Tuesday, March 02, 2010

A New Modus Operandi

The busyness of life has kept me from writing for two months but it has not kept me from thinking about writing on my CI Journey blog. Since Christmas, Gerry and I have experienced life as it is normally lived-out - - - with some joyous times, some very sad times, and mostly times of the drudgery of work and daily chores. Does that sound like your life, too?

For someone who spent so much of her adult life in the dark, so to speak, these last few weeks have been pretty amazing. My severe hearing loss used to keep me in a constant internal state of apprehension. Before every new experience was fear - - - a fear that I would not be able to hear enough to function. I would always be on the alert for the best place to stand, the best place to sit, and the best person to be with for "hearing" help. My radar was always attuned to lighting issues that might reduce my ability to lipread and to activity pockets that meant disturbing noise levels. I dreaded new experiences because they usually spelled trouble.
The last two months have made it so clear to me that my modus operandi has really changed. In January, it never occurred to me before we joined my parents on a Caribbean cruise to be concerned about whether I would be able to hear. In February, when a dear family friend asked Gerry to give the eulogy and sing a hymn at her husband's funeral, my thoughts were about such things as how to comfort and what to wear since it was a graveside service in the winter. It never crossed my mind to worry about struggling to hear people who would be soft-spoken and emotional (both factors make hearing more difficult). The church buffet dinner following the funeral would be in a large social hall, a setting notoriously difficult for those with hearing loss. I didn't even register that idea until days later when it dawned on me that it was a non-issue!

Now that spring is finally coming to central Florida and a welcomed whiff of warmth is in the air, I've been reflecting on life at the start of 2010. Having such amazing hearing in both ears now has established a mental change in my approach to life's events that I had not really stopped to consider until now. There's been an imperceptible ushering in of a new normal. This lack of concern re: my hearing is truly monumental for me and a kind of rite of passage.

Speaking of rites of passage, my dear hubby is about to experience his own season of change. He decided that it was time to address his mild high frequency hearing loss, a state of affairs so typical of 'older' military guys who had careers in and around aircraft. His hearing aids are now on order, and he is scheduled for fitting the first week in April. Did I mention already that a change is in the air? Ah, life . . . (sigh) . . . full of joy, of sorrow, and of the common, ordinary things that bind us together.

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