Life with a Hearing Impairment

I’m not sure I’ve ever told you about my hearing impairment. Technically I’m deaf without hearing aids, even though I can still hear sounds to a certain extent. Most of it will be lost in translation.

Going back over my life it was noted by my mother I had hearing issues as a child. I was tested and always came back clear. I was nine years old when they decided there was nothing wrong. These days I wonder if my hearing is an auditory problem. I can’t handle loud noises, meaning at a party or night out in a pub or club. I get lost with background noise and if someone spoke to me I may not hear them or respond. I’m sure this happened frequently and those that don’t know tended to get annoyed. Meanwhile, those who did know and I replied to… may have gotten a different reply because my brain translated what it thought it heard rather than what was said. This could cause some hilarity though even that hurt at times.

I came to live in New Zealand to marry my fiancé (still married) and life continued on as normal. By 2001 we had three children who would happily play together. One day my mother in law got fed up with repeating herself and watching me turn my head to the left to listen to her words. It wasn’t something I noticed I was doing. Mum said to me ‘Claire you need to get your hearing checked.’ and so the process started again with some laughter (yellow moulding clay in the ears to make the ear accessory so I could hear. There was also a lot of frustration in the process due to an audiologist who didn’t understand various things. I had my hearing test and then things went sideways when I got pregnant with our fourth child. Hearing were the least of my worries. It seemed there were issues with our new baby. We found out she was Down Syndrome, had Duodenal Atresia and at least one Heart condition. She was born at 35 weeks (I measured 42 weeks) and had surgery at 48 hrs old. Anastasia lived for three and a half months, dying from genetic defect, one they only discovered hours before she passed. It was heart breaking and changed our family for good.
Hearing issues were forgotten for just over a year. It was only after the loss of our daughter that we remembered and requested to continue my journey for hearing aids. Apparently after my new test, it seemed my hearing was a lot worse. I can’t say I overly liked the audiologist at the time and in the long run it seems instinct was correct. We applied for funding and this is when the next lot of frustration began with the audiologist. It was horrible, however I did end up with funding and new hearing aids. The criteria for funding was terrible and still is. I know for a fact part of the criteria was changed due to my complaints and a new article a few years later.
Anyway because I don’t drive and my husband was at work, my mother in law took me to my fitting appointment. This was the first full out laughter we had. I had hearing aids that fit in your ear rather than over you ear with a mould. To get this mould of your inner ear they have to make an impression with this gunk. Here was I sitting in the audiologist office with mum watching on, giggling. I had to bite my lip and shush her. The gunk sticking out of my ears was bright yellow. I wish we’d had phone cameras which could take photos back then. By this stage is was late 2003 or early 2004. I do remember getting my aids and finding out what I was missing. I could hear the people outside the room talking and others walking. It was astounding. Needless to say we still laid a complaint about the attitude of the audiologist and his unhelpfulness with funding, not that it is easy to get anyway. We ended up with a meeting with the funding people on the 1st anniversary of our daughters death. Not a place we wanted to be at all.


In May 2004 we moved to Rotorua and the referral was sent to Rotorua Hospital. The case notes hadn’t been updated for some reason and the lovely audiologist there didn’t realise I already had my aids.
I still found it difficult to listen when there was a lot of noise or loud voices, your brain translate what it hears slower and differently causing much confusion. It is times like these I wish I’d learnt more sign language, however I had no one to use it with since the death of my daughter who was Down Syndrome. Sign language would’ve been Anastasia’s first language.

Getting used to wearing them during the day was good, at night, I didn’t wear them. Even today it sometimes makes me feel like a bad mum due to not hearing when my kids were sick at night. My girls used to care for their brother. It was usually a light switching on which woke me, occasionally it was the mother instinct. I’m so proud of my children looking after each other and being so close.
We had a lot of fun with my hearing, though sometimes it isn’t funny at all. I suppose it depends on the mood I’m in at the time. Most hysterics happened during dinner time when I hadn’t heard correctly and started talking when they looked at me “What are you on about?” look. It could be even funnier if I wasn’t wearing my hearing aids. I must admit it is nice to have the sound of silence at times.
If I’m not wearing my hearing aids, people need to talk to me in my left ear, slowly and clearly, or all I hear is a murmur of words in my right. I remember my audiologist saying I have a genetic condition in my right ear where the film/skin over the drum goes hard, meaning sound can’t bounce off it. I consider myself deaf in my right ear now and don’t wear a hearing aid because it doesn’t pick up enough sound to make it worthwhile. Since this time, I’ve had new hearing aids again and I’m 90% deaf in my right ear and about 70% in my left. In general I can’t hear at all without my hearing aids.

One thing I dislike with hearing loss is continually explaining to others that I have a hearing impairment and they have to speak slow and clearly, only for them to reply. ‘Oh I have a hearing loss too.’ Maybe they have, maybe they haven’t, however none of them wear hearing aids and listened to me clearly and consistently. If you have a hearing loss, get a test.
My second daughter has hearing issues as well, we still don’t know if she has the same genetic condition I have. She hates loud piercing noises, especially fireworks, she had constant ear infections and several surgeries for grommets and always sat at the front of the class. If I recall my own childhood, I also tended to sit at the front of the class. Now I know why… We think it was her auditory issues which affected her schooling, however her learning was more complex than this, though nobody would work out what was wrong.

As of last November, I have new hearing aids. They are digital, have blue-tooth etc and there is a lot more care needed than before. This also means it’s a lot more cost involved and not only batteries to buy. Due to not being able to use the hospital audiology (old doctors fault with referral…ugh) I had to go private though the aids were funded which was a good job since it was over $7k. The only thing I had to pay for was the fitting fee which was $1,340. OUCH. Via the hospital you don’t pay which is why I usually went that route. These aids are great, though I feel like most of my hearing has now gone. I hear even less in my left ear than I used to when I’m not wearing them. I still struggle with background noise, though if I sit in the right place it is a bit easier.
I still have problems with some accents and how fast some people speak. My brain translates the worse slower therefore missing parts. I no longer find it funny when teased if I get something wrong. I’m also quieter than normal and when in a group I don’t join in so much. It’s just not worth it any longer.
There we have me… the deaf writer, though I’m sure there are many of us out there in the world. We all do things differently and we are part of the writing community. I still prefer to message or email people instead of talking. I’ve written over fort books and you can find them on the link below.

Author Central – Claire Plaisted


New Identity by Claire Plaisted

A New Story by Claire Plaisted – New Identity

Would You Like to Fly?

Electric Eclectic's Blog

Ka, half raptor and half man, must undertake three tests to become a member of the elite Icarian Squadron, flyers who dedicate themselves to the destruction of Summia and to an alliance with Imperiana. In order for him to succeed, he must first overcome his own fears, but in the process he discovers how Imperiana has manipulated the trials and Ka’s own emotional needs. Captain Harriman, under Imperial command, is ordered to make sure the fledgling flyers bow to Imperiana’s control. Will Ka be able to survive the trials and become an Icarian as his father was in the first war between Imperiana and Summia, or will his failure lead to disgrace and exile from the Rookery?

At 113 pages, this is a great book to kick back and relax with.

I loved it. Very imaginative. Who among us wouldn’t love to be able to fly in more than our…

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Don’t Drive By Without Stopping

Electric Eclectic's Blog

A Short Hot Romantic Read


Cara had been writing romance since before the break-up of her relationship at college. Although only fairly successful, a chance encounter on her way home from a Book Signing was just what she needed.

Ewan had seen the blond beauty in her red Jaguar F-Type as he drove home from what had turned out to be a career changing day. He could still scarcely believe that he was the Super Bike World Champion but all that fled from his mind when he spotted her. He tried to forget her as they parted ways on the road, but it didn’t work and he had turned around hoping to chase her down. Seeing her parked in a lay-by was just the opportunity he needed to take the plunge.

However, both Cara and Ewan left their lay-by liaison only knowing each other’s first name. The next morning…

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How to Structure Stories With Multiple Main Characters? – by K.M. Weiland…

I use multi characters to get an end result in a story… Thought I’d share this so readers can understand how it works. Enjoy the read from K M Weiland.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Helping Writers become Authors:

One of the most common questions I’m asked is how to structure stories with multiple main characters.

If you have two (or more) characters who are equally important to the story and receive equal POV time, how should you balance them when structuring your novel?

Continue reading HERE

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The Adventures of a Wayward Author

255275263_265398562199854_8761098585425164998_nNot sure if the fairies have landed yet, never mind the muses. Will they ever come back and let me write a decent story again or is my life situation still a bit much for them. They sure as hell don’t like Covid. No idea where they’ve locked themselves up. Maybe it’s not me who’s wayward, more likely it’s the darn muses having a laugh at my expense.

“Hey look at her trying to write,” one nudges the other.

   “I know, right. Can’t do it without us,” they giggle.

I’ll show them. I already published a story, ‘Soul Man,’ though it’s an old one so doesn’t really count. This story was released in parts in Ghostly Rites Anthologies by Plaisted Publishing. I decided it was time the full story stood on it’s own.


The moon shone down eerily on the green-grey waves, glancing on the body guiding it to the shore. Gently, the waves propelled him towards the sandy beach. His body rolling over as it hit the sands; his empty eyes staring blankly up towards the wan moon as his body finally settled on the sand. His long black hair swirled in the seawater, each time the waves rushed over his body leaving seaweed and sand on his semi naked body.

Shadow of a man looking at the calm ocean on right side of image. On left is the book description.

I need new material and do I have heaps of that after my life since 2017. Oh. My. God. No wonder the muses won’t come home. Not sure I would either if I had a choice, except New Zealand is amazing compared to where I was. This is where my heart is and my adorable man.


I have an idea for a new type of romance. At the moment I’m calling it ‘The Book of Love.’ It’s a sexy hot tale of a frustrated woman who want’s what those erotic author write about… in her life. Sadly she is invisible to most people around her, including her family who ignore her.
   What can she do to set her life in the direction she wants? Reading erotic books and a vibrator is all she has right now. Breda want’s something real. A gentleman, a romantic and some glorious orgasms to make her scream. Instead of her dull shabby life she had.

Will her dreams come true? How will she find her man. She adores Snyden from her latest book. He’s gorgeous, muscular and knows how to make a woman scream, after all he makes Lisa, his girlfriend in the book, scream all the time.
   Unbeknown to Breda, the characters noticed Breda’s sad, lonely life and decided to do something for her. Hang on, they’re characters in a book Breda’s reading! How could they help, they weren’t real people! The decision belonged to Snyden and Lisa. Would they pull Breda into the book and give her a good time, or would they escape the pages and turn up in her real life.

Oh the possibilities… This is why I love fiction. Be warned, this story is for adults only!! 

Historical Research for Writers

A wonderful informative post on research. I love history and have over 20 years of family history research to work with. I can find most things I look for, though this information is great reminder on what is out there. Enjoy the read.

A Writer's Path

Researching is, believe it or not, a skill that not everyone has. If you do have it you should definitely put it on your C.V.; good research is often the thing you do not see, but the want of it is blindingly obvious, especially when you write historic fiction, or you’re writing about cultures and people you don’t know anything about.

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Beware Misguided Writing Advice

Brilliant Advice … Enjoy the read.

Nicholas C. Rossis

Author Anne R. Allen published yesterday a great post titled, 10 Dangerous Critiques: Beware Misguided Writing Advice. In it, she explains how trying to please everybody who beta-reads or critiques your WIP can turn a novel into a kind of jackalope of unrelated parts.

Jackalope illustration | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

Sources of the Most Dangerous Critiques

1. The Realism Brigade

These are the folks who want to know when your characters go to the bathroom and point out that it really isn’t all that romantic to have your first kiss in front of everybody at work, the window of a department store, or the middle of a snowstorm.They’ll tell you that gun has too much of a kick for a young woman to handle or that nobody could run that fast in high heels.

The truth is that most fiction is not realistic and is not meant to be.

2. The Detailers

These are…

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Meltdowns – When our emotions overload

When I look back over the amount of times I’ve moved house since I was nineteen years old… Well it’s a lot. To be precise it’s at least twenty times. We’ve had few issues with rental properties, though in the last two years there is a boom again because fewer people can afford to buy their own property. The average in New Zealand is around $975K (other than Southland). Instead of buying people are lining up to rent. One house we viewed had over thirty people sign up for the open home. It’s no wonder more people are homeless. Fingers crossed we will be able to move house this year. I’ve already had one emotional overload with things going wrong, mainly in the last forty-eight hours of our stay in Christchurch. Anxiety is horrible, though when everything turns bad within hours, it is a nightmare. I’ll admit right now, I cried for the first time since I arrived back in New Zealand in March 2019.

Luckily one of my daughters was with me, and held me, while I cried on her shoulder, stroking my back to calm me down. We managed to get everything sorted in the end, though spent $120 more than we’d ever intended. This is when I wished I sold more books and knew more about marketing, it’s a good job I’m going to do some more training this year.

What a start to a new year. Though none of this is totally crappy, it wasn’t what I needed either. There again when do we ever get what we want, life is about learning and getting your needs filled. Obviously there is something I still need to learn about life which I keep missing.

What happened?

House hunting is getting frustrating and we finally find out why. One property manager texts me and asks if we can ask our landlord to reply to her messages because they aren’t answering her calls. So I emailed them asking them to call this property manager and give them a reference. I got a concise reply, which wasn’t what I’d being expecting. In fact, I’m still peeved due to the amount of money we’ve spent only to find out our present landlord isn’t replying to any reference requests because they don’t hand them out until after the active tenancy is no longer active… aka, we’ve ended the tenancy and no longer live there. They also only do verbal references and stated we need to give 28 days notice, which we already knew. I mean we’re old hats with renting already and due to having my publishing business, I’m kept up to date with all government changes for business which includes tenancies.

Let me state now, that a landlord is not legally required to hand out a reference in New Zealand. It is something I’d think about 95% of them do. They also generally give them prior to a tenant leaving their tenancy, thereby helping them get rehomed. We also have a Bond system here to cover any damage, other than wear and tear.

The problem is… when you go to apply for another home, most property managers want to have a reference from your last landlord to verify you’re a good tenant. If they can’t get one, then you lose the chance of getting the house you applied for. The last thing we want in these days of Covid is to be homeless due to lack of a reference, causing a lack of a new home. Argh. When we told the property manager who’d text me, they weren’t amused as our landlords attitude. By lunchtime on Wednesday, I’d had enough and we went out for a walk and lunch. A long walk at that and considering my bad back, I’m rather proud of myself. On the way back to the hostel, my daughter stopped at the bus terminal to buy a Metro card so we could get to the Airport the following day. This is where the extra costs started. $20 later, she caught up with me in Cathedral Square and we took some photos of the tumbled down cathedral from the earthquake ten years back. (they are finally rebuilding it).

Christchurch is now a gorgeous blend of old and new, the sad part is the tumble down building and the vacant lots still fenced off. There is a lot of new central city homes looking over parklands where building have been cleared away. I wonder if some might be Red Zone areas, which can no longer be built on. I have no real idea at the moment.

Slide Show of Christchurch

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The following morning, we signed out of the hostel checking where to find the bus stop (thanks the reception) and set off to wait for the bus. The bus which never arrived. It was late. In face, it never arrived and nor did the next one. Getting worried my daughter looked on their website for information. Apparently there were disruptions for Thursday, though it didn’t say what. Digging deeper, she finally glanced at me. “The 29 bus is not running from 10 am – 1 pm due to a UNION meeting!”
What the hell? Why couldn’t some other drivers take over the run? We had a bus card, it would’ve cost us just over $5 to get to the airport and instead we ended up paying for an UBER at a cost of $30. This made us $50 over budget. I just wanted to get on the plane and fly home. Nope more instore for us. Stupidly we asked about our baggage… which ended up costing us another $40 and this is when I had my emotional meltdown on my poor daughter.

The flight was as bumpy as hell, though the flight was only an hour long due to the wind pushing us. Arriving at our airport in Palmerston North we had to get a taxi to our home at another $30 because my husband was in Wellington with our other daughter visiting our son for his birthday. Now I’m out of pocket for $120 and out of pocket due to our landlords lack of response for a reference for houses we’d applied for.

I think I have a right to be peeved with life in general, especially after all the money I wasted viewing houses we never had a chance of getting. We wish we’d known this prior to signing for the tenancy we’re in now… if we’d known, we probably wouldn’t have signed the paperwork.

I wonder what life is going to throw at us next. Hopefully nothing nasty for a damn change.