Thursday, July 14, 2005

It is an interesting phenomena

The brain is a marvelous wonder.

This afternoon I am sitting on the deck eating lunch in the sun while the dogs nap. I look out and see the flowers in their pots and trees of various kinds completely surrounding me. The sky is a deep baby blue and the sun sparkling on the trees creates a soft and peaceful image. Ever so often there is a slight breeze that brushes my face and gently tingles the leaves on the deciduous trees.

Without realizing it, my mind has subconsciously created a sound backdrop of the gentle breeze blowing through the trees and summer birds chirping their songs. To me the setting is quite serene and I am enraptured in the beauty of contentment.

After I finish my lunch and the article in the newspaper, I stop to look around. At that point I realize my brain has created for me "hearing" even though I can't hear a sound. I tap my foot on the wood of the deck and my fingers on the glass table. Even though I can't hear it I can feel the vibration and yet again my brain has filled in these gaps.

While reminising about when we moved into the house, I recall the loud buzz and hum of the motorcyles that drove along the road past our house as it is a popular riding route. I can no longer hear them so it is quite peaceful to me here. I have no idea if the cars or motorcycles on the road are have been loud or have even been there.

Yet it is interesting that my brain has chosen to create the sound of birds chirping and the gentle wind. It almost reminds me of a meditative tape I owned as a hearing person. It is quite common for this same "creation of sound" to be played by my brain whenever I am in the outdoors in a more secluded setting. Often when I go to a park, I will hear children whether they are there or not because I was accustomed to their laughter while visiting parks when I worked for the department of agriculture.

I find this phenomena rather amazing. It is similiar to the power of smell. Often times people can totally be taken back into a memory by a specific scent. This has happened to me many times also.....especially when moving from the midwest to the west coast. The smell of neoprene or fresh sea salt will bring me back to several dives I have made in my lifetime.

It makes me wonder though. Will this phenomena continue throughout time or will it gradually slip away and will I forget? I have only been deaf for nearly a year (this friday or saturday will be a year of complete silence).


Anonymous said...

That was beautiful! I love you Becky. Only you can turn something into beauty!

Anonymous said...

Becky, that was really touching. Being deaf can be so peaceful, as you describe it. I am so happy that you are able to see the glass half full, that is what gives you amazing strength. You are an inspiration. Keep being strong.
P.S. I don't think you will lose the sounds your mind recreates, but if you do I imagine your visual interpretation will become even keener.

Rebecca said...

Yes I have often wondered if I would actually like hearing again. I don't know. LOL It might drive me nuts!

I remember when I first got my hearing aid 5 years ago. I really hated it during the trial period (3-4 weeks). I missed hearing things the way I used to and listening to music really sucked. I had to get used to it and relearn how to hear.

It would be the same if I had gotten an auditory brainstem implant that worked. I know that I would not hear sounds the same but I think psychologically I would expect that and may become very disappointed when the reality hit me.

No matter what technology they make, I will never have the keen sense of sound I had before hearing loss (perhaps in the end of my lifetime if I live to a ripe age). That is one thing that they just cannot perfect.

Unfortunately many people do not understand hearing loss and ALDs (assistive listening devices), hearing aides, cochlear implants, and ABIs. When someone uses them it is not like getting laser eye surgery. All of the devices are meerly aides to help one hear something (whatever that may be). They do not however, fully restore hearing to the state that it was before hearing loss or to what would be an average person's hearing ability.