My name is Frieda and I am hearing impaired. Here, you will find stories of my life growing up and what it is like for me to be a wife, a mom of two boys, and hearing impaired.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I'm Not Stupid

I love to read the comics and love Real Life Adventures; however, this particular comic struck a nerve.

Several years ago, I ran up some outside stairs, missed one stair and my knee landed on cement.  I had some swelling, no bruising, but had difficulty walking.

After a short trip to a local clinic, the doctor could not find anything on my x-ray and referred me to an orthopedic specialist, hoping he could find a hidden fracture.

I brought my husband with me, and I'm glad I did.

All three of us were sitting in the exam room and the doctor began talking while looking at my file and x-rays.  I was having trouble understanding what he was saying because he was not looking at me.  I glanced at my husband, who was listening intently.

After a few moments, I finally spoke up and said, "I'm sorry.  I'm hearing impaired and I'm having trouble understanding you.  Can you look at me so I can lip-read you?"

Oh, I'm sorry.  I thought you were playing stupid.

Everything he said after that faded away.  I was shocked.  I looked at my husband and shot him a glance.  He was still looking at the doctor and listening to what was being said.

Did I really just hear him say that?  I'm pretty sure he said that.  What else could he have said?  Was he being sarcastic?  I don't know....

I was still reeling, replaying the conversation in my head while we headed out the door to the receptionist's desk and made an appointment.

As soon as we got inside the car, I asked my husband, "Did he really say, 'I thought you were playing stupid?"

My husband's shoulders dropped and he looked down at his lap.  "I was really hoping you didn't hear that," he said regretfully.

Well, I don't want to see him again.  Why would I want to see a doctor like that?

My husband quickly got out of the car and said he'd be right back.  Five minutes later, he came back, saying that he had cancelled the appointment .... and ...

he told the doctor why.

To his face.    *gasp*

What did you say?

I told him something along the lines that he was rude, unprofessional, and never should treat anyone, even if they didn't have a hearing loss, like that.

What did the doctor say?

Oh, that he was just joking around; he has cousins with hearing loss....etc, etc.  I told him that it didn't matter and that we weren't coming back.

My husband, my hero.


  1. Your husband is awesome, Frieda.
    I'm so sorry you experienced that!

  2. Fabulous! We'd all do better to consider more what our words mean to other people. It's how it makes them feel from their perspective, not whether we "mean it" a certain way.