Life’s Frustrations…

August 7, 2013

LPBWI am a big fan of the TV show “Little People, Big World” about the Roloff family. The mother and father and one of the four children are dwarfs. I think I relate to them because I too face a daily handicap. I have watched the show since its origination I don’t know how many years ago.

What brings this to mind is the latest episode of the family where they went on vacation in Costa Rica. During their trip Matt, the husband who has some pretty severe physical limitation, struggled to keep up with the family but often times was unable to do so.  His frustration came to a head during a dinner that he and his wife, Amy, had during the trip. They have been struggling with their marriage of twenty-six years and this came to a peak during the episode.

I almost came to tears during their discussion as I could so relate to what Matt was saying. When our limitations get in the way of fully participating in life it becomes a very frustrating thing. My wife, bless her soul, almost always goes out of her way to make sure that I am included in group and family events and discussions. But there are times that I feel very isolated in life despite her attempts. I blame her for not being there for me when I subconsciously know that she has her needs too during these events. She has a life of her own.  Sometimes I become so selfish that I forget this.

I’m sure that all couples struggled at some times, and probably often times, during their marriages including my wife and me. I hope Amy and Matt are able to work things out. I have come to depend so much on my wife for so many things in the hearing world. She makes all my phone calls, appointments, and many other things.  I just don’t fully appreciate all she does for me.

Like Matt I get frustrated with life when things don’t go my way.  When I come across that waiter who asks my wife what I want to eat instead of asking me.  When I get sales clerks who walk away after they discover I am deaf. When my wife does her own thing instead of helping me. I know frustration is part of life and life is not always fair but that doesn’t always make the pain go away…


5 responses to Life’s Frustrations…


    Very powerful words.
    Thank you for putting it out there to see.



    Despite my husband’s hearing aids he has difficulty not only hearing people speak but distinguishing the actual words. The audiologist gave us a list of 100 short words and my husband was off the mark 40 – 50% of the time. After a big communication gap with the orthopedic surgeon, I go along to most appointments now. The last physician totally focused on me, as if I were the patient. Food servers do start looking to me, rather than him, because I will correct his order when I realize he hasn’t heard the choices accurately. We talk about it but he says it doesn’t bother him. It would bother me immensely.

    On Bob’s blog recently I asked about the best way to learn American Sign Language. I think that might be a good, useful goal for us, although I am more enthusiastic than he is — lol. Is there a good book or method you would recommend?



      Thanks for the kind words Janette.

      Denise, it sounds like you guys are where we began about 25 years ago in learning to cope with hearing loss. Your husband says it doesn’t bother him but I think he is probably just putting on his brave face. Some of this daily stuff just grinds you down a little at a time. I am a person who loves to think that I am in control of things. Having to depend on my wife where I used to be able to do it myself hurts. I love her dearly but sometimes I wish I could do it without her.

      On signing, check out the local college for possible courses. But be aware of the differences between American Sign Language (ASL) and Signed English. ASL is much more concept based and has little sentence structure. My wife and I, and most other late-deafened folks prefer to sign in English word order. In fact ASL, even though it uses many of the same signs is still very foreign to me. We took classes for a couple of years in Signed English and then pretty much depended on books to learn more. There are a couple of good ones: “The Joy of Signing” by Lottie L. Riedehof is a good although it is pretty old and doesn’t have many of the more recent words. The other is “Signing Illustrated” by Mikey Flodin.



    Thanks for the info on the difference between ASL and Signed English, RJ. I had just assumed that it was two names for the same thing. The closest community college offers ASL. I’ll look for the books you suggested.

    Sometimes our miscommunication is funny. Sometimes it is highly annoying and I can see where the miscommunication could cause us some serious problems down the line.



      You can learn to communicate with each other just fine by only using books. But you will find that, like studying only books on French an then going to France, if you go into a group of deaf you will have a hard time. But, given that my wife and I have not been in that situation for more than a dozen years or so, that proves to be not so much an issue.

      Good luck to you two. I hope your hubby gets on board. It does make life easier 98% of the time. And you guys need to learn to sign so you can have some really good arguments down the road 🙂