As I run out of work, I feel the raindrops fall with full force on my head. Without a second thought, I quickly pull my hood over my head to protect my ears, my most prized possessions. It’s December and winter is just starting, and with it comes water – a whole lot of it, if we’re “lucky.” Furthermore, it’s mikveh night.
I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with water. It’s the force that has created the “me versus them.” For my entire life, water has been the entity that made me stand solo, acting as a casual observer, forcing myself to be ever so cognizant of my insecurities, differences, and limitations. My disability.
I have been blessed to have progressive hearing loss. At five years old, I was diagnosed with mild sensorineural loss. “Don’t worry; your hearing loss shouldn’t deteriorate drastically over the years. If it does, you’ll be well into your older years,” which calmed all of my nerves hearing this from a respected medical professional. It sure did not feel like a mild loss seeing that hearing aids are not waterproof and I was growing up in Florida, where water camps and beach bumming were part of one’s extracurricular agenda. And it sure did not remain a mild loss. I realized as an adult that having progressive hearing loss made me a candidate and blessed recipient of a cochlear implant in one ear – something I always thought was reserved for the “deaf.” I guess I’m one of those now. [Read more…]