Monday, January 21, 2013

About Me-When and How They Found Out I Was Deaf

I was born in the Booth Memorial Hospital in Queens, N.Y.C. in the summer of 1964. Back in those old days, they didn't screen babies for hearing loss in that hospital. The doctors there, never said anything to my parents about my hearing problem. Therefore my parents had no idea I was born deaf. We lived in N.Y.C. for a while, then moved into a colony house with a pool in New Brunswick, N.J. My parents were concerned because whenever they tried to call my name, I never responded to them. They wanted me to learn how to talk, but I couldn't speak. I didn't learn how to talk for three years after I was born. My mother tried to take me to numerous places to find out why I wasn't talking or responding to people when they talked to me. When we lived in Whitestone, N.Y. the doctors misdiagnosed me in the sense that they assured my mother nothing was wrong. The same was true when we moved to New Brunswick, NJ. The pediatrician there told my mom that I could hear. She asked him to tell her where I could be tested for my hearing. He said I was too young to be tested on. He was wrong because even then they could test toddlers for hearing loss. My mother had some friends, that suggested she take me to see an audiologist when I was three years old. There, they did a hearing test on me. That's when they told her I was deaf. It took three years for my parents to find this out. They gave me my first hearing aids and I started speech therapy because I did not know how to speak. When I was finally diagnosed, she took me back to that doctor and showed him my hearing aids. She also told him where people could take babies to be tested. My mom had to take me to New York City to have me tested and diagnosed. She never found a place in N.J. to have me tested until I was a lot older. It's ashamed that there was huge lack of resources for deaf people back in the 1960's and in the 1970's in New Jersey. The doctors there were uneducated on deafness. They didn't know anything about my hearing problem whenever my mom took me to be checked on why I wasn't talking. I can remember how lost I felt for 3 years when I couldn't speak or hear at all. If I wanted a drink, or something to eat, I didn't have any way of expressing myself or asking for it. If I was tired, or wanted to tell my parents anything, like if I wasn't feeling well, I couldn't tell them that. And it is not a pleasant feeling to know, that I had to go through this for awhile. This is how I was brought into the world due to doctors lack of knowledge on deafness. They could of helped me much sooner, only if the doctors would of known I was deaf. It would of been nice if the doctors in N.J. could of diagnosed my deafness before I was 3 years old, life would of been a bit easier. I could of learned to talk much sooner. Most of all I would of been able to express myself much earlier in my life to my parents and family. But I couldn't speak to ask for anything or express myself until I got those hearing aids and learned how to talk when I was 3.

13 comments:

  1. Hi Susanna, sad to hear about this..can imagine how difficult it would have been for you and your parents.

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  2. Yes, it was difficult for sure. But we all got through this. Thank you for your thoughts. :)

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  3. Yes, it must have been difficult for you and your loved ones..At least you've learned to talk! Look at the brighter side, anyway! Have a great day!

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    1. It was a great relief when I learned to talk. Sometimes I have to convince some people I'm actually deaf. In the past, people didn't believe me when I told them I couldn't hear because I could speak well.

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    2. Ric I saw the button on your page, so I grabbed it and posted it on the bottom of this page.

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  4. Hi.
    I can understand how it feels. However you are lucky that you could talk. By the way, it's not easy to believe when someone say that he or she cannot hear, when that person could speak well. Whatever happens, never give up. life is all about good things and bad things. good things wouldn't be there without bad things.

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  5. Yes, it takes patience, time and understanding. Actually it's more of a compliment to me when some people refuse to believe I'm deaf. I probably could pass as a hearing person and no one would know the difference. I've actually tried that a few times and it worked, but once people started talking behind me, I had to give in and tell them I was actually deaf. Thank you so much for your thoughts here.

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  6. Wow. I can only imagine how hard that must have been. When I was born a premie, I was so little. They thought I would never make it. I had to stay in the hospital 90 days after birth, but I never gave up. You never did either--you are a brave hero. And so inspiring and special. Thank you that you put up this page so you can talk about your experiences.

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    1. You're very welcome. Wow, 90 days is a long time. My daughter was also born premature back in 1995, she was only 3 pounds. And she was born a month early, but they only had to keep her in the hospital for a week or so. Thank you so much for your comments and thoughts.

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  7. Hi,

    My name is John and I have a quick question about your blog! Could you please email me?

    Thank you,

    John

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