How A Shopping Cart Made Me Deaf

Did I just say a shopping cart made me Deaf?

Yes, I sure did. Here is the story.

Few days before Halloween at merely sixteen months old, I licked a shopping cart, among a number of other germy things I put in my mouth.

I had flu like symptoms (listless, crankiness, fever, vomiting) and my mom assumed it was the flu but then she realized I started to show different symptoms. I was becoming more and more lethargic and my neck became stiff. My temperature kept on spiking up and up.

My mom took me to the doctor. The doctor assured her that it was the flu and sent us home. After a long sleepless night, the doctor’s office called and said to take me to the hospital ASAP. We hightailed it to the hospital on Halloween out of all days. The doctors, in Halloween costumes, examined me.

They did a spinal tap to test for meningitis and immediately treated me for meningitis. The outcome was that I, a sixteen months old baby, had bacterial meningitis. The high fevers I suffered damaged the tiny receptive hairs in my cochlea, which left me with a severe hearing loss in both ears.

At that moment, I was no longer hearing. I was no longer “perfect” in many people’s eyes. I did not have the ability to hear music or people conversing with their voices. However, I don’t consider that a loss because I gained deafness. Just like my brown eyes and my strong-willed personality, Deafness is a part of who I am. Back then, my family and I had no clue that my journey had just started the moment I became Deaf. Now everywhere I turn, I find opportunities to educate people.

“Deaf people can do anything except hear.” – I. King Jordan

Now, growing up Deaf has its pros & cons, you can read more about it HERE.

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23 Discussion to this post

  1. Samantha says:

    Thanks for sharing. I have always wondered. <3

  2. My mom grew up hearing, but lost her hearing in college due to a condition she has. I grew up meeting recently deaf people as she attended support groups to figure out her life now that her hearing had changed. I’m interested to read more of your story!

  3. Mrs. Z says:

    Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. angie says:

    thank you for sharing your story. One that is so important on so many different lines. I grew up with my uncle who taught in the deaf school and my best friend who was deaf. The deaf world is a community of its own and something that I feel we in the hearing world misses out on so much

    • Elizabeth says:

      You’re welcome! Yes, not many people get to experience the Deaf world. It is truly amazing and I wish more people would be more open to a whole different world out there. That is one of my goals of this blog, to educate people about my Deaf world! 🙂

      -Elizabeth

  5. christina says:

    How scary for your parents! So lucky they were able to diagnosis it and treat it.
    Deafness runs in my family, not complete deafness, but enough that it poses challenges. Patience becomes a vital attribute. <3

  6. Rachel says:

    Wow! Thank you for sharing your story!

  7. Kimanh says:

    Hi Elizabeth,

    thank you for sharing your story.

    I love this quote: “Deaf people can do anything except hear.” – I. King Jordan

    Truth!

  8. Iman Brooks says:

    WOW, I am so happy they cough it. That situation could have turned out so bad. I am glad that you are taking in a positive light. I had the chance to me a man who went blind during law school (car crash), and like you it did not slow him down. Always great to see people love who they are.

  9. Aileen says:

    Good for you on sharing your story. It sounds like you haven’t let it bring you down!

  10. Kim M says:

    I have just discovered your blog and I am excited to go though it. Have an amazing week!

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  12. Zainab says:

    Thank you for sharing thing. I was born hearing but have been living with one working ear for almost all of my life. I must have had a similar infection like you did but it happened when I was younger and living in Nigeria so I have no idea what happened. It’s hard enough only hearing from one side but I can’t imagine being fully deaf

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