I’m writing this blog as a sort of lesson to myself. See, I have a hearing husband and he is totally wonderful. He’s always trying to please me. So, in return, he ends up interpreting for me a LOT. Just in the last 5 years I’ve become pretty isolated, so he has to do all the errands and conversations and phone calls. I know it’s not OK. I know I’m taking advantage of him. But it’s not like I don’t pay in back in other ways (wink wink).
In order to free him from interpreting in times when no interpreter is expected, I thought that I would try to learn to lip read. Have you ever tried to learn to lipread? I’ve been told it can be done, but not likely for someone with absolutely no residual hearing and not a lot of practice.
Before I decided to sign up for the local community class that teaches lipreading mainly to the elderly, I decided to see if I could do it on my own. I’ve since found I can’t.
That doesn’t stop people from trying to talk to me though. Not that I don’t appreciate it, but if a person is Deaf and can’t lipread, screaming in their ear or showing us your cavities when you over-enunciate at us isn’t going to help much. Plus, it’s terribly, terribly annoying.
Now, if you’ve read my other blog posts, you might remember that I have very little capability to remember things. This can be a great thing and a not so great thing.
Standing in the hallway of a hospital, waiting to be told what to do, an elderly woman approaches me. “You deaf?????” She yelled loud enough that the veins in her face almost popped. I nodded yes and hoped she’d just go away. “I know how to do my abcs!” Oy vey, that’s the one sentence most deaf people do not want to work with. I mean, I appreciate people learning to fingerspell (or just recite the alphabet as in this case), but, God be with me, I can only have it happen so many times in a short duration before internal combustion blows me out of the way.
When this woman was done, she turned to go. I, stood silently, hoping she’d be gone soon. Oh, but that didn’t happen. No. No. I was never that lucky. So, the woman turns around and starts singing and grotesquely signing the song, “Jesus Loves Me,” Into the side of my face. Oh, gosh! Someone rescue me!!! It was over, but none too soon. Thankfully, a nurse came by and escorted this old woman away from me. And that’s all I wanted. Just for her to go away. Why can’t they all just go away??
So, lipreading is out for me. I’m OK with that. I’ve got many Deaf, HOH, and interpreter friends to chat with. I’ll keep that. That’ll satisfy me plenty.