At Lip Reading, we did numbers. Our teacher told us numbers to write down with her voice turned off. I got a surprising amount of them right. I’ve really improved at lip reading. This doesn’t mean I can lip read everything. Far from it. But on the rare day when I’m tired or there’s a lot of background noise, being able to see parts of words as well as hear them gives me a huge help. It makes listening much less effort.
One of my friends at the class has just got a cochlear implant, and her hearing has gone from literally nothing to 40%. She joins in conversations now, rather than sitting on the sidelines waiting for us to fill her in by writing on a piece of paper. Even her pen-and-paper-personality was lovely, but now it’s like she’s come out from behind a cloud. She can hear enough to understand the tea-break conversations, and we can talk and get to know her better. I feel like we’re finally meeting her.
Maybe this is how my friends and family felt when I started to hear properly.