OK: This is it.
Blahg has now moved permanently here, to WordPress.
After a year of just winging it intuitively (basically the way I begin any new mode of expression), I’ve been thinking over what blogging means to me. It’s opened me to a wider world, to new people and continued contact with old friends. For this deafened person, blogging has become an unexpectedly satisfying way to be connected…sort of a substitute for a corner pub, in an odd, time-delayed way, where I can hear effortlessly, relax, drop all pretensions, and just be myself.
I definitely want that to continue, but I need to experiment with a change in how it will keep working best for me.
WordPress allows selected individual posts to be password-protected. I intend to keep Blahg public for the most part; the new pub will still be open to anyone who walks in. But, every once in awhile, I will protect a post, and essentially gather with a group of friends in the back room.
If you would like to join me in the password-protected back room, you can do one of two things: Leave a comment after this post (only I will see your e-mail address), and I’ll contact you. Or, if you have one of my addresses, e-mail me and tell me who you are.
I hope you’ll continue to hang with me here at the new pub for the odd dram, a bit of conversation, a song, some dancing or the occasional game of darts.
Yesterday I made the dreaded annual visit to the audiologist. (Well, supposedly annual; it had been more than 18 months). It’s dreaded, because with a progressive hearing loss, no one is ever going to say, “Hey! You’ve improved!” Those little lines on the audiogram sink slowly towards the bottom of the chart each visit, bit by tiny bit. And, sure enough, I’ve lost a bit more of the lower-pitched tones. I had already guessed that, because it’s been more difficult to hear men lately. It wasn’t a huge drop, though. Thankfully, though my hearing is always declining, it’s doing so at a fairly slow rate.
I lost the most in my left ear, which, according to the audiograms, has always been my ‘bad’ ear; it’s deafer than the right. I simply hear less sound with it when they test me with pure tones. But the oddest thing is that my speech comprehension is much higher in the ‘bad’ ear. Though it hears less sound, it understands words better. Go figure.
The other thing that’s been happening over the past 18 months is, without my hearing aids, whether or not I hear a loud-enough sound depends on the direction it’s coming from. It happens with sound from a concentrated source, like the really loud old fan Paul runs every night for white noise. If I’m directly across the room from it, with it facing my ear, I hear it. If I turn my head in either direction: nothing. In March, at Ragdale, that began to happen with a few people’s voices, mostly men.
The audiologist has no explanation for either of these things.
I also began my video project while there, recording parts of the examination. (The camera shut itself off right before the word testing, which I wanted to record…but it was on its tripod in the corner, and I was hooked up to earphones and a variety of wires, and couldn’t reach it to turn it back on. Dang.). At one point on the video I did shoot, the audiologist is just offscreen, with my hearing aids in her hand, talking to me, and I am relying entirely on reading her lips. I look really fierce, squinting, my mouth set in a line, my head thrust forward. No wonder some people think I’m angry, or that I disapprove of what they’re saying. I’m only struggling to hear, but I look like I might jump up and start punching.
So, my head is quite odd, in a number of ways, even apart from my brain.