A reader writes:
In 1996 I was injured in a bicycling accident. Because my helmet
not secured correctly, I suffered a skull fracture transverse to the
cochlea of my left ear. There is no treatment--not surgery, not a
hearing aid--that can restore the hearing in that ear. As a teacher,
my work in the classroom has changed radically; for the first two years
I thought I might have to change careers. I have learned to compensate
(for instance, the loud kids now go on my left, since I can still hear
them, and students who want my attention need to give a visual signal,
since stereolocation requires two functioning ears).
My doctor said (and I believe) that I am fortunate. People in similar
accidents have suffered brain damage that altered their lives more
significantly than mine has been altered.
Wear the helmet, and fasten the damn chin strap correctly.