Some thoughts on sound

A few weeks ago, for about a week, I was hard of hearing. Everything sounded muted, I had a hard time following conversations, and I had to ask people to repeat themselves repeatedly.

This was due to impacted cerumen- earwax blockage. So it was thankfully temporary, and had an end date with a doctor’s appointment scheduled.

Some things I noticed about having reduced hearing-

  • Things were peaceful. Background noise often stresses me out or distracts me, and so suddenly grocery shopping and working in a noisy cubicle were less distracting.
  • I budgeted the times I asked people to repeat themselves. Especially in large groups, if I missed something, I let it go and never did figure out what the person said.
  • Communal singing was meh. My church has great singing- unrehearsed gorgeous choruses of 4 part harmony are commonplace. I don’t have a terrible voice, but when the thing I hear most is my own voice, it really detracts from the music.

And then the doctor cleaned out my ears, and a few things surprised me-

  • My jeans were SO loud. Every noise was way too loud.
  • I got used to the background noise quickly. I was worried my brief time without the background noise would spoil me, leaving me grumpy at any little background noise. But the shock quickly faded and things are back to normal.
  • Music does really sound better when other people’s voices are louder than mine.

With any luck, this won’t happen again, but I’ll have a bit more of an appreciation for what people with hearing problems deal with- and maybe I’ll get some ear plugs.

James

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