Today, normal life resumes. I am sat on my bus on the way to work for the first time in almost four weeks.
I've got that back-to-school feeling I used to get at the start of a new term. Yesterday evening, I got my bag ready in advance and picked out my clothes, which naturally I'm not wearing having picked out something else instead, and all last night I dreamt the usual dreams of turning up for work and everything being different, turning up naked and the rest.
It was almost a relief to wake up!
Returning to work means I must now go cold turkey on my daytime TV addiction. No more Homes Under The Hammer or reruns of Murder She Wrote and Diagnosis Murder. My TV viewing will go back to BBC breakfast news and it's creative subtitles, snatched episodes of things here and there, and of course my daily and totally shameless dose of Neighbours and Home & Away.
Spending all this time recovering, has meant spending a lot of time on my own. This is something I actually enjoy. I have no issue with being alone, and I rarely get bored - there's always something to do, make, read, watch, or even tidy!
But something else happens when I'm alone - I usually forget I am deaf. With no one to talk to, I don't mishear things, daytime TV is normally always repeats so the subtitles are usually impeccable, and over time, I've tailored my own world of words, books, art and baking to not need my hearing.
So, today my worries about work are not that. I won't have any friends or that no one will sit with me at lunch, it's that I'll be reminded just how deaf I am all over again after almost four weeks of forgetting and fall to earth with a big emotional bump of reality!
Silly huh? But entirely feasible.
So my plan for this is to remind myself on this bus journey about my deafness.
So far, I've tried and failed to eavesdrop the conversation of the couple in front, strained to hear the announcements of the bus driver and played the aural equivalent of I Spy.
It's been erm... fun? No, that's not the word I'm looking for, but it's been what I needed. I needed to unforget I was deaf, not because it's a big deal but because that way it won't upset me when it barges into my day unannounced. I want to be prepared so I can greet it like an old friend, not run away from it like it's a predator.
Welcome back deafness.