See you, hear you – Weekend Assignment meets DELURKER DAY! (Updated)

It seems somehow appropriate to be posting my response to Karen‘s latest Weekend Assignment on Delurker Day. Her question concerns seeing and hearing, and since I especially want to see and hear from y’all today, it’s perfect timing!

****UPDATE: There’s a new widget in my sidebar for donations to the Red Cross Haitian-earthquake relief effort. Inspired by some other bloggers, notably Nenette at Life Candy, I will donate $1 per comment on this post to Haitian relief – I hope that encourages even more delurking today! (And if you’d like to make a donation of your own, feel free to go through that widget.)****

Weekend Assignment #301: Which are you more satisfied with, your eyes or your ears? Why?

Extra Credit: Which would be easier for you, being nearly blind or nearly deaf?

I’ve talked about my eyesight around here before, haven’t I? I can’t imagine that I haven’t, but since I can’t find a link, I’ll go with the short version.

I have been told by several eye doctors that I have the worst uncorrected vision they have ever seen.(no pun intended). (Trust me, there’s an award you don’t want.) I began wearing glasses when I was just three years old. I switched to contacts at 18, but since it’s now established that contact lenses can slow the progress of nearsightedness in kids and adolescents – because the corrective lens is placed directly on the eye – I wonder if I should have changed sooner. Then again, since I also have astigmatism, I had to wait for a lens that could handle that along with the myopia, so I’m not sure starting with contacts earlier was even an option, back in those long-ago 1970s.

In any case, my eyes have reached the point where glasses don’t provide strong enough vision correction; unless I have corrective surgery (which will require lens implantation, since I’m not a LASIK candidate), I must wear contact lenses. However, for the last several years, I’ve needed to top them off with non-prescription reading glasses – thank you, 40th birthday!

Given that sad history, I guess I’d have to say I’m more satisfied with my ears, if only by default. My hearing isn’t too bad (yet!), although static, background noise, bad cell-phone connections, and poor enunciation make it hard to always understand what I hear. (To be honest, sometimes I don’t completely tune in, either, especially if I’m already having trouble understanding because of one of the other factors I mentioned. However, I think that’s a mental thing, not necessarily a hearing thing.) Besides, they’re fairly small and cute, and I’m glad I finally got up the nerve to get them pierced last year (yes, at the advanced age of 44!); I like being able to wear earrings now.

As far as the extra credit goes, I guess that being nearly blind would be “easier” for me, since I’m already used to being visually impaired. And even though I’d really rather keep what vision I  do have, I think I’d prefer losing it to going deaf. After all, I could always switch to audiobooks if I couldn’t read printed ones…

So, if you had to pick just one, which would it be – seeing or hearing? Since today is officially Delurker Day across the blogiverse (many thanks to Chris at Rude Cactus for the heads-up on that!), I would especially like to SEE and HEAR your comments today! If you don’t have any particular opinions on this topic, that’s fine – just say hello, or ask a question, or tell me a random fact about yourself. This is all about the blog readers, so please make your presence known wherever you go in blogiverse today – comment, comment, comment!

Delurker Day
badge by Aimee Greeblemonkey

photos via stock.xchng – NOT my eyes and ear!

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  1. I guess I'd rather see than hear: I already know a lot of sign language. BUT. I love music and singing so that would be very very hard for me. I guess both, but I know that's not an option. Oh well.

  2. It's always questions like this that remind me of how blessed I am to have all of my senses in tact. I have worn glasses most of my life. I tried wearing contacts on 3 separate occasions and was never as satisfied with my vision. I'd like to be without the glasses altogether, but I'd much rather have my sight than the vanity of no glasses. So, I guess my answer would be my sight. But Lord, I'm extremely thankful I have my hearing as well.

  3. I guess I'd pick hearing over sight. I could still listen to books and music is something I love. But yeah, I'd like to keep both, thanks!

  4. I can never answer this question either. It's too hard!! But, I guess if I can keep reading through audio books, AND keep hearing music and laughter, then I need to keep my hearing.

  5. This is a dilemma I've thought about before, and I have to go with keeping the eyes, and throwing out the hearing. I know a little sign language, and I like the idea of still being able to read (without learning braille or only being able to listen to books…) But really, it's not a great choice, is it, when you're used to having both faculties?

  6. I guess I'd have to go with hearing, just because music is such a big part of my life and I'm already half-blind (probably to about the same degree you are).

  7. Interesting question! I'm already hearing-impaired, so…

    BUT, I know a few people who are both blind and deaf (in varying ways), and most have mentioned that they would rather be able to see than hear.

  8. I'd rather be able to see than hear. I'm right up there with you with the background noises, static, tinnitus ear ringing, and trying to deal with mumblers. Years ago when we first started teaching James to read, we turned on the closed captioning for all tv shows. Now I can't watch a tv show without it. I rely on it a great deal, rather than turning the volume way up.

  9. I agree with all of you – it's a lousy choice either way, and one I hope none of us ever has to face in real life. And I see comments from a few folks I don't think have left them before (or haven't for a while) – thanks for delurking!

    Rebecca – That's why I said I'd rather be able to hear; I'd REALLY miss music and singing. Plus, I don't know any sign language :-).

    Jen F – My husband has LASIK a few years ago after wearing glasses since grade school. He's still amazed at being able to see clearly as soon as he opens his eyes in the morning. I can't get it, but have you thought about it at all?

    Chris – That's pretty much why I made the same choice.

    Suey – There would definitely be some sacrifices either way.

    Jackie (FarmLaneBooks) – I've thought about that, especially since my vision is already so bad – I'd always thought I'd rather be able to keep what I have, and give up being able to hear. Now I'm not so sure.

    Wordlily – I agree, it's not good either way. Blame Karen for the fact I even asked the question :-).

    Tracy (Gentle Reader) – I actually don't like being read aloud to, so I don't do audiobooks, but I guess I could get used to it if I had to. Still, as you say, if you're used to both, it would be very difficult either way.

    Average Jane – Sounds familiar, no pun intended :-). If we see each other at BlogHer'10 this summer, we can compare our bad eyesight!

    Valerie – I get that, actually…The thing that most bothers me about losing my eyesight (which is more likely for me than deafness, probably) is not being able to drive and get around on my own. Living where I do, that would REALLY complicate my life!

    Robin – The background noise is a big problem for my husband, but it's becoming one for me too. But if I couldn't hear, I'd truly miss his jokes and the sound of his laugh :-).

  10. So many metaphors are drawn from sight (now I'm thinking of Avatar) that I can't imagine not having it. I've always had almost perfect eyesight, and only in the last year have begun to appreciate what that meant, now that old-age farsightedness is beginning for me.

  11. I'd definitely choose seeing over hearing. While I'd hate to lose any degree of either sense, I'm very visual and place a lot of stock in beauty observed through the eyes (art, fashion, etc.) And more importantly, it would be much harder to navigate the world blind than deaf. Deaf people need fewer aids, they can drive…in general, they need far less rehab to adjust to a sound free world than blind people do for being unable to see.

    I think everyone has thought about this and knows exactly what they would pick. Interesting to see the responses…

  12. Yes! I have thought about Lasik. I might actually be able to look into it seriously this year or next as long as I'm a candidate. It's simply been a matter of money up until now. I wish insurance would cover it!

  13. I think I'd rather see. I'm a very visual person, and if I couldn't see my children's faces anymore, I don't think I'd be able to cope.

    And I'm so glad you're doing the Delurk for Haiti thing too. Thanks for joining in! 🙂

  14. Hearing, definitely, for me. I know some things would be harder, but I"m a musician and a life without sound is unimaginable to me. I also think that not being able to hear is more isolating. Give me a good guide dog and books on tape and I can handle anything.

  15. Back in high school I got my first set of contact lenses. Basically I refused to wear glasses, so this was the only way I was going to be able to see. Turned out, because of my astigmatism, I had to get very expensive contacts at the time. Now I don't care and just wear glasses. My eyes aren't terrible, but I think I'm closing in on the time where I'll need to wear reading glasses too. Yay! 🙂

  16. I guess I would rather lose my hearing; it's much easier to continue to live a relatively normal life. At least you can still read, use close-captioning on t.v. and see your kids.

  17. I'm sure you have mentioned the vision situatio0n before in a WA; that was part of my inspiration, tbh. But the "worst uncorrected vision" factoid is a bit of a revelation. Wow.

    I followed the "powered by Blogger link to snag the Red Cross donation thingy for my sidebar. Thanks! I looked for somethbing like this on the Red Cross site last night but to no avail. Hooray for Google for setting that up!

  18. Jeanne – I haven't seen Avatar, and I've always had trouble with 3-D perception, so I probably won't see it in that version. I used to hope that "old-age farsightedness" would help offset my natural nearsightedness, but I don't think it'll work out that way :-).

    Kate – You make some good points, and if I couldn't see, those would be some of the things I missed. But actually, my choice has changed – up until recently, I'd have said I'd rather lose my hearing than my sight, but that may be at least partly because losing my vision has always seemed like a possibility for me.

    Kathy (Bermudaonion) – I can't disagree with that!

    Jen F. – I really think LASIK should be covered by insurance, at this point.

    Nenette – Thanks for the inspiration to donate for delurking!

    Katy – That really does get annoying, doesn't it? There are some places where my husband and I can barely converse with each other.

    Harriet – I'm not a musician, but those are some of the reasons I would pick hearing over seeing as well.

    Mike – Sounds like there may be bifocals in your future, unless you want to carry two pairs of glasses everywhere :-). That could get old really fast. And yes, I can tell you from experience that the contact lenses that handle astigmatism are definitely more expensive.

    Lisa – True, but when I thought about it, I felt like I'd miss more if I couldn't hear.

    Chris (Rude Cactus) – Same to you – and thanks for making sure I didn't miss it this time!

    Karen – Yeah, I know I've mentioned my eyesight here before, but I couldn't remember in how much detail. The first time an optometrist told me that, I said that was only because he'd never met my mother, who was legally blind.

    Glad you snagged the donation thing – I'm glad Blogger put it out there too!

    Teri – This is the place. Thanks for commenting!

  19. Hmm. I don't think I'd read about your eyes before, it was interesting to read. I've been wearing glasses since before my third birthday. And, strangely I started wearing contacts when I was 18. I'm back to glasses and have been for awhile. I think technically I'd be OK with glasses only for using the computer, reading, watching TV or driving but I just wear my glasses all the time. It's hard not to when I've been wearing them for so long!

  20. Not only am I fortunate to have both my imperfect sight and hearing, but I had to luck to be born in a country where my ears and eyes can be corrected easily and efficiently. The Haitians are not so lucky. Thank, you Florinda, for donating to their relief.

  21. Stacybuckeye – The ear in the photo isn't mine, but it does have some resemblance :-).

    I agree – between reading and working in accounting, I ask a lot of my eyes!

    Clover – Wow, not many people I know started wearing glasses as early as I did. I'm actually more comfortable with contacts now. But since I've started needing reading glasses over them – and sometimes walk around forgetting to take them off – I know what you mean about just getting in the habit of wearing them all the time :-).

    Cindy – This is very true, and important to remember. Thanks for commenting and helping out!

  22. I would have to say my ears…I rely on my memory an awful lot, and things that are said to me are the memories I capture best – tone of voice, exact words, inflection, etc.

    If I didn't have those sounds saved up in my brain, I'd be lost.

    Thanks for doing the $1 donation to Haiti, great minds think alike 🙂

  23. OneFabThing – Glad you found your way here, and that you're doing the comment-donation thing too!

    I actually remember what I read better than what I hear most of the time, so now that you mention that, that might be more of a problem if I had my hearing but not my eyesight.

    Sheri (Menagerie) – I didn't know that about you. I'll try to remember that next time I see you at a book blogger meet-up.

  24. What a hard choice! I think I would give up my hearing first if I ha d to choose, because I would never want to give up seeing my beautiful girls faces. I would sure miss there sweet voices though, and all the sounds and warnings we take for granted.

  25. Steph – No doubt it's a hard choice – and having known both, a person would definitely miss the other one.

    Thanks for coming by – nice to meet you!