Hello, I hope everyone is doing okay! I am on my summer break at home before I begin my 5th year of medicine. I know I haven’t been updating this blog and I really wanted to get back on this and write more, so here we are!
How it all began
My story began when I was around 5 years old in India, and my teachers would tell my parents that I was not listening in class. We saw a doctor but they told me I had no problems with my hearing, and life carried on as normal.
When we moved to the U.K., the same thing happened and teachers noticed that I was not paying attention. It was then that I was diagnosed with moderate sensorineural hearing loss. I believe this was a big shock for my parents as they had not really known I had been struggling with hearing. I was always a quiet child, and somehow I had picked up on language cues and was able to communicate. We all then performed a series of tests to determine what caused my hearing loss, and the results came back inconclusive.
How it feels
Since this, I wear hearing aids in both ears and rely a lot on lip-reading. My hearing loss didn’t really impact me growing up. In fact, I remember thinking everyone wore hearing aids and I never really felt othered by this. It was only when I reached secondary school and sixth form that I noticed I was struggling to hear in groups and in lessons. This made me really sad and I felt quite isolated, but I had an amazing support system in my family.
My hearing aids do not completely restore my hearing. All they do is amplify all the sounds, but my brain still struggles to process all these sounds. I pick up a few words here and there, and then I use context cues, body language, what I know about the person, their emotional state and everything else to figure out what is being said. If I’m lucky, I figure it out before they’ve moved on to the next sentence! It feels like I have a few pieces of the jigsaw puzzle, but they don’t all quite fit and I am scrambling to sort them out before I am thrown with more pieces.
“I have a few pieces of the jigsaw puzzle, but they don’t all quite fit and I am scrambling to sort them out before I am thrown with more pieces.“
Where I want to go
So now I am studying Medicine at Cambridge, and my hearing loss has been very challenging in many different ways, but it has also opened up many doors for me. I hope to set up a page where I can share my experiences of being deaf at Cambridge and provide support for other disabled students, as well as it being a personal space for me to see how far I have come!
If you’ve got this far, thank you for your time!