How being hearing impaired, saved my life
Updated: Nov 18, 2020
Very dramatic title, I know.
Being hearing impaired means that there are so many unseen things that I have to deal with. Missed conversations, listening fatigue and so many other things. However, one thing I am grateful for is that it has saved my life... Twice. (that I can recall)
The First Incident
The first time this happened, I was with a friend at university. Let's call her M. M and I were walking back from a friend's place to our accommodation on campus.We had gone out for game's night or some other event, I can't recall. We were talking and walking down a major street in our city. We were about to cross the street to the other side, the streets were empty and she said something which I did not hear. I held her back (that was a huge stroke of grace) to ask her to repeat what she just said. I can see it quite clearly in my mind's eye, typical british street, which had an adjacent road where cars could make a left-turn into the spot where we were crossing. The very minute I held her back, a car full of drunk boys made a high-speed left turn (in a sports car) passed the spot we were literally just about to cross. If M and I had crossed the road at that instant, we would have definitely been hit and seriously injured. They did not stop or slow down, I do not think they realised they just had a near-miss.
I was stunned, we both were. I couldn't believe what had just happened. I remember distinctly, how quiet the street was, right after that happened. I thought I had imagined it. We continued walking home after this. It was only after I got back to my accomodation, that it fully dawned on me what had happened. I could have very well ended up in the hospital because of that. But I didn't, just because I did not hear what my friend said.
The Second Incident
This happened, whilst I was living in Lagos a couple of years ago. I was at home, in my room, catching up on TV shows with the lights switched off (this was in the evening, so the room was fully dark) What I did not realise was that I left the sink tap running and somehow the water was spilling onto the floor in the bathroom, which then started to spill into my room.
Now for context, one of the things I get really frustrated about, is that I sometimes forget to turn the tap off and do not realise when I have left the tap running. People with full hearing will hear the running water and turn it off. I cannot hear running water (without my hearing aids at least) and therefore will not know that I have left it on, If i do not check.
I am a bit paranoid about leaving the tap running as this has happened several times where I have left it on for hours. The below GIF is literally me whenever this happens.
This is also the reason why I am a bit fussy about the type of taps I have in any home I live in, but I digress. So, I had left the tap running, and water was spilling into my bedroom floor where there were electrical plugs, appliances and extensions on the floor. (which I wasn't aware of, because the lights were off)
Then a call from my friend, (let's call her Z) came in, whilst I was in bed watching TV shows. I couldn't hear what she was saying on the phone, So I sat up to pause what I was watching, to concentrate on what she was saying and hear her properly.I then switched on the light and put my feet on the floor. There was water. Everywhere.
I told her I'd call her back, I ran to the bathroom, turned off the running tap then came back into the room to assess the damage. I saw that my room was basically flooded and was mere centimeters away from the main extension plug. If the water had gotten in that extension plug (there was power supply) and I had put my feet in that water. I am not sure I would be writing this blog entry today.
Thankfully these two incidents did not result in me being taken into the hospital or loss of life. Simply because I did not hear what was being said to me at the time.
I am incredibly grateful for that.
I am incredibly grateful that despite the challenges I have faced with my hearing-loss, these two incidents remind me that on the flip side of things, that it has been instrumental in saving my life or at very least from the hospital.