to help others feel at ease around me so that they don't feel the need to tiptoe around the subject of my crappy hearing. Some people don't really alter how they speak to me though and after two requests for a repeat, I generally give up.

I'm an IT manager. You'd think IT would be pretty good for HOH folks...and for the most part it is...but there is a surprising amount of verbal back and forth required. And meetings. But the absolute worst is communicating with those who are using English as a second language, which happens A LOT in IT, both on site employees and remote support. It doesn't matter how good someone's English is, if there's an accent they might as well be speaking Klingon. I simply can't understand accents. My colleagues don't understand that (for me) speech discrimination requires a familiar cadence, and that non-native english speakers...no matter how correct...don't speak that way.

As far as laws protecting me, I'm pretty sure they could get rid of me for any reason they wished and I'd have little recourse. People get downsized all the time.

I'm generally a happy sort. I have a good family life, etc. I'm just a tad ruffled due to the setback on my left ear, and of course fear for the other one.
 

AlleyCat

Well-Known Member
#5
I don’t speak Klingon, either. I leave that for the Big Bang Theory folks :)

But I do get what you’re saying about the accents. That usually kills me every time too. Any lip movement that is different from English, no ...doesn’t work so well for me, Klingon or not.

There are others on this board from Indiana and bordering states.

I hear the same thing you said about IT being a very verbal job at times. There’s one poster here in that field, see if he comes by and says hi. :)
 

AlleyCat

Well-Known Member
#6
On another note, you probably already know this, but there are texting and communication apps out there. I hesitate to recommend one, but Ava might be good for your meetings.
 

Secretblend

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
#7
mustache, covering mouth with hand, people looking away when talking even tho you told them not to, and mumblers. Gotta love those!
 
#8
On another note, you probably already know this, but there are texting and communication apps out there. I hesitate to recommend one, but Ava might be good for your meetings.
Yeah, I've seen some of these. Unfortunately anything that requires any significant special participation on the part of the other group members is a non-starter. Too many large meetings, too many different people, people on conference calls, etc. My main team, maybe, but they're generally not the problem.

Asking for accommodations like that would only call attention to the fact that I'm extra trouble for everyone. I know it shouldn't be that way but it pretty much is.

I already ask for simple requests to be sent to me via email or Skype IM, but no one really plays along, preferring to stop in my office and initiate a conversation doomed to end in a comedic misunderstanding as I answer questions not asked. :rolleyes:
 

AlleyCat

Well-Known Member
#9
Totally understood about not wanting to call extra attention to yourself. Ava does require a participation effort.

There’s another app, I can’t think of the name of it right now but if you want to know, I can ask friends who use it. It will caption what people say right in your vicinity, it might be helpful for those rule-breakers who just must stop by your office. :)
 

Cappy

Well-Known Member
#10
Welcome to AD. Land of misfit toys. Little bit of everything here. Born deaf to HoH, to old age deaf.

Dont let your hearing loss be your downfall. You are a manager. Make your team adjust to YOU.

As for meetings, conferences and whatnot, have a trusted coworker interpert and or take notes for you.

IT manager? You worked hard for that. You must be a tad bit smart. Make this thing work in your favour.

Being deaf isn't a set back, it's a super power.

Good luck. And dont let us down.

M, 57, profoundly deaf since 6yrs old.
 
#11
I'm not working but I worry about that too how I'll be treated and how others will view me as someone that cannot hear. I was suppose to go to college but got very sick and lost my hearing. Now, it seems like my life is on hold. I am trying to learn how to live without hearing in a hearing world. You are lucky you have a career. You are also a IT Manager, that does say something. Even though you don't want to draw attention to yourself you might have to to advocate for yourself.

When your co-works drop by your office and request something from you perhaps you can have some form for them to write their request down on with their name, date and what they want. That is not unreasonable. They might be annoyed that they have to do this, but you can always give them the other option of e-mailing it you. That way they have two options to communicate with you. I'm sure if they drop by they aren't going to tell you no in person. They can even take the form with them and fill it out and bring it back later. They might think the next time oh...it's just easier if I e-mail him then. I'm guessing your co-works already know you are hard of hearing and have issues. Could you e-mail your team and tell them some like...You all know that I am hard of hearing and lately it is getting worse. So if you have any requests from me please e-mail them to me and if you want to drop by my office I will have a form for you to fill out so communication will work smoothly. Sometimes it is hard to stand up for ourselves but in the long run it makes us stronger.

Are you thinking of alternative modes of communication? I am trying to learn sign language. I think it will help me.
 
#12
Hi Valorrian. Thanks for the comments. I don't sign, or even know anyone who does. As someone who grew up with full hearing for `30 years and have just lost it gradually over the last 25, I've been solely part of the hearing world. I get along "OK." I was fortunate enough to establish a career while still able to hear at a "normal" level through HA's. It's only the last 3 or 4 (and now with a sudden dead left ear) that it's really starting to affect my job, as the HA's no longer provide enough for me.

I'm thinking of writing a longer post in a proper thread about what I'm experiencing as a formerly hearing person struggling to maintain in an environment that isn't exactly conducive to communication difficulties, but I want to think that through a bit.

And lastly, though I probably came off as feeling a bit sorry for myself in my OP, that was really just a bit of whining over my sudden loss on the left side. Honestly, considering everything I'm pretty lucky with what I have with wife/kids/jobs. But I feel like a drag on everyone sometimes.
 

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