In the hearing test room, you close your eyes once the headphones go on. You quiet your breathing, you try to not even breathe. You strain to listen, striving to be present for each beep. You raise your hand as the sounds come, sometimes confidently and sometimes waveringly, as if your hand would say, "I *think* I heard that beep, but I'm not positive."
The beeps start in your good ear, and you breeze through. Then onto your bad ear, and the stress seeps soundlessly in. You know you're missing some of the beeps, but you try your hardest not to... willing yourself to hear what you can't hear.
Vulnerability meets you in the hearing test room. It's a place where the depth of your weakness is plumbed. A place where your shortcoming is measured, known, revealed.
You emerge at the end with a paper to show-and-tell the doctor, a series of falling dots and lines in bright colours. You bring it, like an offering, into the examination room.
The hearing test: part of my life. I've done it dozens of times in the past year and a half, and I know just what to expect. Before I enter the room I anticipate the procedure and the emotions it will bring: the strained effort, the subtle sense of defeat, the quiet resignation at the end. I had an audiogram this week before my surgery, and the whole cycle ran itself through.Read more