*Testimonial from a reader

“I’m going to tell you about some of the things that happened to me because of my deafness. I’m not totally deaf, but I’ve lost just over 50% of my hearing in each ear.

Today I wear two prostheses, of course the most discreet ones possible, because at 66 I’m too vain – I read all the beauty blogs.

I began to realize that I was deaf at the Sunday masses my parents attended before we went to the farm. I must have been about 7 or 8 years old and I thought it was boring. Then I thought: “why not pay attention to Father Ambrose’s sermon? It must be interesting, because there are times when the whole church laughs!”. And there I was paying attention, but I couldn’t hear anything, I lost the words, I misunderstood, it was awful.

I only realized that this was a manifestation of deafness a long time later, when I was already a mother, and the doctor gave me the terrible diagnosis: “Your problem is in your inner ear. With no chance of surgery, I advise you to pay attention to people’s lips for future lip-reading.”

My youngest, who I used to call a rebel without a cause, would fight me directly and one day she said: “Mom, kill yourself!“. To which I reacted with great fright: “Cockroach??? Where? Where?”

Then there was the “dad in the closet” story. Here goes: the husband was late for dinner, the hungry children asked me: “Mom, where’s Dad“? And I, who had bought a Popeye doll, would reply: “I’ve put it in the cupboard, don’t touch it, leave it there”… And they laughed and the more they laughed, the more they asked me and I said, “I told you, it’s in the cupboard, but don’t go in there”…

From then on I was nicknamed the old lady from Praça da Alegria. But those were the funny stories, which I tell laughing at myself, with good humor.

But there are those that hurt and these make me sad. One of them is when people repeat the same thing 10 times and you just say: “Huh? What? Say it again! Huh?”, the interlocutor turns around and says the infamous: “FORGETIT”… That hurts.

Love, L.”

The other day I received an email from a speech therapist who was writing on behalf of her deaf patient. She was
91 years old
and had been deaf ‘since she was a little girl’, in her own words. At 91, she takes care of her 89-year-old husband and 94-year-old sister, both of whom have Alzheimer’s disease, and says that her best friends are her hearing aids. I got goosebumps reading it and contacted the speech therapist inviting you to send us a more detailed account of your story. She’s a warrior. And in the end, we all are, in one way or another. Dealing with deafness is no easy task.

About Author

Paula Pfeifer é uma surda que ouve com dois implantes cocleares. Ela é autora dos livros Crônicas da Surdez, Novas Crônicas da Surdez e Saia do Armário da Surdez e lidera a maior comunidade digital do Brasil de pessoas com perda auditiva que são usuárias de próteses auditivas.

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