Blog highlight: Gael Hannan

Blog highlight: Gael Hannan

Gael Hannan is a hearing impaired woman that shares her stories of living well with hearing loss on her blog at We’ve highlighted her blog in previous posts, but a recent article described a time when her hearing aids were being serviced, and how isolated she felt without her aids. Here is the original article, and below is her poem describing that day.


Sitting Here, Deaf

I’m sitting here, quietly and deaf

Waiting for my hearing aids to come back.

They are being examined, possibly repaired

By technicians who may not know

They have my life in their hands.

This may be the twentieth set

They’ve worked on today

Under their magnifiers and lights,

Looking for what’s wrong and

What might be fixed.

But really, do they know

They’re poking at my insides,

Dissecting organs of communication

That connect me to the world?

I’m waiting here, nervous and deaf

In a temporary vacuum, void of sound

I clear my throat, but cannot hear it.

I’m worried –

Is there something seriously wrong

And if it can be fixed,

Things will sound so different and loud

That I’ll startle at car horns

And cringe at the cat’s howl.

I’m pacing, anxious and deaf

Half cursing my dependency

On these two bits of digital technology.

I feel as if I’m separated from my children

Unable to focus on anything but them,

Worrying and wondering how the technicians are doing…

Perhaps joking with colleagues?

But hopefully focused and intent, because

Surely they’ve been trained and sensitized

To know that what they’re working with

Goes beyond a fusion of wires and plastic and chips –

These are creations of human genius

An eloquent expression of our ability to make

Something from nothing – to create communication out of silence.

Do they know that?

I hope so but I won’t know so

Until she comes back with my ear-babies and says,

“Here, try them now.”

I’ll put them in and start the ritual

That tells me how they’re working.

I clear my throat – once for sound, twice for assurance –

My voice will rise and fall, whisper and boom –

As I test myself with a fragment of nursery rhyme.

Mary had a little lamb,

              Lamb, lamb, LITTLE LAMB!

                  Mary, mary, MARY, mary…

Then I’ll know that I can hear, and maybe  hear well…

But whatever happens, whatever the verdict,

I hope she brings them back soon

To where I’m sitting and waiting –

Deaf, quiet and anxious.

–      Gael Hannan 2014