Last night I had a pounding and stabbing earache in my right ear, this morning I was bleeding from said ear; my online self-diagnosis told me that either I was going to die due to brain complications or I had an ear infection.
I rang into my school to tell them I wouldn’t be in because I was ill and the secretary said, more than once, “entendu” which literally means ‘heard’ but put into context is ‘understood’. I wanted to make many a joke – “of course you heard, you’re not the one bleeding from your ears” however my French isn’t strong enough to be funny and I figured I’d get lost in translation somewhere and sound like my potential ear infection was in fact brain complications.
A quick trip to my doctor confirmed the latter, an ear infection. He prescribed me 5 (yes 5!!!) boxes of tablets and I went on my merry, partially-hearing way. Now, sat in my bed, feeling sorry for myself, surrounded by a wonderful array of boxes sporting long and unpronounceable names, and trying hard to understand Bones on the television without cranking the volume up, I got to thinking about what it would be like if I became deaf.
What would sudden deafness do to me? Well firstly I’d be forced to learn a new language, not out of want but out of necessity. I can spell my name in sign language but I’m not sure that would suffice. Not only would I be forced to learn the language but so would many people around me, all of my friends and family. It would throw a spanner in the works of my life plans; how could I continue to learn French without the ability to listen? I’d no longer be able to switch the radio on to hear the top 40, go to a club to dance to the top tunes or listen to my beloved iPod shuffle on the way to work.
I know that sounds very materialistic of me but hey, this is a material world. Of course there are technologies nowadays to aid those who have lost, or indeed never had, their hearing abilities. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that I’m very thankful that I still have my hearing.