Monday, 2 March 2020

The battle against the invisible.


Hearing loss an invisible battle best fought with others
In a world filled with sound – of the wind, the babbling brook, and rain for instance – those who suffer from severe hearing loss can sometimes feel they are living on a desert island, cut off from the sweet sounds of birdsong, or laughter. 

Masterton’s Pam Rangitaawa has been a hearing loss patient for more than 50 years. “I wasn’t born with a hearing impairment. When I was eight or nine months old, I had measles and scarlet fever – I was very, very sick.” “Back then, you had to be referred to a specialist by your doctor to get your hearing checked. “At kindy, they agreed with mum that I had a hearing loss, but the doctor wouldn’t refer me because he said my speech was too good.” 

She remembered in primary school “standing with my head in a corner because I hadn’t done as I was told”. Anne Greatbatch has been Rangitaawa’s hearing therapist for around 30 years. With Hearing Awareness Week here [until next Saturday], they want people newly diagnosed with hearing loss to know there is transitional support available and the old social stigma of being “deaf and dumb” is just that, a stigma. According to Greatbatch, Rangitaawa’s ability to speak fluidly is because for the first eight months of her life she could hear fine. It is arguable whether this had been a disadvantage or advantage throughout Rangitaawa’s life. “Dyslexia could be confused with a hearing loss and there’s all sorts of other types of hearing loss which I am lucky enough not to have,” Rangitaawa said. 

These days, hearing loss is no longer a mysterious problem that’s ambiguous to treat, but Greatbatch fears people still took their hearing for granted and often, by the time the problem was addressed, it was too late to do anything about it. At college, Rangitaawa was in the top class, “but I knew I was at a disadvantage because for me to learn in the classroom I had to concentrate and go home and work on what I had learned every day”. “I had to prepare myself so the knowledge would sink in – and you get so tired sometimes through concentrating because you’ve also got to watch people when they’re moving”, Rangitaawa said. Constantly aware of where she must sit in order to have a successful conversation, she has picked up techniques over the years to make the comprehension process easier. 

“For instance, you never sit facing a window because you can’t see the other person’s face properly.” Even the small interview room at the Wairarapa Times-Age, drapeless, and lit by fluorescent lights made her extremely uncomfortable. “Acoustics in a room for someone who’s wearing hearing aids – it closes in on you. “It’s not a comfortable feeling.”

Deaf Male survival

Trans case: I wasn't dissuaded enough.

A case in the UK where an individual who demanded a gender re-assignment is now suing the clinic who gave them what they wanted, suggesting as a teen they were never encouraged to listen to counselling and gave her puberty-blocking drugs which has ruined their life.   It is said assessments are being rights-driven not clinically diagnosed.

Image result for trans clinic legal caseSo should NOT have been listened to ? and should have undertaken more extensive counselling instead?  It was said gender altering drugs are being given to underage children which is illegal, as the age of consent in the UK is 16.  The drugs are not gender-specific either they are drugs used to castrate criminals.  

So gender identity areas are in flux, do they now oppose the human rights angle?  Clinics are happy to go to court then a proper directive can emerge.  Are teens too ready to go for gender reassignment because they are isolated or depressed?  Clinics welcome it, they can now proceed or not via a legal directive. Nurture not nature?   The medical profession too ready to agree without using intensive research first?  As puberty is a natural onset we all go through, and that born female can still bear children, should medicos step in and change that because someone is depressed?

A former transgender patient has mounted an unprecedented legal challenge against a sex change clinic she claims is putting children on a "torturous”, “permanent” and “unnecessary path, High Court documents reveal. 

The Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, which runs the UK's only gender identity development service (GIDS) for children, is being sued over concerns that youngsters are being given "experimental treatment" without adequate assessments. The landmark case centres around a bid to stop the NHS prescribing "experimental" puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to children who wish to undergo gender reassignment.

The case is being brought by the former patient alongside a woman known only as Mrs A, the mother of a 15-year-old autistic girl who is currently on the waiting list for treatment at the service.