How most are in denial..... At first I pushed the realisation away, refusing to believe that my hearing was deteriorating. It started eight years ago, gradually. First, watching TV became a struggle. I’d turn up the volume until, in time, my poor husband (younger than I!) was deafened.
At the theatre, I’d strain to hear — sometimes struggling to follow an unfamiliar play because I would miss parts of the dialogue.
At a party, where the background noise was loud, I just nodded and pretended to hear. I felt too embarrassed to keep saying ‘I’m sorry?’ or ‘Say again?’. Who knows what mistakes I might have made.
Eight years ago, the Mail's advice columnist Bel Mooney's hearing started gradually deteriorating, but at first she refused to buy hearing aids Back at home, whenever I missed something, my husband said I would stubbornly point out that he has a very soft voice. Yes, it’s called denial. It was tough to acknowledge my hearing loss because, like many people. I associated the problem with being old — and I didn’t feel old at all.
I had an image of myself as a young, confident, 60-something woman with a successful career and responsibilities. I still felt (or should I say ‘feel’) glamorous, and a hearing aid didn’t fit this image. So for years I went on making excuses and pretending I didn’t need help. But, as a journalist, it’s my job to engage with people, and to listen. What’s more, I have to promote my books — which means speaking in public, and answering questions. Phone calls need to be made, but I started to find it hard to hear what colleagues were saying.