For those of you who have never been around anyone who is going deaf, that process can sometimes be very painful. I used to think that it was just not being able to hear things any longer, but it is not that simple. While it is difficult watching our loved ones and learning how to deal with the situation, it can be very painful for the person going deaf. Literally painful.
In the case of my loved one, he hears low bass tones better than any other tones. So certain noises like the thrum of a diesel vehicle passing or of an air conditioner running, we are able to filter out and don't even notice. He is not able to do that. On a good day he ends up with a headache from all of the normal day to day sounds around him that we are simply able to ignore. By early afternoon he puts in earplugs to help block out some of those sounds and make the headache pain manageable. Going out to the store or a restaurant is even more difficult. There are so many sounds that he is not able to focus on a conversation. Again, something most of us take for granted. If the sounds get too overwhelming, it makes him dizzy and nauseous. This is all just part of his normal day.
When his hearing is changing, it is even worse. He has severe headaches, dizziness, earaches, and nausea. If you have ever had a really bad ear infection, you know how dizzy and crummy that can make you feel. If you have never had a bad ear infection.....think about how wobbly and unbalanced you feel when you are really tipsy and then combine that with a hangover. However, in this case, that feeling doesn't end until the hearing changes have stopped - sometimes several weeks later. He only has two choices when this happens; he can take his medicine which knocks him out for about 6-8 hours and then makes him feel really out of it the next day or he can just deal with the pain. Neither choice is great.
If you see someone who is having going through a hearing loss or perhaps is already deaf, don't get upset that they can't hear you; show them a little compassion and know that getting to where they are now was probably not an easy road for them or their loved ones.