From 2 ½ to 3 senses

We are all born with five senses: Vision, hearing, smell, taste and touch. Imagine waking up one day and realising you have lost 3 of those senses?
View from an airplane window at the wings and flying over a scenic landscape of green hills and rivers
We don’t value them as much as we should until we face adversity. In May 2011, I met with a bike accident in India. I had a fractured skull, intracranial haemorrhage, severe temporal bone trauma and the impact left me bereft of 3 senses, complete loss of smell, taste and hearing in one ear. I was told I am fortunate to have no brain damage and to survive.
Living with these disabilities has affected my life in many ways. I have felt incomplete and left out. I have gone through all stages of grieving.
I avoided wearing hearing aids for many years, finally had to give in. I hated the idea of owning my disability in front of others.
There were times when I was made fun of, spoken loudly to. I could hear the giggles behind me, ‘she can’t hear you, she is deaf’. Once a work colleague came very close to me yelling on my face…
That is when I decided to start using an aide.
The hearing aide amplifies the sound but distorts it so I could only hear loud, distorted and machine-like voices. Wearing them always was stressful, especially after I had my baby. Holding her close to me meant a constant loud noise. Imagine the pain of a mother who is not able to enjoy her baby’s sounds because it sounded robot-like! I was scared to stay alone with my child at night. I would fear not being able to hear her cry without my aide.
View from an airplane window at the wings and flying over a scenic landscape of green hills and rivers
Listening within a group or participating in conversations where many people were involved was draining and demanding. When I couldn’t hear, I would ask others to repeat or just give a fake nod and smile. I would often miss out on important information. I did not apply for many jobs due to this. People who did not know about my disability thought I was rude and not responding to them, but in reality I just could not hear.
I finally took a leap of faith and went for my ear surgery on February 19, 2021. The surgery took more than 2.5 hours. It is called a stapedectomy, a very complicated process and involved three surgeons.
I can now hear. In both ears. Without a hearing aide.

From severe loss of hearing, I am now at a mild hearing loss. In a way it is my new superpower, I can switch off from a conversation that I do not find interesting!

View from an airplane window at the wings and flying over a scenic landscape of green hills and rivers

My disabilities did not define me. They have shaped me. Instead of letting my trauma mislead me, I let my intuitions guide me. I have learnt some valuable lessons in the last ten years after losing my senses.

Some lessons from my hearing loss journey.

1. Look at the person you are speaking to.

When your hearing depends on lip reading and facial expressions, it is important to pay attention to how it is being said. I learned to pick up nonverbal cues, I used the pauses to comprehend the information. I asked questions to clarify. Of course being culturally sensitive and mindful not to stare. And I always remember to smile.

2. Pay undivided attention and focus.

From being the last bencher all my life, my hearing loss led me to move to the first bench and focus, resulting in excellent grades and awarded various scholarships during my Masters and other courses that I did. I was also invited to be a part of the Golden Key International Honour Society. This was big for someone who had dropped out and failed thrice in college. Sometimes we think we know it all, but there is so much more to learn.

3. Listen to understand, not to respond.

Do not wait for the pause so that you can start talking. Understand the meaning behind the pause. Sometimes people want to be just heard, respect that.

4. Ignore what is being spoken behind your back; it doesn’t serve you anyway

I came across people who made fun of my deafness. I tackled them by ignoring them. I came up with a strategy of segregating items into a bullshit folder in my brains. I shut them off by not paying any attention to and remained happy. Do not let how others behave with you affect you. Their treatment towards you is a reflection of themselves. You know you! Be more of you! The world will adjust

5. Don’t look back.

You are not going that way anyway. Own your imperfections and be proud of them. And, if you depend on lip-reading, say that before you get into a conversation. You will be amazed at how understanding and supportive most people around us are.

6. Dare to go beyond your limits.

There may be many things your mind tells you; you cannot do so because you will not be able to. Or you are not good at. Dive in. You will find a way. You can have everything you want once you give up the belief that you cannot have it.

Don’t take your senses for granted. Pause and enjoy the silence. Listen to your favourite music, pay attention to the chirping birds. There is so much joy in little things.

View from an airplane window at the wings and flying over a scenic landscape of green hills and rivers

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Phone No. - (+64) 277477287
Email Id - pratishtha@eduventurenz.com

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EDUVENTURENZ
© 2021 EduventureNZ. All Rights Reserved. T&C. Privacy.

    

    

    

    

    

    

EDUVENTURENZ
Phone No. - (+64) 277477287
Email Id - pratishtha@eduventurenz.com
© 2021 EduventureNZ. All Rights Reserved. T&C. Privacy.

Designed By Chevaun.