Wear Your Sunflower.

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There are members of the public policing others when one goes outside, re their/our use or rather the lack of use, of a mask.

“Not all hidden Disabilities are visible.”

I decided to purchase 2x Sunflower lanyards, one ‘Exempt’ ID card and one ‘Hearing loss’ ID card, with 2x clear wallets to help diffuse any unwanted presumptions, to help educate others in anticipation. The other lanyard is for whoever may be out shopping, with myself since the person accompanying the lip reader is exempt, from wearing a face mask.

However, if you are deaf and the person accompanying you is also deaf, then it is appropriate to cease the use of your masks as and when since you both rely on lip reading / sign language to communicate.

https://hiddendisabilitiesstore.com/for-you

Be proactive, not reactive.
Remain kind, patient and educate.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

 

Weathering Storms.

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We have and we are all weathering storms of our own, throughout our lives, and there will always be more to come. Regardless of its causes.

One may feel more weathered than another.
They may allow themselves to be more stressed by their memories, thoughts and feelings, than by the “stresses” around them. Internalising the storm from within.
Whilst another appears, able to shrug it all off. Things are not always what they seem.

One may choose to be an open book, whilst another, may choose to remain closed.
It does not mean, another suffered, will suffer or is suffering, less.
Yet, one sometimes chooses to borrow tomorrow’s troubles, potentially reliving the stress – two-fold. Each to their own.

Beings will cope differently to one another, whilst one will cope as best as they can, some, the only way they may know how. Some, needing guidance.

One person may retreat whilst another will be in awe of all those around them, for managing to shine on having been and being, in storms of their own.

One may experience a storm in a teacup whilst another may experience it as an overbearing storm on their horizon. 

Every being and situation is different, naturally, coping mechanisms will differ.

What with face masks and face coverings being made mandatory, the isolation, the anxieties and the barriers we as a deaf community are feeling, will face daily. we are ALL in this, dealing with this, as one. The best we can. We will all be able to relate and empathise with one another.

Be proactive, not reactive. It is down to education – there will be situations due to ignorance, arrogance, lack of deaf awareness and presumptions as to why someone is not wearing a mask. Remain kind, remain patient and educate.

I’ve had an elderly guy who was wearing a face mask, laugh at me when I explained I couldn’t understand him since I couldn’t lip read him. I chose to let his immaturity pass, and not react at all. Sure, it bothered me a little at the time but I refuse to let it, or anything trivial, consume and/or dictate me and relatively, imprison me. We cannot stop the waves but we can learn to surf. 

If anyone feels alone, be it as a result of the sea of emotionless, faceless masks or otherwise, please DO REACH OUT, for those who are able to, will be there.

💖

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Mask Exemptions.

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People who happen to be deaf, are naturally wondering if this means deaf people are exempt from wearing masks but we all need to remember that invisible disabilities exists and anyone not able to be mindful of that is more than likely to make presumptions about why one isn’t wearing a mask and perhaps, make their feelings known.

I was watching BBC news last night as it tends to send me off to sleep nicely but for the first time, I noticed I could not lip read any one that was being interviewed – at all. They were ALL wearing masks.

Extremely uncomfortable viewing, never mind mingling amongst mask wearers.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Mask Warriors.

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Photos by SJ

I had to go into the local pharmacy this morning to pick up a prescription for my daughter, the staff were all wearing face masks.

Talking at me….

I’m patiently letting them know I’m not able to understand them as I am profoundly deaf and I cannot lip read them with their masks on.

They started pointing away here and there, still talking at me, I’m close to walking out but my daughter needs this prescription.

Someone gave me a pen and paper, I write down what I’m there for and who it’s for. Hand the pen and paper back… Prescription is found and she returns, trying to talk at me again.
I’m close to feeling emotional, anxious and once again I patiently remind her that I can’t hear her or lip read her because of her mask, or any of the mask wearing staff within that shop.

She realised and finally empathised, lowered her mask and spoke to me with a smile in her eyes.

What a world of difference that made. 😏

I had to go to the bank last week to sort an issue out, the staff in there were wearing those transparent facial shields – it may have been surreal still but it was certainly a lot more “friendly” and we could still easily communicate. I’d pick that over a face mask, any day.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

During The Coronavirus…

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Photo by SJ

As I went to check my bank balance by paying the ATM a visit, I saw an elderly man impatiently waiting outside the bank as I approached. I knew it was closed due to it being a bank holiday / VE Day so decided to inform him it was closed today. He didn’t want to believe me.

I pointed at the polite notice on the bank’s door… I said that’s today. He spoke to me whilst wearing his face mask… I’d previously told myself I wouldn’t communicate with anyone wearing a mask simply because I cannot lipread them. I decided to be patient with him as he was elderly and informed him that I am deaf, that I can’t see his lips while he’s wearing the mask. He laughed.

Hmmm.

I reminded him once more the bank is/was closed and he frustratingly left to do his shopping.

After obtaining my mini statement, as I started to walk home, there was such a noise which made me look up to the sky to see what it was and there I saw, the red arrows flying over in a V formation. 💖

The best things come to those who wait?

One day, our children’s generation will be saying, “During the coronavirus….”

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Where Are Your Manners?

Utterly shocked at the snobbery of some people.

My daughter goes to the library with her friend so I drop them off and see my father for a brief chat, cappuccino for him. The table he chose to sit down at had a mother and teenage daughter neighbouring it. Cafe was pretty busy and full. Instantly I felt their dismay at us sitting there, next to them. I chose to ignore it.

I happened to catch the mother giving me funny looks so I ignored her again. Fuming inside I was though. I had to keep calm and my wits about me…. even when she put up her mega sized costa coffee cup over her mouth in our direction, not drinking out of it. She held it there for a good five minutes until her daughter made her put the mug down. I ignored the bitch. I had to.

They left and I wished I had put her in her place by asking her what her problem was. The effing cheek of her… to go to a public cafe where all the hearing people can hear sod all she says but hides from us. Not that I wanted to look at her or be nosy. Could it have been because she was trying to hide what they were saying about us?

Kettle had boiled and settled. Calm was restored.

We then went for a walk to pass a little time but one of the shop’s entrances was busy. My dad being tall and well built, slowly edged his way through a small gap. I spy this woman giving him a dirty look behind his back. I looked at her and calmly asked her, “Why did you give him a dirty look?” The dirty look reappeared.

Omfg.

I said to her, calmly – I don’t know how! “There is no need for you to give me a dirty look either.” and walked away….

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Walking back to the library… the woman from the cafe and her daughter walked past me. I thought sod it, carpe diem. Don’t laugh. Heh.

She was trying to ignore me as I approached her… I said to her “Just because I can sign and have hearing aids,  it doesn’t mean I can’t hear you. Next time don’t be so rude and hide behind a mug.” And walked, back to my father. Who was standing a short distance away, smiling with what seemed to be a sense of pride.

I cannot understand why some people can behave in such a way? How does evil come naturally to them? Mind boggling.

I wanna get off this planet…

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

A funny thing happened on the way to ENT….

A compilation of humorous moments – just to make you, the readers smile and laugh – after all, it is free and does wonders. I very much hope that you too will enjoy reading this and be laughing with us. For those who smile and laugh, it will be “mission accomplished” 🙂

Conche ear trumpet
An antique hearing aid made using conch shell.

One day while they were shopping in a stationary / gift shop, Steven’s daughter, Georgia,  asked him “Dad, does this mean you now have a magnet in your head?” (who recently had a cochlear implant operation) She then proceeded (without him looking) to whack a fridge magnet on the side of his head!

This instance reminds us of this photo which a member captioned his thirty grand fridge magnet.

Gillian explains while it’s not really funny but, the first thing that comes to her mind is many years ago when her two year old toddling son, toddled round her bed one morning, picked up her hearing aid off her bedside table and innocently plopped it into her cup of tea. Which taught her to always put her hearing aid away out of sight whenever she was not wearing it!

“Damn auto correct” has often been the bane of humorous moments yet there is a balance which is mishearing, for example as Gareth explains. He once drove his wife and her 22 year old daughter, past a supermarket development. They were discussing the golden crested newt which was delaying the development. He exclaimed, “What do you mean by, golden prostitute?!”

LOL

Sara would very much like her tinnitus to turn itself off at the button of a remote control… It seems to have its own mind. Though, for some it must be better than hearing voices inside one’s head? Perhaps. She was one day sitting at a pc when she heard a voice thus startling her. She got up and looked around her home but there was no one else home so she went back onto the pc, perplexed. Until, she heard the voice – again?! This was starting to make her feel rather spooked – she just had to check her home once again. For her peace of mind….. Still, no one else was to be seen…. But, soon the voice came back?! “It’s three o’clock”

“Damn you talking clock!” She exclaimed at the pc for spooking her like that. Someone had installed it and she did not know it.

Once, Robin suddenly heard unusually loud explosions and shooting?! He thought a fecking war had broken out right outside his front door!

Can you just imagine?? Sara wandering around the house thinking she is going nuts, hearing voices and Robin is ducking and diving for cover! Well, he actually rushed out of his seat, looking out the window, eyes wide with confusion! It was actually a preview trailer for some action movie which had started playing away by itself on the other tab of his internet browser.

LOL

Gillian also remembers once when she was in a hairdressers and whilst sitting there having her hair cut, she noticed in the mirror that there was a sudden buzz of activity as two or three of the girls were hovering around her chair looking rather worried and checking all the electrical appliances. This went on for a few minutes until her hairdresser informed her that there was a funny noise originating from her handbag….. Bet you can’t guess what it was?!

She had taken her hearing aid off before having her hair washed and put it in her handbag. She had forgotten to switch it off or didn’t switch it off properly! That horrible whistling noise had them all really worried though.

One reader said that when he previously relied on hearing aids, he could not really hear very much let alone with them. Any high pitched sounds were non-existent to him. Occasionally he would have hearing people tell him that the alarm on his watch was going off. It would set itself accidentally and then go off at some random time. He does not know how often this used to happen but he thinks it might account for some of the odd looks he has had in the past. It happened so often with one watch that he even took the back off and removed the beeper.

LOL

Sara recalls being in Holland, enjoying the retail therapy atmosphere there but kept noticing people were looking at her. She could not work out why. Until someone, kindly let her know “Your phone is ringing” That was not the only time either.

Another instance was after walking into a petrol station, the assistant there curiously said “There is music coming from around you”… She looked at them in wonder and kindly smiled. They insisted that music was playing. “Music to his ears perhaps!” she thought… Was it dope?? Not while at work she hoped. She subsequently realised that her mobile phone had instinctively somehow started to play music, all by itself.

Lizzie relatively remembered that she had been listening to some music on her iPhone with a loop one afternoon. She then popped into a shop to buy some lunch. She unplugged the loop but kept getting smiley looks from people and thought “Wow, everyone’s so nice in here!” It was only when she went outside that she eventually checked her phone and it was playing Michael Jackson – very LOUDLY!

LOL

After Kirsty moved into her new house, two weeks later the neighbour bravely said “Your fire alarm is going off”. “OH goodness, thank you for telling me – how long has it been going off for?”…. “Ermmmm” he looked down, “twooooo weeks”

“Oops!”

Kirsty checked her phone one day at 11am, there was a text which she had received at 10.30am. “I’m locked in the utility room” it said. Oops once again?! So off she finally went to rescue the ol’hubster. Their son had locked him in! And it wasn’t an isolated event either. Unfortunately for him, Kirsty doesn’t carry her phone everywhere though it was rather peaceful when the ol’ hubster was locked up she added.

There is always a balance, mistyping, mishearing so naturally there is also (lip) misreading. For example, a while ago Paul was telling his wife, Rebekah, that they needed a new fridge freezer … “What do we need a new Freddy Freak for?!”… “Who (or what) is a Freddy Freak?!”

Another occasion is when Sara’s mother decided to pay the hairdressers her usual visit. “I would like to make an appointment please” she politely asked. “We can make you an appointment with E.T”. Mum was rather perplexed and exclaimed to herself “E.T?!”… But instead she asked “Pardon?” “We can make you an appointment with E.T” Mother was inclined to retreat. The receptionist then proceeded to show her the bookings book and pointed at…. “Katy” Mother thought to herself “Vee!” The receptionist’s broad northern accent had played a massive influence on her lip speaking patterns.

She also once told Sara how it went at the bank. Upon arriving at the counter, she informed them that she was deaf. The lady said “Oh, I’ll put the loop on for you!” Her mum responded with “But I don’t wear hearing aids?”… Lady says “That’s ok, I’ll put the loop on for you” :-/ Bless her cotton socks for trying to help. 🙂

Lol with a touch of facepalm.

One day, as a young girl Jane was walking besides her mother who was also deaf, signing away. Her sister and grandmother who were both hearing were chatting away and smiling mischievously, walking away from Jane and her mother in the subway. To gain some distance. She noticed their body language and her intuition told her to walk a bit slower. Another passer-by over took them. Jane looked straight ahead and could no longer see her sister or grandmother but she was with her mother so she was not too concerned. When suddenly, this passer-by got walloped over the head by her sister! Who was hiding just around the corner, waiting eagerly to pounce. She had been carrying a roll of cardboard paper and planned to hit Jane over the head with it but fate called her bluff and a poor guy got the shock instead! Jane says she will never forget the shock on her sister’s face and the passer by who was clearly taken aback. Jane’s grandmother, bless her, was trying rather hard not to laugh as she apologised on her granddaughter’s behalf who must have been only 7 years old at the time.

One’s favourite memory has to be when they saw a strange person running up and down outside their home, doing star jumps, waving around. They tried to ignore them as they had only lived at their new residence for a couple of months. A few minutes later, they tried to see if this character was still around… He was albeit in his pyjamas?! They looked around the home for their husband to inform him there was potentially a madman in their vicinity but he could not be found – anywhere. They opened the front door hesitantly and peeped around the corner as cautiously as they could. A bonny smile broke out as soon as they realised this “madman” was their husband, running up and down, star jumping, waving, banging on the windows all trying to get his wife’s attention. What on earth would the neighbours be thinking?! He had locked himself out and his wife had not yet put on her hearing aids. Silence is golden? 😉

LOL

If you enjoyed reading this, you may also enjoy “Happiness is the best medicine.”

Thank YOU. 🙂

~ SJ (Sara Jae)