Hoh noob, looking for advice adjusting to the new lifestyle

manya-hoh

New Member
hey :)

im 40yo, have been losing hearing gradually for the past 15 years, by now im "fully deaf" on one ear and got "severe hearing loss" on another, according to my GP. i still hear some things, but am finally getting over my denial and admitting that i just cant function as a hearing person anymore. i dont hear enough to keep up a conversation in person, i cant use phones (am using relay service), need captions on movies, don't hear alarms and doorbells, and am scared to cross streets because i just don't hear cars till they bump into me. my speech has changed - people can still understand me, but it's clearly not what it used to be. with friends i text even if we're in the same room. with strangers i smile, nod, and try to walk away lol - or type on kindle and ask them to type back.

i have an appointment with an ear doc on monday, first time in my life, and i dont know what to ask them for. i definitely don't want implants, and i probably don't want hearing aids either. im ok being hoh, i just need to figure out how this new lifestyle works, and what can this doc do for me. do i need some sort of paperwork stating that im hoh? a referral for asl classes? i know colleges offer them, just not sure if these are for hearing people or for everyone, if health insurance might cover them, etc.

overall any pointers, on where to start?

thank you very much!
 

Tetracyclone

Active Member
It is a wonderful thing to function well in the deaf community, yet I am curious why you do not wish to consider hearing devices. The hearing world is a lot bigger and holds broader opportunities.
 

Anij

Well-Known Member
You need to see a proper Audiologist. GPs and ENTs aren't able to do proper testing to determine how much hearing loss you have. You should have been sent to an Audiologist when they first determined you had *any* hearing loss.
 

Reba

Retired Terp
Premium Member
It seems that you haven't been given enough information yet. You need to get an accurate diagnosis and have it fully explained to you. Then, you need to have someone truly informed who can explain your options (hearing aids, CI, speech therapy, signing, etc.)

If I were you, regardless of whether or not you get surgery, hearing aids, or none, you should take classes in ASL. You don't have to be deaf to take them. You don't have to be French to take French language classes, right? Same for signing.

I don't know where you live (which country or state/province), so it's kind of hard to direct you to local resources and organizations who can help you. Same for what's covered by insurance or government programs. They vary much from place to place.

As for crossing streets--don't JAYWALK! Use the crosswalks, follow the traffic lights, and look both ways when crossing. Then, cars won't bump into you. :lol:
 

manya-hoh

New Member
thank you very much for responses! glad i asked: my doc never mentioned audiologists, im going to an ENT, will ask them for a referral.

@Reba - you're absolutely right, i haven't been given any information, don't know what my options are, don't know whom to ask - if it's my doc who should explain these things to me, or if i need to go to some organization for the deaf, if i need a doctors note to go there, etc. im in nyc, medicare. not expecting referrals of course, just sharing for ease of communication.

i'd like to learn asl, im just not sure how to go about it practically, if it's something my doc needs to refer me to or if i just need to go to the nearest college that offers it. if those college classes are meant for hearing people or for anyone, because i can't hear, so if they talk and sign i wouldn't be able to do it, i need written instructions...

of course i don't jaywalk lol, im mortified to cross streets, had three accidents in the past two years because i didn't see a car coming from around the corner. i injured my leg recently, am using a cane now - and cars aren't driving into me anymore; im not going to keep the cane once my leg heals lol, but there must be some other way around...

@Tetracyclone - if my health insurance would cover a hearing aid, i'd have no problem getting one. however, i heard that you need to wear it regularly, get used to it, etc - and im just not gonna do it, realistically speaking. im on disability, spend most of my time at home, interact with people mostly online - i have no use for a hearing aid most days. i bought a different brand of earphones recently, for music/netflix, and they let me hear some of the sounds i didn't hear before. it was freaking me out so badly that i went back to my regular brand of earphones. i know it's a matter of getting used to things, but i just couldn't cope with it, even though i was still missing most of the sounds that were mentioned in captions. my mother has a hearing aid, keeps it in her drawer - it bothers her, and she still can't hear with it; it's been decades for her, she tried many of them.

it's just hard being neither hearing nor deaf; like Reba said, i need information but i don't know where to look for it. for example, when someone linked me to sprint relay service it was a life-changing thing, because i had no idea you could do it online, i thought you needed that TTY device, so i didn't even google it. for another example, i've been searching for a device to type back and forth with - till someone told me that those are obsolete because nowadays deaf people just use phones/tablets/etc, which was a duh moment...

anyway, thank you very much for the responses, i'll ask the ENT for a referral to an audiologist :)
 

Reba

Retired Terp
Premium Member
thank you very much for responses! glad i asked: my doc never mentioned audiologists, im going to an ENT, will ask them for a referral.

@Reba - you're absolutely right, i haven't been given any information, don't know what my options are, don't know whom to ask - if it's my doc who should explain these things to me, or if i need to go to some organization for the deaf, if i need a doctors note to go there, etc. im in nyc, medicare. not expecting referrals of course, just sharing for ease of communication.
Ah, NYC--that explains some things. Please don't take offense--I'm originally from CT myself, living now in SC--but outside of NYC and a few other choice spots in the USA, we don't need permission to do stuff, like exercising our Second Amendment Constitutional rights. :)

i'd like to learn asl, im just not sure how to go about it practically, if it's something my doc needs to refer me to or if i just need to go to the nearest college that offers it. if those college classes are meant for hearing people or for anyone, because i can't hear, so if they talk and sign i wouldn't be able to do it, i need written instructions...
Unless it's some kind of weird NYC law, you don't need a doctor's referral to attend ASL classes. You just find one that meets your needs (location, cost, schedule, quality of instruction) and sign up. By quality of instruction, I mean a class that has a Deaf instructor or at least a CODA instructor, has a pure ASL curriculum (not some generic "sign language" course), and is taught voices off. The voices off class means all instruction is visual--signing, gesturing, using slides and drawings on a white board, note writing, role-playing--whatever it takes to get the lesson across without using the voice and ears. It can be a little intimidating at first but once you get used to it you'll get a lot more out the class and retain it better in the long run. If you just let yourself go with the flow, you'll enjoy it.

You're going to find out that as a deaf person you're going to have to be more pro-active and assertive in getting your needs met. Don't wait for services to come to you--you have to go out and get them.

of course i don't jaywalk lol,
I hope you know that I was teasing ;) .

im mortified to cross streets, had three accidents in the past two years because i didn't see a car coming from around the corner. i injured my leg recently, am using a cane now - and cars aren't driving into me anymore; im not going to keep the cane once my leg heals lol, but there must be some other way around...
Ouch! Sorry about the accidents. Yeah, keep the cane--it might come in handy for self-defense.

Seriously, I know about mobility issues. I have Parkinson's Disease and getting around isn't easy anymore. Bleh!
 

Tetracyclone

Active Member
Most colleges or community colleges offer ASL classes. They will not be covered by insurance but they are also likely to inexpensive. Many instructors will allow someone to "audit" a course for free.

I well understand that energy for new things is quite limited when one is disabled. The headphone was a great idea. Someone bought me some high end headphones and I can now have conversations on Skype where, in person, I would be unable to understand the person.
 
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