Thursday 6 June 2024

Hear, Hear

Hello, dear reader!

So it seems as though its my turn to write my thoughts this week, not sure when this was decided… But here goes !!!!!

Name That Tune
I am often reminded of my childhood by the little things I say, or the memories my siblings and I share. It's no secret that I don't have perfect hearing, and many of those memories involve me not hearing something correctly. Many song lyrics I don't remember the proper words of, and I often know the tune or the words of the chorus - but not the words of the verses.

There is a perfectly good reason for this - IM not just ignorant, or selective - I am what the medical professionals call a ‘ Rubella Baby ‘

When my mum was about 11 weeks pregnant, she discovered that she had contracted German Measles. This is a devastating diagnosis , especially if you are under 12 weeks pregnant.

NHS England gives these guidelines …

Rubella in pregnancy

Rubella is very rare in pregnancy. But if you get it when you're pregnant, rubella could harm your baby.

It can cause:-

Loss of the baby (miscarriage)

Serious problems after the baby is born – such as problems with their sight, hearing, heart, or brain

The risk is highest if you get rubella early in pregnancy.

There's not thought to be a risk to your baby if you get rubella after week 20 of your pregnancy.

Better Late Than Never
So mum had to make a decision fairly early on whether or not she would actually carry on with the pregnancy. I am here, alive and breathing—So I guess you know what her decision was.

The main complication I had when I was born (over 3 weeks late, but that's another story) was complete hearing loss in both ears. This in itself was quite unusual, as often hearing loss is worse in one particular ear.

Apparently I learned very quickly to adapt, I was a dab hand at lip reading, and I felt the volume of the tv or radio. I must have been able to hear something, as I was allowed to go to a normal primary school. I do always remember being at the front of all my classes, and had a fair amount of time off for tests and eventually a corrective operation when I was 7 years old.

I am not sure of the whole story of what they did in that operation, all I know is that it was life changing.

An Empty Vessel
To cut a long story short, and really to get back to my inspiration for writing this blog - my hearing definitely isn't perfect (I have difficulties when I have a cold, and when trying to hear from behind), but I am relatively normal—And a bit of a miracle I suppose. 

I love music, and can play a song on the piano that I might hear only once, I have perfect pitch and love to sing, and I read music as easily as I can read a book. But I still, more often than I admit. have to be told something more than once! It's as if I hear something, and need it repeated for me to put the words in the right order for me to understand.

This has been very evident over the last few months. Through many means and ways, I am constantly reminded of the importance of looking after myself and my own mental wellbeing. It's been said to me on a number of occasions that you cannot pour from an empty cup.

The Whole Truth
This weekend I was lucky enough to attend a women's retreat/conference with my sister. It was entitled ‘Truth Be Told‘, and it was in a beautiful part of Warwick.

It promised good food, lots of nice things to look at and think about, and a chance to reflect on what has been a really tough couple of months for me. You may have read in previous blogs that I now have a lovely new job, and I am recovering from a mental breakdown in 2021. You may have also read that I have a mental illness diagnosis, and this means that I still have really dark moments, but I have now adopted more healthy ways to cope with those feelings.

This weekend, and even work conversations that have followed have reminded me that my journey is still in progress, that my story isn't completely written, and I still have plenty of learning and experiencing to do.

Part of my job involves helping and training people to do their jobs and think in a more trauma informed way. We have all experienced trauma in some form during our lives, and that trauma makes its mark on our thinking and our emotions. Part of solving a problem is realising you have a problem in the first place, so knowing this can be life changing because it makes us more aware of each other in a deeper and more significant ways.

This was talked about so often during the weekend, and also in conversations with work colleagues and clients too afterwards. Its as if there is something I need to be listening to—And its had to be put on repeat for it to finally start sinking in.


Hey, there! If you enjoyed reading any of the above, why not take a look at some of my published work? Below you’ll find links to a number of short stories I’m lucky enough to have included in anthologies. I’d love to know what you think.

New Tales Of Old

Death Ship

Pestilence: Drabbles 1

Reaperman: Drabbles 3

The Musketeers Vs Cthulhu

Eldritch Investigations

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