Ouch. That Hurt My Ears! Part III of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.
Part I began: Another errand. Another task to be completed.
My mother has been hospitalized for a while now. We have serious issues – to include ICU and MRSA isolation (multiple hospital bacteria, each gifted to Mom – again).
Yesterday Mom’s twin brother died.
When he was a Marine (enlisting ‘underage’ without telling his mother) Mom’s twin brother served on the front lines in Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Gudalcanal, and numerous other battles.
When her twin brother was shot, Mom woke, crying at 4:30 a.m. …
… Each time the double doors opened the cashier gasped.
She lowered her head, placing one hand over each ear as she winced. Stunned, I watched.
Then the woman said, “It is so windy outside! Every time the doors open it hurts my ears. Ouch!” …
Part II began:
Faith, “Mom resisted for so long… Mom didn’t think it would work. This is the funny part. Just as the lady turned on the sound machine to test her hearing the air conditioning unit went off. That pressure hurt Mom’s ears. She said, ‘Ouch! That hurts!’ Then Mom was angry at the noise. My step-dad and I laughed. Then Mom was angry with us for laughing. So we laughed harder until she ‘finally’ understood that she was angry at our laughing and ‘that’ was sound. Her first sound in 30 years. Then she laughed.”
I smiled. Faith continued, “Now my son has a hearing loss, too. He has the gene, I guess. He just finished a tour in Afghanistan. He missed the hearing test! And he wanted to serve so bad! So he wrote his quartermaster a letter telling him how much it would mean to serve. And his letter worked! They took him! He served, though failing the hearing test was not shared with others … He’s just come home. That’s why I agreed to get the implant. I may have grandchildren soon. I want to hear everything! Everything!”
I asked, “Your mother has nine siblings with hearing loss? You and your son have a hearing loss?”
She laughed, “Yes! And it’s been perfectly normal for us. Mom didn’t want to hear all of us when we were kids – she used to tease us. It’s all been perfectly normal. Now she can hear perfect! Soon I will, too. And I have tinnitus and that hurts, too. Ouch, the doors just opened again.”
The woman behind me wore dark eyeglasses, a large hat.
She shoved a bag onto the counter, and chin down said, “This doesn’t work. Here!”
Watching the rude woman I paused before taking two steps away from the counter. Faith was beaming with a huge smile. She winked at me, took the bag and asked the woman, “How may I help you?” The frowning woman never looked Faith in the eye. She snarked and barked at Faith.
Yet Faith smiled at me for the longest time. When the doors next opened, Faith winced. She did not cover her ears.
Dramatically, she pointed to one ear, slowly mouthing “cochlear implant.” Then she laughed.
I held my bag of sympathy cards for my mother’s twin brother’s family, headed to the door and tried to exit opening one door just a little (to avoid pressure on Faith’s ears).
The wind gusts grabbed the door from my hand and flew wide open.
Frozen, I looked back at Faith. Her beaming smile remained and Faith said, loudly, “Thank you. Thank you for telling me about the successes! Two weeks! Can’t wait!”
Oh, this lady touched my heart.
Her hope and enthusiasm will serve her well as she welcomes ‘sound’ back into her world.
Had it not been for the need for sympathy cards for my mom (which Mom cannot select due to her hospitalization), traveling a new road on an abnormally windy day – I would have missed this opportunity to meet Faith. And I am grateful she shared.
Faith and her son – each choosing to receive cochlear implants – will have opportunities and choices that many people with hearing loss previously were not afforded.
And the Deaf community’s reaction?
Oh, that’s a whole nuther kettle of fish.
Cochlear implants are not for everyone; this I know from CARTing and captioning many seminars where individuals shared from podiums (and privately to me).
Yet, for Faith, per Faith, this is going to change everything for Faith.
And isn’t that grand? She has choices.
“And three generations with implants,” Faith repeatedly emphasized.
As I stood, bag in hand with the sympathy cards, Faith shared that when her first mother heard the air conditioning noise voicing her first ‘sound’ sentence, “Ouch, that hurts” – her mother’s second sentence was “Isn’t Jesus great?”
Faith shared “Isn’t Jesus great?” is now their family motto when it comes to loss of hearing and to increasing their hearing.
One of my personally challenging days turned into a sweet, memorable day gifted by an enthusiastic woman “waiting to hear again.” And “isn’t that great?” I now ask you?
Part I of III is posted June 3, 2013 on the blog Monette’s Musings
Part II of III is posted June 14, 2013 on the blog Monette’s Musings
Part III of III is posted June 25, 2013 on the blog Monette’s Musings
Monette, the Court Reporting Whisperer, may be reached: Monette@ARTCS.com and Monette@CRRbooks.com
Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal
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Multiple Title Author of Books & Test Prep for the Court Reporting, CART, & Captioning Industry
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As a 25+ year court reporter, CART provider, author of NCRA test prep material, and an instructor, public speaker, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes, and the 225 homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college. She understands the challenges many adults now face in our industry and schooling.
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