Miscey Ann was born and raised in Wisconsin. While she did not have to most mundane experiences growing up, there were many things she had to overcome and grow from, hearing was not one of those issues. At least, not from birth. It was only in her 25th year of life that she was even diagnosed with severe hearing loss.
Cause of Her Hearing Loss
The doctors tell her it is from a combination of genetic factors, and her “concert going lifestyle.” It started gradually. The mask mandates due to the covid pandemic is what really made her aware of how bad her hearing loss was. While she has been lip reading for as long as she can remember, she did not realize how much she depended on it until she could not see people’s mouths as they tried to communicate with her. An issue that has been plaguing the deaf and hard of hearing community ever since the pandemic began.
Miscey has been told that her hearing will continue to deteriorate. It could take anywhere from five to ten years, but she will eventually become completely deaf. Due to this, she is very motivated to learn sign. Her primary modes of communication currently are speech and lip reading.
Difficulties in communication, and the anxieties that go along with that, have made jobs and creating bonds difficult at times. Hearing loss is a hidden issues, one can not be looked at and have it be known that they struggle to audibly understand. And, people’s reactions to not being understood easily and quickly, are not always pleasant or understanding. Having a diagnosis has helped Miscey to realize that she is not alone in these experiences, though.
Finding Deaf Culture
While she only just became aware of deaf culture, as she reached out to find those having similar experiences as herself, she has high hopes of learning from others just like her. Miscey was having issues with intense anxiety, as she felt a loss of control and confusion with not being able to understand people. It is a very disorienting situation, only amplified by mask wearing.
Now that she has found it, she hopes to find many more people to connect with and grow within the deaf community. She is glad that she is not alone, and there are resources compiled out there for her, and all others like her. Now she can move forward in her life, knowing there are protections and things she can do to make her life a little easier.