@NurseMandie: It depends on your relationship with your company. You could probably just talk to HR if you don’t want to talk to your direct boss (although I’m sure they’d figure it out). My last two primary jobs were not nice about my health issues at all. If it’s going to be gradual, and you find that you are currently having difficulty hearing at least some times, I would pull your boss aside and give them a heads up. At my current job, I told my direct supervisor and since most of my interaction w/ her is via email or conference call (she is several hours away), she knows that I just turn my phone up louder but may ask her to repeat – I ddin’t want her to think that I’m asking her to repeat b/c I’m tuning her out or not paying attention. With my advocacy job, I am often in places where there is lots of background noise (typically hospitals and police stations), so I do tell my clients that I have a mild hearing loss so please don’t be offended if I ask them to repeat. I’ve not had a problem yet – sometimes they’ll ask if it’s better if they move closer, etc.
when i’ve supervised people, I’ve always appreciated when they give me a heads up on anything. The job I just left (management type roll), one of my employees let me know about her mother’s health (terminal cancer) and we worked out how she can spend more time with her mom, as well as we talked about just how she is doing. We temporarily switched some things around for her and also cut her hours slightly (with her agreement). Then I just asked her to keep me in the loop on her mom’s health. Obviously, she coudln’t predict when her mother will pass (she’s still hanging on. They said less than 2 months… 4 months ago!) but when she was in a rough patch, I made sure to have at least one person I could call in on short notice. Once she took her mom to the hospital and I was off and I hopped in to do her job.
I once told a really amazing prof about my hearing (and later, other health issues) and he was AMAZING. He asked what would help me – and then accommodated it (mostly, letting me sit in the front area and trying to not have his back to the class). I never felt like he spent more time looking at me, but also understood that watching his lips helps me (Ive had the hearing loss my whole life, so I am pretty good at reading lips). He actually has a very thick accent, adn I got quite good at understanding him so I often had to tell the class what he was saying (for example, he kept calling Google “goggle” and journal articles “those papers here” – not sure what that was about). At my last job, I did have a few coworkers I told about my health and while my bosses were NOT good (I got literally screamed at so loud my nurse heard from the phone while i was in the hospital), the coworkers I did tell were great. THEY were so caring and helpful – so if tehre is anyone like that, it can help. I told them that sometimes I am more tired, or achy so I may have difficulty doing certain things.
@amandaleaou: hope it’s okay if I jump in with some questions (if not, PM?). I also have a hearing loss and am told that I should look into hearing aids “soon”. Do any plans cover hearing aids, b/c dang, that’s insane. I know when my grandfather passed, it was very easy to donate his (and now I see why). He had two pairs. I have a high frequency hearing loss. Luckily several friends of mine are in audiology school, so I’ve gotten hooked up for freebie visits – and probably can for a long time since they’re *always* look for people for the students to practice on (haha, my step dad went once and told the girl she was wrong, he can’t have a hearing loss. He hears just fine! As he’s shouting b/c um, he can’t hear). Are the hearing aids comfortable? Are they hard to get used to? I remember always seeing my grandpa’s in the bathroom (in this one dish), but he had two pairs. Do you sleep in them? How do you hear your alarm clock or things at home at night if you don’t? (a friend of mine worked with deaf and hearing loss people, and they had essentially vibrating alarm clocks – she was at their camp, whch was really fun. I volunteered there for a bit). If your hearing keeps changing, can they adjust the hearing aid or do you need a new one? Sory if that’ a ton or any questions are dumb. I’d rather be prepared in case I need them sooner (like a year or two) rather than later.