I am leaving my hearing aids out for a while, as an experiment, to write and share my experiences. This is my second entry and I have to admit that I am finding myself grateful that I have access to hearing aids at all.
As I was sitting in a breakfast business meeting, I kept my hearing aids out to see how I did. Could I connect? Could I keep up with the conversation? This was a business meeting and not a group of friends, so networking is what I do for a living. Connection is where deals are made.
I started with a group that was farther away from me, and I couldn’t understand anything they were talking about. They were laughing, so I knew I was missing something pretty good.
Then I focused on people closer to me. I could catch some of what was being said, but not enough to feel comfortable and participate. At that moment, I had a very strange experience. I found myself turning inward. I found myself alone in the middle of some of my favorite people in the world. Visually, I watched them connect. Audibly I could not connect and I felt alone. I was disconnected.
I felt my hearing aid case in my jacket pocket and wondered how I got by and survived in the past, compensated for hearing loss to try to connect with what was going on and be apart. It’s exhausting.
I didn’t hear most of the conversation, but I heard grateful in my heart that I have a solution. I look forward to hearing my friends again.