I don’t want to be an advocate. I did not sign up for this. And frankly, I’d much rather just quietly deal with whatever issues I need to deal with and move on. It’s not that I don’t think it’s necessary, it’s just that I really don’t want the job falling on my shoulders.
Maybe I don’t want to because I don’t want to admit I need help. Or because I’m still struggling with the classic stigma. Or… whatever. The fact is, it’s frustrating to be in a constant state of battling for things others take for granted.
Out at a restaurant – I’m sorry, we would prefer a booth against a wall instead of the open table in the middle of the room, thank you.
To lots of people – Please repeat that a little more slowly (followed by whatever other details, information seems appropriate).
And… I’m sorry, can you please repeat that? (sometimes umpteen times)
And… Could you please face me when speaking to me? It makes it easier to understand what you are saying.
To the creative meeting leader – Please turn the background music down it makes it difficult for me to hear the conversation.
At work – Yes, I do need to place the remote microphone here, otherwise I won’t be able to hear the speaker.
And… Could you please avoid using a speaker phone when on a conference call? A speaker phone on your end, plus a speaker phone on our end, plus your very low voice means I can’t understand your words.
And…Please come around to the front of my desk and visually get my attention, otherwise I may not hear you, or realize you are speaking to me.
And… And… And… the list goes on.
When I first got the hearing aids, I honestly did not realize how much I had been missing. Fortunately, I had been made well aware of their limitations – hearing aids are not like glasses. They don’t magically give you “normal” hearing in the same way that glasses instantly give you “correct” vision.
In some environments, the hearing aids are like magic. In others, not so much. I still have to pretty much remove them in certain very loud environments.
Meanwhile, the debate rages – I can say nothing, and simply accept a less than ideal experience (as I’ve been doing all along). Or I can speak up and deal with being an advocate. Facing the stigma (including my own attitudes). Admitting that I need more help than I’m willing to admit or sometimes even accept. Admitting that yes, as a matter of fact, things are “that bad”. That’s how much of life I was missing before.
Now, turn on the subtitles, will ya? It’s still easier for me to follow a show with them on.