Living with or without——summary of a radio program on “This American Life”

by Karen SONG Keyi

Nubar Alexanian had been suffering from the annoying, loud tones in his head all the time for over 10 years. It is tinnitus. The first doctor that he went to said there was no cure and he had to learn to live with it. He went to several other doctors and tried almost every means through out these 10 years. But it only turned out that the first doctor was right.

Nubar was a photographer. He used to travel constantly until the tinnitus suddenly stopped his career.

Nubar said he couldn’t imagine losing his hearing. However, for his teenage daughter Abby Alexanian, living with perfect hearing was unimaginable either. Abby had a hearing loss and had to wear a hearing aid.

Coincidently, those high frequent tones which Nubar always wanted to remove from his head  were just the ones that Abby missed from her hearing loss. She just can’t hear the tones that her father hears.

After the tinnitus, Nubar was forced to slow down his life. He spent much more time at home with her daughter. “I got more of you.” “And I think that was really good for the family.” her daughter said.