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“This May Sound Like a Story Asking for Pity, But It’s Not”

15-year-old Leah Kashar understands more about hearing loss than most people. Her mother, whom she calls her hero, is deaf and has been throughout Leah’s life. But however much she understands and sympathizes with the issue, she still couldn’t have possibly understood what it was like to have hearing loss until she woke up one day and couldn’t hear in one ear.

“I did not pay much attention to it,” Kashar wrote in a column for The Huffington Post. “It felt like I had water in my ear and I assumed that was all it was. As it got later and later in the day, I began to hear less and less out of that ear. It felt more and more clogged, and I even had to ask people to talk into my other ear so I could hear them. Being a child of a deaf adult, I was skilled in reading lips and sign language, so that was helpful. The danger did not start until later in the day. I was sitting on my bed doing chemistry homework–and then I fell off of my bed. I simply lost my balance. I was not hurt, but when trying to get up, I was incredibly dizzy.”

Eventually, Kashar went to the ER. They gave her meds and sent her home, saying it was a common issue and that she should be back to normal in a week. After a couple of weeks with little change, she went back to the hospital for multiple tests. And after three months of back and forth, the doctors told her that her situation was permanent. While not totally deaf, she had lost hearing in one ear.

“Consonants, women’s voices and group conversations became hard to hear and understand,” Kashar wrote. “School became harder because I couldn’t hear my teachers. I could no longer tell where a sound was coming from. For example, if my cell phone was ringing, I could tell that it was ringing, but not where it was coming from. To help this, I got a hearing aid. It converts the sounds that I can no longer hear into lower pitched sound that I can hear. With the hearing aid, my hearing is almost back to normal! It makes school and group conversations easier.”

Kashar doesn’t want anyone to feel bad for her. She doesn’t mind when people ask her questions, and even admits it feels nice sometimes to be able to give her own personal perspective instead of answering questions about her mom and having to speak on her behalf. “This may sound like a story asking for pity or even a diary entry, but it is not,” says Kashar. “It is, however, a story about how we all face challenges in our lives, big or small, and how we can make the best of them.” We love her attitude!

Read the entire column here and then let us know: What obstacles you have faced in your life that have challenged you to change the way you see the world? How have those things helped you grow? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Image: Thinkstock.com


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  1. Project Inspired

    Posted by InHisLove15 on April 22, 2015 at 18:23

    I wear hearing-aids so I know how difficult life can be without them!

  2. Deeblves3

    Posted by Deeblves3 on February 26, 2013 at 06:45

    That’s so cool! My Mother’s deaf too, and it can be a struggle because my Mother was raised differently as a child and even if sometimes she doesn’t understand things as quick as others may do, she is one of the brightest and happiest people I know. I love Leah’s perspective over her situation!

  3. Project Inspired

    Posted by JazyyJazz14 on February 26, 2013 at 00:07

    I too am death in one ear. It is nothing genetic, I got sick and it affected my ear and I became death. I do not use hearing aids nor have i ever. Sometimes it is difficult to understand people because they tend to stand on my left side but I make them switch sides with me. Only my fam and like three people know that I am death. I kind of feel like my other ear is starting to get affected too so i want to get it checked out before it is too late. Also though the docs told me i may hav a chance to regain my hearing back but the cost is way too much. But thank GOD i at least hav one good ear. U r a brave n strong girl. Keep it up.

  4. vonamc13

    Posted by vonamc13 on February 25, 2013 at 14:42

    God bless her!I will pray for her

  5. unicorns4567

    Posted by unicorns4567 on February 25, 2013 at 12:50

    oh and i meant that idk for sure if JESUS is trying to teach me how to trust HIM i just sorta think that because i am haveing alot of trust issues with HIM. idk why i just do

  6. unicorns4567

    Posted by unicorns4567 on February 25, 2013 at 12:47

    OCD they told me i had it a couple months ago and i started takeing medicines for it. i used to be this fun loveing i love GOD type girl until i found out i had it it tore my world apart but idk for sure but i think that JESUS is trying to teach me to trust HIM through it i pretend that people are watching me and feel sorry for me i also am still struggleing with it but my relationship with GOD is growing i thought it was shrinking or that i didnt have one in the first place until i reflected and focused on HIM. then thats when JESUS opened my eyes and told me that our relationship is growing not shrinking. so yeah i have alot of pride that im still trying to get rid of but even though life is hard with OCD or not. i know HES going to get me through this:) thank you girls out there that are helping me through this oh and thank YOU JESUS too!:D

    • horseluver2498

      Posted by horseluver2498 on February 25, 2013 at 18:53

      Oh I totally know how you feel!! I’ve been struggling with OCD and Anxiety Disorder for as long as I can remember: for at least 7 years. It is hard but with Jesus’ help I’m coping-ish. Hey btw if you ever need to talk or are struggling with OCD you can talk to me 🙂 Good luck girl!

      • sha566

        Posted by sha566 on February 27, 2013 at 07:34

        me too I have had OCD forever, literally. I also have anxiety and take medicine every day.