Loss? What Loss?

Video calling has opened up a new channel for many of us who depend on lip/speech reading.

Fresh off a video call just now with the company that manufactures my cochlear implant and processor, I am as giddy as a school boy after nailing 99% of conversation. Skype and FB calls offer me a cost effective and remarkably struggle free mechanism  to reach out or to be converse with the world.

It has been over 8 years since we had a land line phone. Not missed, not even nostalgically. Year four now without cable television, and loving it. Between Netflix and other streams at a fraction of the cost, our lives are ram jam packed full with offerings for the winter hibernation. Day 109 without your truly using a smart phone or any cellular device. Not missed other then having a pocket camera that quickly snaps one of our fur family in a pose.

The chosen and favored task of making our home as close to the Luddites as we can, is not a loss in our view. Loss of land line and cell phones, cable, added to neighborhood grocery walking more in lieu of vehicular travel,is not considered our undoing. In fact many consider that my loss of hearing was a catastrophic forfeiture that should surely be the root cause of my depression and anxiety. Not so.

I would never have chosen to lose my hearing, but there are days when all that is missed  of my hearing world days is music. Becoming profoundly deaf overnight was in retrospect taken in surprising calm. I struggled more with losing my inner balance than losing sound. On many days my deafness is my safe place. Being shy, diagnosed depressed, and having a (no doubt unhealthy) preference for being alone, being deaf is my go to place and excuse for missing out on group experiences.

To often I spend my visual hours watching friends, strangers, and families having little connection with each others as they stare at screens. I consider myself fortunate to be in a liminal space closer to Deaf than the hearing culture, where my/our world is visual. A culture based on eye contact and not consumed with technology in hands. I love this human connection, which is a bit of a puzzle for a guy who prefers his alone time. But then again, this writing is about figuring me out.

Hearing loss? Perhaps not. I feel more of a gain than a loss in my new world.









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