Like so many, JENNI MURRAY refused to accept she was losing her hearing but since getting help realises it's daft that the subject is such a taboo.
Curled up on the sofa one Saturday night, I was watching a TV drama with my family. 'Watching' being the right word, as most of what was being said escaped me. Being someone who prides herself on her immaculate diction, I complained loudly, and in a slightly snooty manner, about: 'These young actors. They mumble away. No one's ever taught them how to speak properly. They don't articulate correctly. Why don't they speak up?' Yet no one else in the room — my husband, David, and sons, Ed and Charlie — appeared to be having any difficulty following the plot.
They were all gripped by the story and ignored my whingeing. In the end I got up in a huff, left the room to make a coffee, then stomped upstairs to read. I refused even to think that I might be going deaf. I wasn't old, I was only in my 60s. Everyone always told me how young I looked. Jenni Murray explains how she refused even to think that she might be going deaf. She wasn't old, she was only in my 60s.
Jenni Murray explains how she refused even to think that she might be going deaf. She wasn't old, she was only in my 60s The idea of needing a hearing aid was preposterous and I wasn't going there. I would just turn up the sound on the TV and radio and, at work, the headphones I wear in the studio could be as loud as I needed. I convinced myself there was no problem. I would just carry on as usual.
Fast forward another four years and my son, Charlie, popped round for dinner. It was just the two of us and, as he was clearing the table and loading the dishwasher, I went through to the sitting room to switch on the TV. 'Crikey, Mum!' came a shriek from the kitchen. 'Are you trying to entertain the entire street? That's so loud!' He bounded into the room, snatched the remote control from my hand and checked the sound level. 'Mum, you've got it on level 56. It shouldn't be more than 25 — 30 at the most. It's ridiculous. You can't hear properly. You are now definitely going to get your hearing checked.'