Dear Lipreading Mom,
I just don't know what to do. Everyone talks around me all the time as if I don't exist, like I am not there. I can hear them a little, but I guess since I have a hearing problem, I am "dumb," too. I just needed to vent, and you're the only one I can trust and can understand me.
Feeling Left Out
Dear Left Out,
I'm so sorry this is happening. Have you shared with your loved ones what you shared with me? What do they say? The reason I ask is one or two of them will likely need to be your "hearing helper" in situations where others are talking around you. Ask this helper to pull you aside and explain anything you might have missed. Keep paper and a pen handy if he or she needs to write it down. Refuse to be left out of conversations by always having a hearing helper, such as a parent, spouse, close friend, or older child. I have to do this with my husband and my older kids in group conversations.
Remember: You are smart. You just have hearing loss. And you are not alone.
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Shanna Groves was diagnosed with progressive hearing loss after the birth of her first child. She was 27. Raised in a hearing family, Shanna traces her hearing loss to a genetic loss on the paternal side of her family. She is mom to three young children, a published author, and speaker. Her books are featured at www.ShannaGroves.com. Shanna blogs about being a hard of hearing mom at http://LipreadingMom.com.