Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Noise

"What's that noise?" my husband asks casually as we are driving to the airport.
"What noise? I don't hear anything," I answer.
"That noise coming from the back wheel. What is it?" he asks.
"I don't know. I'm deaf, remember?" I reply.
"It's loud. You can't hear that?" he continues. "How long has it been doing it?"
"I just said I can't hear anything," I tell him again.
"Are you wearing your cochlear implant?" he asks innocently.
"Yes, but I still don't hear anything different," I say.
"I hear it," my daughter chimes in from the back seat. "It's really loud. You can't hear that?"
"Was it making this noise yesterday?" my husband asks.
What ensues is a long sequence of pointing out when the car makes the noise and inquiries of "Did you hear THAT?"
(I leave the conversation...)

Being deaf continues to bring new and unusual challenges into my otherwise ordinary days -- like my inability to hear strange noises my car makes. The cochlear implant brings a great deal of noise to my ear. Deciphering that noise into something intelligible continues to be my biggest obstacle to successful hearing with it. It's hard for people to understand that. It's still hard for me to understand.

The saga continued two days later at the repair shop --

"My car is making a noise of some kind near the back wheel," I tell the service clerk.
"What kind of noise?" he inquires. "What does it sound like?"
"I dunno. I'm deaf. Why don't they make an indicator light for that?" I joke.

But it isn't a joke at all. Not really. It only hides my embarrassment and makes me feel rather pathetic.

It turns out that the noise was emanating from a loose spat near the tire that flapped in the wind as the car was moving. An easy enough fix. The lesson, though, is somewhat larger. Now I know that I cannot hear unusual noises my car may make. This could be a problem if the noise is more than just a loose spat. Perhaps my husband should drive my car more often.

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