Today’s guest post is by author and speaker Shanna Groves. Shanna is the driving force behind the #showmeyourears campaign on
Twitter and “Show Me Your Ears” on her website. Her campaign promotes the use of hearing aids, cochlear implants and dispels the
stigma that once came with them. People from all over have been taking snapshots of their “ear gear” and sharing their photos. You
will find the link to this wonderful campaign at the bottom of the page along with her other information. I added a photo of one of my
ear gears at the bottom of this post.
Thank you, Shanna, for sharing your heart with us in “The Three C’s of Hearing Loss”.
The Three “Cs” of Hearing Loss
By Shanna Groves
At the age of 27, I was a glowing new mom. My son was a healthy seven-pounder with tufts of strawberry-blond hair. My days were
spent holding him because I didn’t want to let go. My nights were spent with him laying beside me. The only way I could fall asleep
was to have that baby with me at all times.
At the same time I became a mom, something else chose to be with me 24 hours a day. It was the sound of ringing bells in both my
ears—a sound that only I could hear. It was the growing awareness that voices had become softer. Hearing loss chose me, but I didn’t
want it to.
Adult-onset hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ears) are more common than anyone cares to admit. Causes: noise exposure,
illness, hormonal changes, genetics or, in my case, all of these things.
Are you dealing with a hearing loss you weren’t born with? These three principles have helped put my mind at ease:
Hearing loss may shape who I am now, yet some things never change. If I can remember the things about myself that remain the
same—my dreams, goals, personality traits—then I know that hearing loss hasn’t defeated me. Before my hearing diagnosis, I wanted
to write. Eleven years later, I write. I once dreamed that I would have a healthy family. Eleven years later, I have three healthy
children and a loving husband. I’ve always enjoyed being around people. Hearing loss or not, that hasn’t changed.
Hearing loss heightens my compassion—an awareness of other people’s needs. If I stop focusing on what I don’t have, I realize that a
lot more people have far less than I do. How can I help them? My focus instead shifts from my hearing loss to reaching out to other
people. My ears may be defective, but my hands and feet work fine. I’m still able-bodied to serve others.
Hearing loss is a community. Among those I can reach out to are millions of people worldwide living with hearing loss. I have found
asense of community through such groups as the Hearing Loss Association of America, Association of Late-Deafened Adults, the
SayWhatClub, and many more organizations online. I can use my skill (writing) and my compassion to touch the lives of this growing
community. In doing so, I know that I am not alone.
If you substitute the words “Hearing Loss” in the above paragraphs with “My Life,” you can put into context what a gift my hearing
diagnosis has been. My senses of compassion, community, and change are heightened. I like that aspect of hearing loss.
How has hearing loss shaped who you are today?
(c) Shanna Groves
Author and Speaker Shanna Groves writes about the roller coaster journey of being a hard of hearing parent in her new memoir,
Confessions of a Lip Reading Mom. Read more of her story at ShannaGroves.com and LipreadingMom.com.
Shanna’s book “Confessions of a Lip Reading Mom” is about to launch. This is a great time to order your copy:
Follow Lip Reading Mom on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LipreadingMom
Shanna also has a FaceBook page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorShannaGroves
Here’s a snap shot of one of my hearing aids, Shanna, for you to download and use as you please for your campaign – Joyce