Our three way phone call the other evening was a good idea. It was like a visit - almost. However, as usual - I always come away from three way calls and multi person conversations feeling like I missed something. This is the reason I usually depend so heavily on the written word.
Without fail, every time we leave from a visit with friends I always ask CA for a brief summary of the visit. It never fails that I missed something essential. I have all this nice equipment hanging on my head but all that technology does not re-create normal speech. It creates a facsimile - not the same but similar. I do not hear what every body else hears. That's why music no longer works for me.
This is also why it is so important to face me when talking to me. The visual queues really make a huge difference. The environment is also important. Noisy places are sometimes impossible for me. I have lost the ability to filter out unwanted sound and focus on what someone is saying as most normally hearing people can do. That's a disability. I don't like that term, but it wasn't until I accepted the fact that I was indeed disabled that I felt truly empowered to speak up and ask for what I need to enable me to hear and understand.
Of course, it doesn't always work. At times all the best intentions just don't get it done and I must retreat and re-group. In difficult situations the effort to understand and participate is tiring and frustrating. Escape is sometimes the only healthy thing to do.
Meanwhile, I, and millions of other Americans hobble along on our aural crutches: hearing aids, cochlear implants, other assistive listening devices. On level ground I can get along at a fairly good clip. On irregular terrain, however, I might need a little help from my friends.