Today I went to the hospital, do not panic, it’s nothing serious. I’m going to see someone like Mete, the director of my “Deaf Club”, as we call it, a place where our deaf community can meet to talk, help and organize activities … ask me to meet. His name is Lars, 15 years old. He has just lost hearing after a scooter accident. Being a little confused and worried about his future, this family wanted him to meet someone who had more or less the same story to reassure him.
I hate hospitals and especially this one, I would have preferred that it goes to its release but, parents of Lars were very worried. Not being able to refuse anything to Mete, who supported me so much at the beginning of my deafness, I asked Grand Ma (where I spend the weekend) if she could accompany me there after the school.
When I arrived at the door of the hospital room, Lars’s dad and mom jumped on us and naturally asked me a lot of questions. Being already very stressed to find myself in the same hospital where I had been a few years ago, I did not want to, in addition absorb their stress. So I offered them to keep their question for after my interview with their son. I asked Grand Ma to stay with them and then took a deep breath before entering the room.
A blond boy, with an arm in plaster and a leg in a kind of resin, was playing with his Switch. Without looking up, I could read on his lips that he was asking me out. From the features of his face I realized that he had shouted this sentence as if it were an imperial order, he was furious.
I pretended I did not understand and approached the bed. He was going to shout another sentence of the style: “Are you deaf, I asked you to go out! But as he raised his head, he felt reticent, I felt surprise and perhaps a little mistrust on his part.
I sat next to him, a notepad in my hand that I used to speak with him. I explained to him that just like him I was deaf and that I had lost my hearing in similar circumstances. He bombarded me with questions about everything, how I learned sign language, whether it was easy to read on the lips, if it helped to cheat in class …
I answered him no for the last one, and for the rest, that it required work, but that it charmed the girls. He started to laugh.
So I advised him books to learn faster and I gave him the address of our “Deaf Club” where he would find excellent teachers.
It’s been over an hour since we spoke when a nurse came to tell us that the visiting hours were over.
Leaving the room, I was drowned under the thanks of the mother, for spending so much time with Lars. The dad told us to invite us to the restaurant. Instead I invited them to come to the Deaf Club (that evening a small party was organized with potatoes cooked in the embers with various sauces and lots of different salads.)
Like that, I was able to introduce them to other members, hearing or not, to show them that in every step they will have to go through with their son, they will not be alone, and that the deaf community will always be there to support them. I felt them much more reassured than we met earlier in the evening.
When I got home, Grand Ma hugged me tightly. Feeling her chest vibrate, I realized that she had said something but not seeing his lips I did not understand what. Once I was able to pull myself out of her embrace, she told me that she was very proud of what I had done today. Coming from her, it moved me to tears.
Beyond all this, if you are a close relative of newly deaf people or you are newly deaf, or even if you are deaf for a long time do not hesitate to contact the deaf community of your city. For anything, we are all there to support each other, whether to learn sign language, read on the lips, find activities, find work … We will always be happy to help you.