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  1. Hello Everyone. I am an artist and writer living in Amsterdam. I have long been interested in learning BSL since I was at school. I learnt finger spelling when I was around 14. I am deaf in my left ear so always walk or sit with the other person in my right so I can hear them. I have been teaching myself signed words and hope to draw the signs to help me remember them. I am enjoying learning this new language. It feels very expressive and open.
  2. Hiya, I'm Ejay and a newbie to the forum. I have been partially deaf in my left ear since the age of 15, due to cancer. I now have Meniere's Disease too, diagnosed approx 4 years ago, and both my ears are the same now. I have lost low frequency and some high frequency noises. I also have severe, loud tinnitus ( has got louder and louder over past 30 years). I hear 4 different tones constantly, including pulsatile, and one ear is slightly behind the other so it is like an echo. I have hearing aids, but despite specific setting supposed to help, they tend to amplify background noises too much and not help with conversation. I can hear better in one to one conversation, but if there is background noise or more than one conversation in a room at a time, forget it. However, if someone opens a packet of crisps at the opposite end of a noisy room, it is as if they did it right next to my ear! I use a nebuliser several times a day or my eustachian tube gets blocked and my breathing, swallowing etc., become so loud I cannot hear anything else. Ear pressure means I often feel as though I am underwater, and have vertigo. I am wanting to learn BSL as I may lose my hearing completely, but also because speech is becoming increasingly difficult too, due to dysphagia caused by nerve damage from radiotherapy. I cannot eat or drink and I struggle with some facial expressions because of trismus and damage to facial nerves, e.g. I cannot puff my cheeks or push one cheek out with tip of tongue. I am sure there must be others such as those who have had strokes, who must face similar challenge with BSL, and I would love to hear how you adapt. I home educate my youngest daughter, who is 11, and interested in joining the caring profession , so she is also eager to learn. We hope to do as much as we can online and then try to attend evening classes to complete official certified courses.
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