Friday 18 September 2015

Deaf Girly's volume control

One of the things I most hate about my deafness is the times that I lose my volume control. When I'm yelling and don't realise it.

This usually happens on public transport – perhaps because my good lower frequency hearing means to me it's very noisy so I shout over it, or perhaps because my deafness is hell bent on humiliating me in front of a sea of strangers who, being Londoners, don't do talking on public transport except in extreme circumstances.

As a result of this, I tend to whisper on public transport and when I slip up, hope that whoever I am with – usual FJM – lets me know that I am YELLING AND EVERYONE CAN HEAR ME.

So anyway, last night I went to the gym and as always before I left home I took out my hearing aids. I like to watch iPlayer on my phone with subtitles and headphones to support them. It's an ace way to spend an hour on the bike or cross trainer.

FJM joined me and on the way home in the car I was telling him about something and he started to laugh...

Wondering what was funny, I noticed his hand was on the volume control for the car radio – he'd been trying to turn my volume down...

*blushes bright red*

Apparently I was yelling so loudly (I do this when I am not wearing my hearing aids as I don't 'hear' my voice in my head as clearly), and he'd had quite and early start and busy day at work, that he went into autopilot and reached for the radio controls in the car.

But it got me thinking, a volume control for me would be amazing. To alter my voice to makes sure it matches the background noise that hearing people hear. So that I don't shout on public transport, whisper in crowd situations and yell when I'm not wearing my hearing aids.

I guess with my hearing, I am lucky enough to have that volume control. I mean hearing people can only reach for ear plugs to make things quieter. Whereas I have loads of choices. If I want 2D sound with no high or middle frequencies to speak of, I can take out my hearing aids. If I want 3D sound I can wear my hearing aids with Sound Recover on. If I want less sound, I can turn them down. Less 3D, I can turn Sound Recover off, more amplification – there's the T-loop setting and my portable loop.

I don't think I'd ever really appreciated all the options open to me hearing wise. OK, so it's not perfect hearing and I can't ever switch my hearing to 'Hear a podcast' setting, but it's really nice to have options.

Luckily last night, while FJM didn't have the option to turn my volume down using a control, he could just tell me to stop yelling, after we'd both stopped laughing our heads off that is. And that makes today a very Thankful Friday.

Happy Friday peeps.


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