Living Life with a Built-In Volume Control

Silence is a true friend who never betrays. – Confucius

My father watches a lot of sports on TV. He enjoys watching the games, but he would be the first to tell you that he doesn’t enjoy listening to the live commentators. To solve this problem he will often mute the sound when watching a game or an event.

It always feels good when you able to turn off annoying sounds, and I would know since I do it all the time…

A few years ago I went from a normal hearing person to a person with a severe hearing loss. One of my ears quit altogether while the other one just sputters. It has been a tough transition, and problems still come up from time to time, but I have learned to live with it.

Honestly, it is not that bad most of the time. In fact, there is one aspect that I absolutely love. I call it my built-in mute button.

What you need to know is, like my father, sometimes I would rather just watch the action around me – minus the commentary.

I wear a powerful hearing aid. Without it, let’s just say, the world is a quiet place, and I learned quickly that when I had enough ‘listening’ for the day: I can take it out, turn it off, or turn it down.

For example, I drove a car full of 12 and 13 year old girls several hours on a road trip the other day. I arrived at my destination in a peaceful state despite their “energy” all thanks to the hasty removal of my hearing aid battery at the start of our voyage.

I work in an open office environment. I had done so before my hearing loss, and I often needed to wear ear plugs. No more! Now I just discreetly turn down my hearing aid as needed – easy-peasy.

How about a crying baby? No problem, hand it over.

To me, it doesn’t matter if it is a noisy airport or crowded festival – both scenes are a flick of a switch away from the quiet of the law library at my former university.

However, I must warn you that you need to exercise caution before attempting to use this new trick since it can get you into trouble.

The most terrifying question you can ask a hard of hearing person when they are attempting to ‘fake it’ is: Did you hear what I said?

My daughter is especially skilled at detecting my occasional hearing shams.

Brooklyn: Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom, did you hear what I said?

Me: Yeah.

Brooklyn: I don’t think you did.

Me: *shrug*

Brooklyn: Ok, repeat it back to me then….

Me: Ummmm…..(Busted)

Then, the other day while I was getting ready for a walk with my husband, he cornered me and asked me point-blank if I had my hearing aid turned on. I had to sheepishly admit that I did not even have it on my person. I was sent back to the house to get it since I guess he wasn’t keen on talking to himself for the next 45 minutes.

I suppose like any great power along with it comes great responsibility. So with that I have decided that I need to try to be more mindful about how I use this fantastic new life feature.

It might take me a little while to figure it all out, but don’t worry about me I will be fine. You see, through it all I have discovered something.

I have learned that I really don’t mind the “quiet life”.  In fact, I recommend it. 🙂


Here’s a few link to a few other of my blogs about hearing loss:

Killing Me Softly

Scared to Deaf

You are ‘Hearing’? I’m so sorry. 


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