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Please tell Gordon that as he looses his hearing he does not have to stop hearing the world around him. The hearing experience becomes less about 'first hand' listening and you learn to use modern tools like hearing aids and headphones.
I was born in 1956 and early in my childhood I contracted an ear infection; many ear infections. There was one infection that my mother could not control and we went back to the doctor (not a specialist, a family practioner in the neighborhood) who looked in my ear to see swollen eardrums. There in the office he 'surgically' punctured my eardrums to allow them to drain.
I don't remember much of anything about that procedure but I remember the following days of pain at the slightest sharp noise. An old spring closed, wooden screen door was explosive.
Move ahead to my 40's. I did not fully recover my hearing due to scarred eardrums. Men and some women in my father's line experience nerve deafness. I finally got a job with insurance benefits. My first hearing aid was primitive by todays' standard, but I felt a sense of childish wonder. I had heard bird song before but never this clearly nor this many. I have known the song of the Eastern Meadow Lark, our state bird, but I had never heard the whole song. Going back to the woods was splendid.
I was also overwhelmed. I felt I had to wear the aids whenever I was awake. There was so much sound. Appliances make so much, so many sounds. For several weeks cars that were several blocks away sounded as if they were going to run over me. And the dogs!
I wanted to hear my wife and my children and not ask them to repeat. Now I could hear them outside and upstairs and the neighbors also. I discovered I am not nearly as stealthy as I fancied.
I learned to turn them off. One day a week on the weekend I do not put them in for several hours. It was hard to return to the normal world of sound after thirty years. Quietness is good for mental and emotional health. Having these experiences helped me rediscover this. Thanks for your work. cam