A Chat with Rosie

I recently met the lovely Rosie via my social media platform, we met for an extremely cold walk and talked about all manner of things, It was so lovely to meet her and we quickly discovered we had a great many more things in common then just our Hearing loss.

Rosie very kindly agreed to answer a few questions on how life has been during the pandemic for her with hearing loss.

Tell me a bit more about yourself ? what you do for a living etc…

I’m a childminder and Parent Support Coach. I am also a Mum of two.

So I have a childcare setting in my home, and I do this three days a week. I also run bespoke courses for parents as well as webinars and baby massage classes.

Basically a whole range of things.

My focus is ultimately on the children but as my career and life has progressed, I have realised wholeheartedly that getting the ‘job’ of being a parent is complex. We can’t just give advice to parents, it has to be tailored and allowances have to be given to people’s individual circumstances. There is no one size fits all approach.

What Hearing loss do you have, How long have you had your hearing loss ?

I’ve been told it is ‘moderate to severe’. That’s all I know really! I’ve been given some graphs which I don’t really understand if I’m honest!

I think I’ve had hearing loss all of my life, but I only accepted it and did anything about it 4 years ago. My daughter was having hearing tests and I was sat thinking ‘when are they going to start?’!!!

That prompted me to go to a walk in at Boots to have a test.

How did the wearing of masks affect you in the start of this pandemic ?

At first the main issue I had was getting in the car and putting my glasses on with my hearing aids and then as I got out of the car I went to put my mask on and thought – there’s no more space behind my ears for all this stuff!!!! My default was to make a joke about it but actually now I have to make the decision to either wear a mask and not wear my glasses and hearing aids or go without the mask.

I wore the mask, mainly out of fear of what people would think of me. It did mean then I’d get anxiety in the shops and would say very loudly that I normally wear hearing aids and so sorry if I can’t understand what you’re saying.

I was always met with sympathy and actually the people in the shops said they found it tough too, even with no hearing loss.

How has seeing the lip reading friendly posters made you feel ?

I went to get some coffees and hot chocolates from Hatch in St Albans and saw a poster there. It just meant I didn’t have to have that worry walking in or awkwardness in conversing. Places like coffee shops are especially hard because the machines are noisy so being able to ask them to lower their masks knowing they wouldn’t mind made my experience SO much easier! It means I can hear more and lip read. I thanked them for putting the poster up!

A small gesture from them made a massive difference to me and means I’ll go back there rather than another place in future.

Would you like to see more businesses on board ? If so who/which ?

That would be great. Like I said, noisier establishments in particular are trickier anyway but when the staff are wearing a mask, I might as well be talking to them through a wall. Normally I lip read, and read body language and tune in to tone and work things out that way but the masks put a stop to all of that.

Thank you so much Rosie for sharing your experience with us .x