In case you missed it.

The other day, someone came into the bike shop for a hub repack. This is when we remove the axle and replace the bearings (either loose or sealed). What are loose or sealed bearings, you might be wondering?

It doesn’t matter.

As the guy handed over his wheel to Yann, he mumbled something about how he would have done it himself. Yann was technically still on his break, so the job was passed on to me. 

Continue reading “In case you missed it.”

Is this consent?

Before I got my chest piece done, I needed to get rid of two moles from my chest. Unlike moles, you can tattoo over scars as long as they’ve fully healed.

Close-up of a tattoo of a red and orange goose.
One scar is inside the wing while the other is next to the tip of the other wing.

It’s not uncommon to get moles removed for non-cosmetic reasons, so I did not need to justify my superficial reasoning. I can’t remember whether the doctor I ended up seeing was a specialist that required a referral from another doctor. It happened so long ago, but based on how the procedure went, the only thing this doctor specialized in was being presumptuous. Obviously, I don’t remember his name but for the sake of this story, let’s call him Dr. Clown.

After telling Dr. Clown what I needed, he gestured for me to take my shirt off and lie on the examination table. He cleaned the skin and then snipped the two moles off with surgical scissors. He finished the job by slapping a single adhesive bandage over the wounds, which meant the sticky parts were over the wounds instead of the square of gauze. This was a real head-scratcher, but I had gotten what I wanted.  I was in and out of his office in less than ten minutes. Twenty years I’ve had these moles on my chest, and they were now in the medical waste bin in Dr. Clown’s office. Or perhaps he tacked them to his corkboard? He didn’t seem to be much of a stickler when it came to following medical protocol.

I am not giving the condensed version of this story: at no point did Dr. Clown explain the procedure and what to expect. He gave no aftercare instructions. It was uncomfortably abrupt.

Hearing people limiting their interaction with me is nothing out of the ordinary. When it comes to medical procedures, though, skimping on the details is flat out negligence.

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What it’s like to be really, really, really ridiculously deaf.

September is Deaf Awareness Month. Last year, I wrote about the awkward questions hearing people frequently ask deaf people.

This year, I wondered whether I’d have anything to add to what’s already been put out there. It’s not yet October, but already, fun-sized treats are on the grocery store shelves. What can I share about deafness before everybody can go back to being unaware of the existence of deaf people?

Over the past three weeks, the message that has been put out by other members of the deaf community has pretty much been: “Totally deaf people are so rare, so we might as well pretend they don’t exist.”

Continue reading “What it’s like to be really, really, really ridiculously deaf.”

Fleeing the island by bike.

Passengers of the 7pm Wednesday sailing from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen were treated to a spectacle. People rose from their seats and flocked to the front of the boat. I happened to be seated at the front, so I took the cue and got up for a better look. It was a beautiful sight, the sun was shining, and the boat was squeezing in-between the Southern Gulf Islands. A lone crew member was on the deck, resting his arms on the railing, but I was fairly sure he wasn’t meant to be the spectacle.

Some of the passengers migrated to the starboard windows while others returned to their seats. Curious about what had just happened, I tapped a message on my phone and showed it to the woman seated across from me, “I am deaf, I have noooooo idea what just happened.”

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Experiencing street harassment as a deaf woman.

Since entering my 30s, I’ve learned how to receive compliments. I have also learned that compliments are often used by men as bait to get women talking to them. For some, paying a compliment entitles them to a woman’s attention.

A plus of being deaf (as deaf as I am, anyway) is being blissfully ignorant of any catcalls that are sounded my way. For these volunteering their opinions about me out loud, not getting any reaction out of me must be maddening. It’s glorious.

On occasion, some bozo tries to override my inability to hear by following me.

I’ve been in Victoria for five months, and it’s already happened three times. Most recently, I was sitting on a bench scrolling through social media, getting annoyed with people on the internet, when I noticed a shadow cast over me.

Continue reading “Experiencing street harassment as a deaf woman.”