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Topic: So, my new girlfriend's got profound hearing loss< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2012, 11:01 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My new girlfriend's got profound hearing loss - a Cochlear Implant on one side and a hearing aid on the other. Virtually deaf without aid.

I want to introduce her to the world of backpacking.

She's a runner, so no slouch. 5'4", 120, 49.

I'm really looking for advice from those who either have profound hearing loss, are truly deaf, or from those who have those near and dear dealing with the same who backpack.

I have a sure enough grip on planning, but am looking for solutions to those possible unknowns.

BTW, I'm of normal hearing.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2012, 11:09 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've often thought this could be a mixed blessing, especially around a bunch of screaming kids....

I'd say she can probably tell you all you need to know, but for starters, try to face here when talking....a lot of hearing-impaired folks rely at least partially on lip-reading.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2012, 11:18 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

In my youth, my buddy was legally blind and deaf. He had some vision during the day which is about the only thing that helped him. He was my hiking partner in the boy scouts. The biggest issues we had were communication when he wasn't facing me so I tended to hike in front so I could always turn around and talk to him vs. him keep on walking while I yelled and tried to catch up to him.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2012, 11:18 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well, I know my FiL, who has pretty awful hearing, even with his hearing aids, continues to hike with no issues.  One thing I'm aware of is that he can't hear things like rattlesnakes.  Probably not so good at critters moving in the bushes, either (this is probably good for sleeping).

I'm trying to think about how I use my ears on the trail--mostly for enjoying natural sounds, but she wouldn't be able to hear a whistle, for example, and maybe not a shout.  Very hard to get my FiL's attention if he isn't looking at you.  Staying together might be more important than usual.

If she runs, streets or trails, she's probably aware of compensations she needs.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2012, 11:24 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I don't think it's much of an issue.  A couple guys I hike with have pretty significant hearing impairment.  Getting their attention from behind is the only challenge I've had, but that can happen with anybody.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2012, 11:30 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(RebeccaD @ Oct. 08 2012, 9:18 am)
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If she runs, streets or trails, she's probably aware of compensations she needs.

This.  
I have a cousin who lost her hearing when she was 5 due to a childhood illness.  She backpacks, hikes, runs, paddles, travels extensively, and does anything else she wants...often by herself.  She didn't grow up doing any of these things; she learned them all as a young adult.  A few years ago, she spent six weeks exploring and backpacking Peru.  She ended up meeting some people who she decided to travel with the last few weeks, but the first half of the trip she traveled and hiked alone.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2012, 11:31 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sign language could be helpful at times and learning would be a bonding experience.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2012, 11:34 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Lamebeaver @ Oct. 08 2012, 11:09 am)
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I've often thought this could be a mixed blessing, especially around a bunch of screaming kids....

I'd say she can probably tell you all you need to know, but for starters, try to face here when talking....a lot of hearing-impaired folks rely at least partially on lip-reading.

As far as her hearing goes, she can adjust it to the situation. Yeah, I can see that as a blessing. But, of course, there are situations where hearing someone say something is important. I use a key chain laser to get her attention when she can't hear me.

We've been together for six weeks, and we've mostly gotten over the communication part. That's going fine. She's learning how I speak and to read my lips. She'd also be next to me in a heartbeat if I had to stand knee-deep in cow poop somewhere. Yeah, I lucked out.

No, more of it's about the backpacking part. I don't for a second want to think I forgot something, or dismissed something as unimportant.

And as much as I appreciate everyone's thoughts, I really am looking for experience, here.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2012, 12:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Like Rebecca mentioined, hearing impaired people can't hear rattlers and similar.  It is important to figure out how to allert her to such dangers.  Ask her how she wants you to get her attention.  I say this because my mother was deaf and she did not like certain ways of getting her attention.  So simply ask her.  Also, maybe she isn't always interested in knowing about all the sounds she is missing or that she wishes to discover the natural world herself on her own terms.

I am hearing impared myself, just not as bad as my mother or grandmother.  Some people I can hear and understand easily and some it is hopeless to get anything meaningfull.  Learn how to speak so that she understands.  It isn't always speaking slow and distinct but the tone used.\, at least with me.  Anyway, showing her that you are interested in her being able to hear and understand you could be key to her putting in the effort to communicate to you how you can help her hear you.  But NEVER dismiss any request to repeat yourself or do something differently.  I have learned the art of smiling, shaking my head and saying "uh huh" when I have no idea what the other person is saying.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2012, 1:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(bigsilk @ Oct. 08 2012, 9:34 am)
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No, more of it's about the backpacking part. I don't for a second want to think I forgot something, or dismissed something as unimportant.

She won't be waking you up in the middle of the night asking "What was that?"

Big plus  :cool:
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2012, 2:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Most hearing impaired lead a balanced life, the only difference is how they cope with communications issues.  I would suggest a couple things as I teach and work with high school students that have hearing issues of all types.  First, BE Patient!!!   Second…  I would suggest that you communicate with her to find out how she wants you to do things.  Most hearing impaired do not learn sign language anymore.   Most learn to read lips.  It may be necessary to come up with some basic signals that both can use on the trail, in camp or for basic communications.  Get her input… (That shows that you really care and are willing to work with her.)  Second... Most hearing impaired have audiologists and they can help you understand all that is involved with coping with her disability and they may be able to suggest some accommodations that can help.  There is no reason she cannot hike or do other activities just like you and I.  Fourth…  If she uses equipment that has batteries, make sure you bring an extra set.  Just my 2 cents...
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2012, 2:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

She'll manage just fine.

I hike with nogranola.   He's usually selectively deaf by choice, but he is really TRULY deaf in the range of rattlesnake rattles.

I'll second being extra alert for snakes.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2012, 4:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

my mother works as an interpreter for hearing impaired kids.  I have a little bit of experience, as she is big on educating folks about interacting with hearing impaired people.

1. ask her if she needs special compensation in any situations
2. make sure you have clear signals for dangers like snakes, bears, and other things you might hear but she cannot.
3.  I would bet there's not much she needs to do, but you need to adapt to her.  sounds like you're on the right track with the laser pointer, but I'd rather use a photon light instead, just so you don't have to worry about accidentally shining a laser into her eyes or anything.  plus, the photon light would be a little easier on batteries.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2012, 9:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

One thing I might add about my situation.  I can not tell from what direction sounds are coming from.  Not sure if this is a problem with your girlfriend.  Anyway, when I was in the Grand Canyon with dd, we came upon a rattler or two underneath some over hanging rock formations on the trail.  The problem was there were several rock formations  and I could not tell which one or ones they were under.  I was frozen with indecision about how to get around them.  

There are other situations similar to this which happen all the time out on the trail.  I either can't hear them or if I do I just don't know where the sounds are coming from.

Rumi


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2012, 9:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

From my perspective as one who has a hearing impairment, we rely on our vision more than those with normal hearing. I can't hear a rattlesnake but I can usually see the  movement of their tail before others. If you will notice, most hearing impaired people are constantly looking about, especially in unfamiliar surroundings.

Most people have an irritating habit of putting their hands in front of their mouths when talking. DON'T!

And for the love of all that's holy, don't wake her up in the middle of the night and ask "Did you hear that noise? What do you think it is?"

And people wonder why I solo.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 09 2012, 12:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

The loss of directional hearing is the worst part I've encountered. Flat out stinks not being able to pinpoint where a noise is coming from. In that regard, I'm completely dependant on my husband.  I walk behind him, so there usually isn't a problem with making contact if we need to. Just make sure you turn around completely if you need to say something. Bugs me to no end when he says something to me over his shoulder. Grrrr!  My hearing is way better in my right ear than in my left ear, so when we walk beside each other he always walks on my right side. If she can hear out of one side better than the other, always try to stay on that side of her.

It just takes time to learn how to adjust. After 15 years together, DH still forgets that I'm completely deaf in my left ear. It's not like I'm wearing a scarlet "D" on my shirt, it's sometimes just up to me to remind him.


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