When you were a child, did you hear the story of Chicken Little? The hysterical fellow is convinced that the sky is falling, disaster is upon him, the world is coming to an end.
One morning in April 2012, I suddenly lost my hearing, presumably due to infection but we still don’t know for sure. That June my health declined drastically, and I had to leave work and seek medical attention for several months. I guess you can say I felt as though the sky was falling. I had a difficult time with ear pain, which eventually got so bad I was placed in a hospital for ten days. When I tell people I suddenly lost my hearing they usually say, “I am so sorry. That is so sad. How do you manage. What happened?”
I reply that although nobody wants bad things for themselves, I don’t see my deafness as a bad illness or deficit. I have learned so much from being deaf, like communicating with my hands (American Sign Language), building new relationships on and offline with those who are deaf, and talking to hearing people about what it means to be deaf.
Have you ever had a “Chicken Little” experience?
My name is Jeff Swartz and I live in Atlanta, GA. I am married to wonderful wife and have two teenaged daughter.