HEARING LOSS CHANGES LIVES….
You’ll answer questions that have never been asked
You’ll accept invitations that have never been offered.
You’ll hear sounds that have never been made,
And you’ll miss the ones that have.
If I didn’t have hearing loss, I’d be married to someone else, and my son would look very different. I know this because at least one other man had been interested in a permanent relationship – although I may not have heard him correctly. I bluffed and the relationship fizzled.
I learned my hearing loss lesson. The man I did marry proposed at the crack of dawn when I was barely awake, and without my hearing aids in place. But I’m an ace speechreader and I said yes, possibly before he was aware that he’d actually said the words.
Hearing loss isn’t funny but living with it can be easier if we understand our own communication challenges and know what to expect from it.
At any point along the hearing loss journey, we can adopt new strategies to communicate more skillfully, including shifting our negative emotions into self-compassion and positive action.
By owning our own communication, the journey becomes smoother, with better conversations.
Working with a good hearing care professional is important. And so is connecting to other people with hearing loss who understand what we’re going through.
No, hearing loss isn’t funny but I am (sometimes) and in my writing I turn both a humorous and serious eye to the life with hearing loss. Mixing in a little humour with the wailing helps us look at it differently. And–honestly? Sometimes what we mishear actually is funny—although other people seem to laugh at it more than we do!
Growing up with hearing loss, I lived with a secret knot of inner shame. But when, finally, in a transformative AHA moment, I learned to shift my goal from hearing better to communicating better, and life changed permanently for the better.
This philosophy drives my passion to help others feel the same way. On this site, you’ll find links to my current blog and recent favourites, as well as information and links to my books.I have been around the hearing loss more than once, and I invite you to walk with me for a while.
Gael Hannan is a renowned humorist, author, and speaker on hearing loss issues. She is a leading international hearing health advocate whose work, which includes awareness programs, dramedy performances and writing, helps people better understand the life with hearing loss – both its impact and to live more successfully.
She regularly writes for hearing-related publications such as Hearing Health & Technology Matters and Canadian Audiologist. Gael’s critically acclaimed first book, The Way I Hear It: A Life with Hearing Loss, part memoir and part survival guide, has helped readers around the world to embrace their own hearing challenges. Hear & Beyond: Live Skillfully With Hearing Loss, her second book, is the how-to guide that she and co-author Shari Eberts wish they’d had earlier in their lives.
Gael has profound hearing loss and is bimodal, using both a hearing aid and a cochlear implant. She and her husband, Doug, aka the Hearing Husband, make their home on Vancouver Island, where they live in hope of visits from their children and grandchildren.