What's worse, to be deaf or blind? ...

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What's worse, to be deaf or blind? ...

Post  Cluelesskitty on Fri 13 May 2011, 2:47 am

I am deaf, and I know how debilitating and restricting it can be.

I am very curious what in your opinion is worse, to be deaf or blind and why?

Risa

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Re: What's worse, to be deaf or blind? ...

Post  Greeneyes on Fri 13 May 2011, 3:42 am

Deaf..

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Re: What's worse, to be deaf or blind? ...

Post  milo on Fri 13 May 2011, 11:42 am

Though I would not wish for either, I think if I had a choice, I would choose to loose my hearing and keep my sight.

First, the worst part of my headaches is the overstimulation of noise, so decreasing this would be ok, but hearing does provide a lot of important cues and soothing stimuli.

Sight, for me, is where I find a lot of the beauty that surrounds me. Yes, music is one of those things too, but I would give up hearing a bird sing in order to be able to watch it flitter about. I'd also have a very tough time never seeing all that nature has to offer.

I think that I would be very upset with life if I could no longer read. I know I would have a very, very tough time getting used to braille.
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Re: What's worse, to be deaf or blind? ...

Post  Angela on Fri 13 May 2011, 12:00 pm

When I was a child of 10, I had an accident and a bucket of Kostic lime white-wash splashed in my eyes. My father forced my eyes open as he pushed my eyes under the bathtub tap to run them out while I thrashed and screamed. He saved my eyes, but not before much burning damage had been done.

FOr a month I had bandages over my eyes and was blind. I remember that part of my life very vividly and it changed me forever. I would never go for lazik surgery for fear of the risk of losing my sight again, no matter how little a chance that could be.

I am so much more appreciative of all the little things that I see in life. I never stop marvelling at the everchanging angles of the same mountains I see every day, or the freckles on children's faces. Shapes, angles and colours intrigue me more in life than I think it does other people, and I became a sculptor for 10 years while I had the time.

Not being deaf, I don't know what that is like, but I have family members that are. They can travel and read and shop and lead productive lives. There are no blind migrainers on this forum.

Every saturday, we go to the pub for a few beers (water for me usually) and a blind fellow, Ray, usually sits with me. He gets around pretty good and is social, but he really has to depend on the kindness of strangers all the time. During this time he is surrounded by friends, but other times, he is vulnerable with just his white stick.

Definately I would not want to be blind.
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Re: What's worse, to be deaf or blind? ...

Post  Greeneyes on Fri 13 May 2011, 1:01 pm

Good question..if I had to choose I would say blind because I would miss hearing all the people that I love an adore. One of my best friends..her Grandpa was blind and he worked around the house by touch..he would feel me then my friend and know which was which by bone and a slight difference in weight. He was blessed with other abilities..building a homemade swing/ or jungle set for his grandchildren..played the piano..Honestly, there wasn't anything he couldn't do.

But, on the other hand I've thought so many times do to migraine noise..praying, that I wish I couldn't hear anything..everything makes a unique noise..for those of you that have a hearing problem or deafness..ugh..can't word it..

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Re: What's worse, to be deaf or blind? ...

Post  Cluelesskitty on Fri 13 May 2011, 4:13 pm

I think that I would be very upset with life if I could no longer read. I know I would have a very, very tough time getting used to braille.

what about the audio books, Milo?

and, sure, learning Braille is hard
but have you ever thought how much time people spend talking vs reading?
how much do you talk in one day once you wake up till you go to bed?

There are no blind migrainers on this forum.

good point Angela, I will find out if some would like to join.
And Angela - what a terrifying experience it must have been for you! and painful!!
Thank God your daddy saved your eyesight, whew. I was scared then relived when I read your story.

I am not blind, and never knew someone blind only seen the movie "The Art of Blind Photography", a movie with Mira Sorvino
and Val Kilmer (based on a true story) "At First Sight", saw a documentary about blind mountain climber Erik Weihenmayer
http://www.touchthetop.com/, and a regular but so amazing blind guy Ben Underwood who uses echolocation for moving about
http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,1212568,00.html

which led me to believe perhaps some current methods of teaching blind people how to manage in regular world
are a bit outdated, also set them to be underachievers from the very beginning?
Exactly to be vulnerable and depend on strangers?
I don't know, just thinking aloud.

I know when I was growing up I was told so many things are out of reach for me due to my deafness,
things that today are not even thought twice for a deaf to partake.
For example I wanted to be a cosmetologist which of course I was laughed at (how would you communicate?!)
today there are a deaf physicians out there.

Being blind certainly looks in a way horrible for a regular person while being deaf does not,
and is sure very inconvenient when it comes to move about.
It sure is difficult to simply walk forward without seeing the very ground we walk on.

On the other hand, it is hard to, say, ride a train and not know that the announcement just said all the passengers must
get off at the next station because there was whatever and proceed to this train or bus.
While everybody follows the direction, a deaf person don't understand and is lost, confused and wastes time
finding its own way, and money, for other transportation.
It all can be quite scary if you don't know where you are, can't ask for directions.

On one hand a blind person lives in perpetual darkness, on the other a deaf person can communicate as long
as there is a light.
Once the light goes out, this is it for a deaf person. In case of emergency, there is no way of communicating
with the deaf person without light, only by touch.

In the company, a blind person can communicate with everybody without much problems,
a deaf can only do that with someone who sits next to them and speaks directly to their face.
With the exception of sign language use, which is visible from afar.

So, for a deaf person there is component of utter isolation from community which a blind does not necessarily have.

This is very interesting :]

Risa

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Re: What's worse, to be deaf or blind? ...

Post  milo on Fri 13 May 2011, 5:05 pm

Indeed, an awesome subject.

I would like to tell a story from when I was in hospital with a friend whom had just had a baby. The situation made me think a lot about what it is/ would be to be deaf.

My friend, unable to afford a private room, was roomed with four other new parents and all their well wishers. This was a very small room, and with four hospital beds, four new babies, four co-parents and all the happy friends and family, it made it impossible not to hear anything and everything going on.

The couple next to us were both deaf. One spoke and the other did not. They both signed and they both read lips. They had been in hospital the same as any new parents and their visitors came and went. Grandma and grandpa of the new baby showed up and all were having a wonderful time catching up by speaking and signing. Then the doctor came in.

The doctor came in and told the new parents and grandparents that the baby could hear.

The emotion in the room was palpable.

It made me think a lot about if I were deaf if I had a child would I want it to be deaf like me or to hear. It was clear from the emotion in the room that the parents were very, very relieved to have a hearing child.

The moment is one that will stay with me forever...and I still get goosebumps every time I am able to tell it. Just one of those moments where you understand that there is a physical "feel" to emotions.
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Re: What's worse, to be deaf or blind? ...

Post  Cluelesskitty on Fri 13 May 2011, 5:29 pm

I know what you mean.
I too was anxious if my baby could hear when she was born (she does).

Risa

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Re: What's worse, to be deaf or blind? ...

Post  milo on Fri 13 May 2011, 6:50 pm

Don't answer this if it's too personal, but did you ever think about it while you were pregnant and hope that your child would be born deaf?

I know it's sounds incredibly ignorant, and I don't mean to say that I think you wished deafness upon your unborn child, but was there ever even a tiny, tiny moment when you hoped the child was deaf?
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Re: What's worse, to be deaf or blind? ...

Post  Cluelesskitty on Fri 13 May 2011, 10:25 pm

Just to be clear, the deafness is not an issue or taboo for me :]

I know it's sounds incredibly ignorant, and I don't mean to say that I think you wished deafness upon your unborn child, but was there ever even a tiny, tiny moment when you hoped the child was deaf?

It doesn't actually, and sure, I know what you mean.

No I didn't because culturally I am not a "deafie",
meaning I have no ties with Deaf Culture and Deaf Community.

But indeed, some deaf people who were born deaf and raised as deaf, so called "deafies"
who grew up and participate deeply in the deaf culture and life,
sometimes can and do wish for their children to be born deaf
so they can be the same as their parents and their friends.

Not everyone is like that, but it does infrequently happen.

Risa

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