If only…

“Is it me or are bells ringing?”

“I’m afraid it’s you, Mrs Green.” The consultant was sympathetic but firm. “The damage to your auditory nerve is irreparable, which means the buzzing and hissing in your ears is permanent.”

“There must be something you can do!”

The best I can do is refer you to a counsellor who will help you to cope.”

Emma was distraught. If only she had worn ear-plugs to go to concerts or nightclubs. If only she’d been more worried then about hearing loss than looking cool. Now at 31 she was too old to be cool…but not too young to go deaf it seemed.

This post is part of the 100 Word Challenge for Grown-Ups at Julia’s Place.

About 7 million people in the UK have experienced tinnitus at some time in their life. For about ½ million of them it is severe enough to affect the quality of life. To get an idea what tinnitus sounds like, you can listen to this,  or this.

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19 Responses to If only…

  1. PollyBurns2 says:

    Ha, ha! I’m sure there are many, many people around the world wishing the same thing! Including my husband. We never think of the future when we’re young, do we. Great piece.

  2. Colin Graham says:

    It’s a good job I’m not a hypochondriac, Sally-Jayne! Had a student in Japan with tinnitus. He was 24 and it lasted 3 months… can sympathize with Emma here.

  3. A cautionary tale, SJ. Good work!

  4. ventahl says:

    Think there’s an editorial in there somewhere 🙂 Think you probably know kids who are doing this to themselves and wont listen to wisdom. What do we know? Last line was v acerbic. Love it! I think a lot of things that bug you in later life are, ironically, as a result of what you did when you were younger :/ (ps I think I’d make a crap consultant, unsympathetic and pitiless!)

  5. Iistened to some of those youtube clips – it’d drive you mad. A good lesson here for all young concert goers.

  6. gsussex says:

    That’s a clever post S-J! . . . It conveys a number of messages very subtly. Personal awareness or someone close who you know I wonder? For those who suffer from it on-going it’s tough. I have a friend who had a horse riding accident many years ago and lives with tinnitus as a result.

    • sjbwriting says:

      Thankfully don’t suffer from it myself, and hopefully I never will. I rarely go to concerts, but when I do I always take ear-plugs coz I can’t stand loud noises. Come to think of it I take ear-plus when I go to the cinema too. I must just be getting old!

      I don’t have any close friends or family with it, but quite aware of hearing issues because I’m learning BSL so mixing with a few deaf/hearing-impaired people.

  7. Jim says:

    Ooh, painful! That’ll teach her for playing her music too loudly! Great bit of writing. 🙂

  8. Him Up North says:

    Wow, what a great take on the prompt. Right now I’m listening to music at a volume I suspect isn’t good for me through headphones. Maybe I’ll just turn it down a tad…

  9. Oh, I’ve had it since I was a little girl thinking it was some sort of alien frequency I was picking up.

    This is a short but scary vignette for anyone who loves music, or is just grateful to hear.

  10. Oo, that’s a great take on the prompt. Made me smile as my Mum always told me (and still does) to pack my ears with cotton wool before going to concerts. Maybe she has a point…

    • sjbwriting says:

      I’m a good girl – I ALWAYS wear ear-plugs. But that’s probably because if I don’t I sit there with my fingers in my ears and my coat over my head trying to block out the noise!

  11. Susan Mann says:

    Very clever and well written. A different and humorous take on the prompt x

  12. Janece says:

    The thing I love about this story, is that the main character is a woman. A Rock ‘n Roll woman who likes to listen to her music LOUD! 🙂

    I can relate! LOL

    Great job. Thanks for visiting 🙂

    • sjbwriting says:

      LOL. That was me when I was 19-20. Used to go to rock clubs and headbang!!! I can’t stand loud music (or loud anything) these days. The older I get the more I hate it…think I must be the only person in the world whose ears get more sensitive with age.

  13. MrsTeepot says:

    Fantastic and very strong point, something that needs talking about

  14. Love it! I can relate to the ‘too old to – too young to’ line – I need a hip replacement and my consultant won’t do it til I’m 50!!!! If I was ounger than 40 – he would (derr). “You’ll be too active and wear it out to soon” he said I swear I do NOT look old enough to have a hip replacement ha ha 😮

    Anyway, I liked this, there is irony in it and it’s a great take on the prompt. I doubt your character will frow old gracefully – I envisage black, thigh lengthed boots in rebelion, followed by purple hats in her latter years!

    Mine (better late than never) is at http://wp.me/p1cFoK-NY

  15. If only I’d read this in my teens..not that I’d have listened to the advice contained in this piece! I remember still hearing the music beat on the journey home from the gig/disco. Now I’d leave anywhere where the music rattled my brain 🙂 Enjoyed this

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