This morning I sauntered downstairs as usual to make a cup of tea and oatmeal. Being a Sunday, it's a bit more leisurely than weekdays. My husband is on a backpacking trip and my college-aged daughter will be sleeping well into the afternoon. The dogs went outside readily after their morning treat -- given for waking me each morning since I don't hear the alarm any more. I have a vibrating alarm now, but the dogs still feel it's their duty to rouse me when it sounds. This morning, there was no alarm, but there were still treats to be had --grateful for jobs well done in the past and in the future. It's a ritual here every morning.
It's just me this morning, so I didn't put on my hearing aid. It's normally the first thing I do when I wake. But this morning was different. No need if there is no one to hear. And the silence is good during mornings like this, even if at one time it gave me dread.
I had tried to update the software on my phone during the night, but for reasons unknown, the update failed. So I sat down on the couch in the den to retry the download. The distraction made me forget that I had turned on the fire under the tea kettle. It was several minutes before I remembered. When I turned to look at the kettle, it was steaming away, but I couldn't hear the whistle.
My first thought was that the kettle's whistle was broken. But I knew better.
As I walked up to the stove, it was whistling away. I've no idea for how long.
I expect that one day, the hearing in this ear will be gone, too... slowly slipping away as I notice all the little things I can no longer hear without the aid of technology. It's an inevitable fact that I have grown to accept, though unwilling and complaining all the way to the end.
What's changed for me is my fear. Though hearing loss presents many challenges, and some impossibilities, I have found that I can still do most of the things I did before, differently, at times, but pretty much everything. I've learned to be resilient and resourceful and adaptive. And I've learned that technology can fill the gaps quite well where I cannot. It's not so scary anymore.
So I cannot hear the whistling tea kettle any longer. I will have to watch it instead.
There are many things that could be worse.