A wise man once said “If you wear your hearing aids, embrace them. Be appreciative for them and thankful for the gift of hearing that they give you, but don’t let them define you.”
That wise man is none other than comedian DJ Demers, who currently is performing on the Here To Hear Tour sponsored by Phonak.
And he’s right about those words. I embrace my hearing aid as well. In fact, in just about every selfie that I take of myself such as the one above, I usually have my camera on my right side of my face when taking the picture so it shows my hearing aid in my right ear. I wear my one hearing aid in that ear. The left ear is pretty much totally shot. I’m proud to show off my hearing aid in my selfies.
But there was a time when I used to be self-conscious about it. Particularly in high school when I moved to a new town and started at a new school. Everyone was new to me back then. Then later on in my young adult years before I met my ex-wife. I would go out to the bars and actually remove my hearing aid before meeting someone. The bar would have loud music playing, so I wouldn’t be able to hear the person that I’m talking to anyways. I would depend on reading lips and try and decipher what the person is saying as reading lips is not an exact science.
I would remove my hearing aid in those days because if someone sees me wearing my hearing aid, they’ll go, “I’m sorry.” and walk away without even giving me a chance to introduce myself. I used to be upset about that, so I would remove my hearing aid before meeting someone new and give people a chance to know me before they know I’m deaf.
Today, when I meet someone new and they see my hearing aid, they would do the “I’m sorry” bit and walk away, I don’t let it bother me anymore. I like to say it is that person’s loss if he or she does not want to get to know me and realize how awesome I am 🙂
The point that I’m making today is – to all my deaf readers that are reading this post, don’t let your deafness get in the way of living your life. If you wear hearing aids, embrace them. There’s no reason to be self-conscious about your hearing aids. In fact, flaunt them by decorating your hearing aids if you want 🙂
Don’t let judgemental hearing people get to you. Stay positive and try to make them aware that being deaf is not necessarily a bad thing.
I also wanted to give a big shout out to DJ Demers for doing this awesome video which was the inspiration for this article. Much thanks, man.
Todd Fonder is a simple 51-year-old deaf guy from Northeast Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. His blog, The Deaf Geeky Guy, is about anything on his mind, but focuses on deaf advocacy and the deaf culture. Follow him on his Facebook page or support his work by buying me him a “coffee.”