Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Too Vain for hearing aids...

Eight years ago, the Mail's advice columnist Bel Mooney's hearing started gradually deteriorating, but at first she refused to buy hearing aidsHow 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.

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