I'd be the first to admit that I take my health for granted. And I guess the things I pay least attention to are my five senses. I don't even have to wear glasses for reading, which is weird because my two children have terrible eye sight and wear glasses/contact lens all the time.
Taking my hearing for granted
But I have become very aware of my hearing over the last few days. I have an ear infection that shows no signs of abating despite two different types of antibiotics. This has left me with severe tinnitus and deafness. It has also left me with a much greater awareness of the problems that deaf or partially-hearing people must suffer.
Feeling sorry for myself
I am finding it difficult to use the telephone and cannot use headphones to communicate on Skype, Elluminate and Second Life. I cannot hear unless people talk loudly and face me when they talk. I cannot bear noise from more than one source, and I cannot cope with noisy crowds. But the thing that perturbs me most is the impatience people show me when they have to repeat what they say, and the way people make fun of me. It's as if they think I have suddenly become stupid or mentally-deficient, and treat me accordingly.
Of course, I'm lucky. My hearing will eventually return once I get better. But deaf and partially-hearing people have to live with this all the time. This illness has certainly made me think very carefully how I communicate with deaf people. And it's made me really appreciate a gift that I cannot see, but I rely on so much.
Has there ever been a situation that has happened to you which has changed your attitude to your health? What do you really take for granted?
Image: 'Transmission' CarbonNYC