Coping with a profound hearing loss

I cant even begin to tell you how frustrating it is living in the "hearing world" with a profound hearing loss. Up until recently, my loss was only rated as "moderate", and that's essentially what I grew up with - I think I coped pretty darn well, for someone who can speak without noticeable speech impediments, and is happily 11 years into their chosen career!<br /><br />Effective around 6-9 months ago, my loss shifted near the profound category, and then shifted clear into "profound" around January of this year. While I thought I "understood" a hearing loss then, boy...let me tell you...that's nothing compared to where I stand today. Now I fully understand why some folks would prefer to be blind than deaf, and while I'd still rather hike in silence than impale myself with a blind-cane as I stumble off a steep trail, living in the "deaf" category is no cake walk.<br /><br />As with most folks, their livelihood depends on regular verbal communications. Before, this required some extra communication effort on my part that was tiring but manageable, but the now-greater effort exhausts me roughly half-way through the day; I just want to go home and shutdown in silence for a while, thank god for mass transit; at least I can turn it all off on my trip home.<br /><br />Most verbal communications now require the person speaking to me to repeat themselves  at least once; very rarely do I catch what was said the first time around anymore. This has got to be frustrating for some folks, though imagine being on my end! Argh! Take for example, the company party yesterday, it was only about 15 of us, and we're not that noisy, though I could barely understand what anyone said; usually just nodding my head and pretending. You can just see the frustration and irritation on most folks faces, and how often can you interrupt a group discussion before you get shut out...experience has taught me that most folks will give up and avoid talking to you; something I'm seeing more and more of lately.<br /><br />Sigh... I think I've got a lot to write about. Hearing loss in particular, and how my recent onset of "recruitment" coupled with the "profound" shift is really doing a number on communications. While I'm quite frustrated with my communication issues, I'm still happy about many things - so at least I've got a few other things going for me <img src="http://gregg.berkholtz.net/blog/templates/default/img/emoticons/smile.png" alt=":-)" style="display: inline; vertical-align: bottom;" class="emoticon" /><br /><br />Lunch is over, so maybe tomorrow...