Wednesday 2 June 2010

Making things better for my deaf Ma

Coming home last night in the pouring rain, late, after a brilliant night out with Gym Buddy, I found out that my garden gate is the main route of neighbourhood snails on their evening strolls. And I discovered this because, as I put my hand on the gate to open it, two came off into my palm, while another hit my shoe.

Now, if there's one thing I hate, even more than the subtitles breaking during Top Gear – which is quite something, it's snails.

Indeed, until last night, I'm not sure I'd even touched one in all my life. And now, I had two, in my hand.

It was after midnight and I was conscious that screaming wasn't the wisest of options, so instead, I flailed about wildly, sending my two snails into orbit and sensing some crunching between my jigging feet.

Worse still was the fact that I then had to get up the garden path, which, now my eyes had adjusted to the darkness, resembled the snail equivilent of the M25 in rush hour. And I was probably about to cause the most almighty pile up.

I finally made it inside and washed my hands twice, but even now, just thinking about the whole episode causes my left hand to spasm involuntarily .

But it got me thinking about fears and how bizarre they can be. I mean, let's face it, unless I ate them raw - putting myself at risk of lungworm - there was very little harm those poor snails could have done to me, and yet they had me more panicked than a cat on a hot tin roof.

In contrast, once home and sat on my sofa with a humungous cup of restorative tea – wild life I live – a huge spider popped out from under my TV cabinet and this didn't phase me one bit. And I'm reckoning spiders probably bump off a whole lot more people than snails do on an annual basis.

Anyway, on another note, my Ma is coming to stay for some her half term today. She's going to help me with some DIY and we're going to watch London Cousin 2 play in her tennis tournament. I can't wait.

I'm also going to look at booking my Ma onto some lipreading courses to help her with her deafness.

While Ma going deaf has been tough for her, it has a bizarre experience for me. I have found myself at a loss how to advise her. And it was then I realized how lucky I was to go deaf younger.

I learnt the skill of lipreading automatically, I have an amazing support network of friends ready to make important calls for me, and it's second nature for me to let people know I can't hear.

For Ma, it's not second nature. She can't lipread and she's still expected to make the same phonecalls she always has. And the difference too? She's has 50 years of hearing. I had 6, maybe 7 at a push, so I don't really known what I am missing.

There has to be a way to make this better for my Ma, the same way she tried to find ways to make it better me all those years ago.

So I'm going to find it…


Idunn said...

Yuck! Snails =/ Though I don't freak out as much as you obviously do, I'm not really that fond of them. Spiders make me go bananas though, you should experience that once and get a great laugh :P

In other news; I had my sign language exam today, and got me an A! :D Which is the top grade, which made me jump around screaming for a short while before I called the whole world ;) Hurrah! =D

Miss Brodie said...

In my neck of the woods there would be no problem finding what to do with those snails. Maybe you could sort out your mortgage with a little export business!
Love to your ma!

thisamericantourist said...

I hope everything works out well for your mother. I remember when my grandfather started to lose his hearing - it was several long, difficult months before my grandmother realized there were all these resources available to her. It's been a painful process, but I'm amazed at all the ways they've learned to communicate. I imagine you will be a great pillar of strength for your Ma in the coming years.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Watch out for the M25 tonight, it's going to rain again!

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