Well it's not new, but with the addition of the BAHA box on the side of Bear's head, we have officially entered "2D" hood-- 2 differently (dis)abled people! Bear has severe hearing loss, more than 90% in one ear and more than 60% in the other. The BAHA (bone anchored hearing aid) uses some pretty cool technology to improve his hearing so he can hear much more clearly.
What was interesting was a meeting today of the Hearing Loss Assoc of America local chapter-- in his fifties, Bear was still the youngest. But I think he was excited to find some other HOH people, others he could relate to. I feel for him on this, since I'll be honest-- there's no MS local meeting anymore. And it has been really stressful lately, and I'm only recently coming to the realization that yeah-- ain't no way my life is really going to be very "normal" or necessarily stable. So it's nice for at least one of us to have some local support group or people.
Since both of our issues are essentially "Invisible", we face some fun stares and questions-- I'm sure some wonder about my crip placard. Bear now has a big "Driver is Hard of Hearing" sign on his visor-- a good bit of advice from his hearing aid dispenser. They're actually pre-printed by the state, so hey-- that's something to say for this gawdforsaken place.
While all of this has and continues to be expensive, at least we've had a chance to try the technology and clinical trials. I am very, very pleased about that, though I wish I lived IN the town for my trial and where Bear had his surgery for his hearing. Still a love/hate relationship with the state, mostly hate. If I could take my MS clinic and doctor with me back home, I SO would.
Just getting all the more encouraged to find a way into ADA advocacy!