Living with Partial Deafness - Say That Again! Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Living with Partial Deafness - Say That Again!

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  • Do you hear the dawn chorus?

  • Do you hear the baby crying upstairs?

  • When you ask for an item in the shops, does the assistant talk to you with her back turned?

These are just three of the daily problems you may have had to overcome at some time if you are partially deaf. Occasionally you will get a shocked expression shown to you and - Oops! you got it wrong.

The Game Rules

Life for the partially deaf can be tiring, but great fun. Here are a few of the game rules:

  1. Learn to avoid awkward questions by simply not hearing them.

  2. Fix a permanent smile on your face, and hope nothing bad happens.

  3. Be grateful when reading a book that it's not a listening book.

  4. Don't sign noise petitions - you won't hear what the noise is anyway.

  5. Lastly and most importantly - be glad you're alive.

Rule One in particular works brilliantly to your advantage, as the questioner is usually too embarrassed to repeat their question.

Have you sometimes wished that you could still hear the birds singing? The human brain is a wondrous thing. It remembers the sounds you used to hear, and when you see a bird your brain hears the song. Unfortunately, it may also hear the song when there are no birds present - but that's your gain and a hearing person's loss.

Going to parties is a great way of being seemingly as perfect as everyone else. They can't hear any better than you can. And the music is never too loud, so pump up the volume, and you can say What?? as much as you like, and no-one notices. Once everyone has become equally inebriated it doesn't matter if you give a wrong response to a question, because they're as pie-eyed as you are - so dance on.

Rule Two can be a little wearing at first, but once people begin to smile back at you - even when it's raining - it's worth the effort. And anyway it's great for the facial muscles. When all around you have saggy faces, your smile will grow even bigger. So what if you get a few laughter lines? - they show you have a nice personality.

The most important rule is Rule Five. Never mind all the bad things that go on in the world - would you really rather not have been born? Life can be fun if you refuse to be glum. Think of the beautiful things your eyes have seen, and the great people you have met who didn't care whether or not you are perfect.

So - smile and be happy.

What's that upstairs on the right?

Oh! I'll have one sugar, please.

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