Hearing and a Christmas game

A group of friends and I have a running joke every Christmas season. We try to see who among us […]

Jane McClure headshot

A group of friends and I have a running joke every Christmas season. We try to see who among us can avoid hearing the song “Last Christmas” during the holiday season.

The song was released in 1984 by the duo Wham! You might remember lyrics about heartbreak and how fickle love can be. I won’t sing it for you.

Avoiding the song is no easy feat, as it seems to be played everywhere – on the radio, in stores, in mall concourses and so on. Hearing the song means a person is “whammercized” and is out of the game. It was a proud day when I was the last person standing in the friends group.

And then I heard the song on Christmas Eve while running errands. Nooooo, I cried. I had been whammercized. That was my best holiday season in the competition.

The person riding in my vehicle with me had no idea of what I was talking about.

Wham! aside, I do like most music played during the holiday season. But enjoying music gets tricky. I live with Meniere’s disease, which makes concerts and even church music a challenge.

Meniere’s is a condition that originates in the inner ear. Symptoms associated with Meniere’s can include a feeling of fullness or congestion in the ear. Hearing loss can fluctuate, although I have been fortunate to avoid that. I hear well and usually avoid saying that I have any kind of hearing issues, because then people tend to shout. That isn’t helpful.

I’ve dealt with tinnitus, or a ringing in the ear, for several years. The worst issue I have had have been bouts with vertigo. If you liked spinning merry-go-rounds as a child, or if you were able to have an adult pick you up and spin you around. . . .image that times 20. That is vertigo. It’s not as fun as it sounds.

While I am fortunate to be able to listen to music at some levels, and can sit in the back at church, large-scale concerts are a thing of the past for me.

I also cannot hear myself sing in terms of staying on-key. So much singing is a thing of the past, which is unfortunate. I’d come to enjoy singing and had a solo in my high school musical almost 50 years ago. What I remember about that is that my late father, who struggled with hearing loss, could hear me during the performance. That is a great memory.

The reality with disability is that things get taken away from us. As for me, I am already on the sidelines of this year’s “Last Christmas” competition. Sigh.

A deadline reminder

Here’s another reminder that our staff and board want to not be working as much over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. If you have something for the January print issue, please be mindful of deadlines.

Print deadline is the 15th of the month. In months when that date falls on a weekend, we’d like to hear from you on the following Monday. That’s also when we want to see your ad space reservation, although we allow more time for your ad itself to come in.

January issue is a directory month. The directory is an economical way to get the word out about your organization or business! You can sign up online. Go to www.accesspress.org

  • "Stay safe, Minnesota. Take steps to protect yourself & others from the COVID-19 virus."
  • "Stay safe, Minnesota. Take steps to protect yourself, & others from the COVID-19 virus."


Mental Wellness