Thursday, August 2, 2007

Growing Up Deaf - Part 1

One of the things about growing up deaf is that you learn to come up with little coping mechanisms to deal with various things as you grow up. You still use them even in adulthood up til your passing. In my case, I was born hearing, then it started going downhill when I was age 5. I learned to talk before then.

Over time, I never quite found out the cause of my hearing loss. Mom told me it was nerve deafness, also known as sensori-neural. Over time, I heard my generation in the early 60s had an epidemic of German measles/rubella.

Fast forward to around summer 2006 when I was preparing to attend classes at George Mason University. I had to get together my health records, but for some reason, seems some may have gotten lost and mom couldn't find them, though she sent me what she had. I talked with a couple people at the local health department who mentioned that I could get my blood titers checked for immunity to certain diseases, namely mumps and rubella.

As it turns out, I have immunity to the mumps, which is the reason why I lost my hearing. Interestingly enough, in my files, I have a letter from a doctor who thought the mumps caused my hearing loss. However, what of the rubella part? It seems I never had an MMR (Measles Mumps Rubella) immunization when I was younger. I had to go to the health department for just that. I beat the deadline by a few days to get in all my immunization info GMU's Student Health Services office. GMU said it was mandatory that I go through Orientation, which gave me all the info I needed for post-admissions requirements and class registration.

What of the time of my birth? I had to ask my birthmom about that. Adoptive mom was always supportive of me finding my birthmom. More on that later.

Has anyone had their blood titers drawn and checked for any kind of immunity? Was the information for personal use or something else?


Lantana said...

Hey your post is extremely interesting! I plan on writing a post in my blog "Lantana's Latitude" on going deaf from measles later on after La Ronda is finished with her's.

I had mumps later AFTER I was already deaf, I was 14 years old and thought I was going to die! Everyone is fortunate now to have immunizations available. There were none when I was growing up!


BEG said...

I'm a rubella baby, never needed mumps vaccinations, and have always been exempt from that because I do have permanent immunity from that. Everything else, yeah.

I always thought that in utero exposure to rubella (which is what I had) would result in deafness at birth, but from what I'm finding out now, there are cases where children are born hearing, and lose it later (within five years or so).

ASL Risen said...

Finally I am down to start reading on your part 1 with my cup of coffee!

Oh I was born Deaf from German Measles in case if you want to know.

Now I am going to read your part 2.