Friday, 14 November 2008

The first time I....

...could hear my own voice was when I must have been about 18 months old, although I am sure that Mum will correct me if I am wrong as I don't exactly have a memory of this! (Mum says that I was actually just under a year old)

The first thing is you have to know is that we lived about seventy miles from London at the time, which meant a rather long journey by car if we ever wanted to visit London, particularly as taking the car was always going to be easier with all the paraphernalia that toddlers seem to need.

But let's go back a bit further than that. It all started when Mum caught Rubella (German Measles) whilst pregnant with me and as a nurse she knew that there was a good chance that I would be disabled, so when I was born Mum and Dad were on the look out for anything like spina bifida, blindness, brain damage, and deafness.

When I was born, there was nothing obviously wrong, no obvious disability and then Mum didn't think that I was deaf because when I was no more than a few days old and still in hospital someone dropped a metal tray and I startled, which Mum felt as she was holding me at the time.

What Mum didn't know at the time is that apparently Rubella babies have a great deal of hearing at birth and it diminishes rapidly after birth ending up with the final level of deafness round about one year old.

So, at first Mum didn't think anything of it, especially not when I would push my ear against her mouth if she was humming, as mothers do to all babies! However, I eventually stopped responding to sound and despite several visits to the general practice where they insisted that I had a cold and to come back next week, I eventually had an appointment with the specialist in London.

It wasn't long after that that I was fitted with a body worn hearing aid (as you can see on my birthday post from last Friday!) and the doctor warned Mum and Dad that I would try to take my hearing aids out like most children do (as I expect that they are quite uncomfortable). Well, the story goes that it was pretty much impossible to get them off me!!

Anyway, the point of this story is that after I was fitted with this hearing aid in London I could hear myself for the first time in my life, and so I sang to myself something like "woah teddy" all the way home. All seventy miles from hospital to home, which may well have driven my parents crazy if this was any other situation but my joy of hearing that I had a voice!

(By the way, this story came about because I responded to a writer's prompt as blogged by Mama's Losin' it - if you are ever short of inspiration - this is the place to go!! Go and visit and read what other people have written!)


Weeksie50 said...

Oh, I bet it was so very neat to hear your voice for the very first time.. Amazing post. Thanks for sharing..

K said...

what a very neat story!
I'm glad that you found your voice, and that you've kept the story alive in words, besides!
Thanks for stopping by.

Kristin said...

That is a great story. Thank you for sharing that life experience with us. I am glad that you found your voice.

Diane said...

What a great story! My mother also had German Measles when she was pregnant with my brother. He is completely deaf. I remember watching a television program with him when we were children and the girl in it got an operation that restored her hearing. He begged my parents to take him to California (where all TV programs are from :) so he could get the same operation. It was the first time I ever saw my dad cry - telling him it wouldn't work and that he would never hear. But he's quite amazing now, at 45, and lives beautifully in both the hearing and deaf worlds!

Sam_I_am said...

awwww. That's a really good post. My cousin was born with muscular dystrophy so he signed waaaaayyyy before he could talk and he can't hear anything w/o his hearing aids.

jen said...

awwwwwww! woah teddy! xx

Mama Kat said...

Oh my gosh I love this. I bet listening to you sing that whole way home was so special for your mom!! Beautiful story and thanks for playing!!! Come back next week!

Andy said...

"... brain damage, and deafness."

That is all.