By Carien de Jager
The impact of sound on my life is so much clearer because I work in a world where I am surrounded by people who have lost some, or all of their hearing. Being an audiologist has made me aware that I am SO grateful for my hearing and the connection that it gives me to my family and friends.
The sound of the heartbeat of my sister’s unborn baby for the first time. The voice of my dad who passed away some time ago that is held in the recording of my memory. These are my sounds with strong emotional connections.
My gratitude for my own hearing wells up in me, as I witness a patient hearing properly for the first time after a long period of hearing loss- seeing emotions burst onto the person’s face. The joy of hearing the (very) noisy grandchildren at play; Birdsong in the garden which has gone unnoticed- like a dead life coming awake again.
I can’t imagine how hard it must be to sit at a meal surrounded by friends and feeling alone because I don’t have a full grasp of what my companions are saying. How lonely it must be!
I’m a social person. I love being with my friends and my large, boisterous family. I need to be there, and belong. It’s my hearing that gifts me this special life experience.