The show was a colossal failure. It may have even been canceled during a commercial break, it was that bad. So bad that the alligator not only failed to stress the contestant, it didn't even move while being suspended. It looked more like a prop than a real alligator.
I would argue that people with hearing loss know something much more stressful than having a game show host shouting at you while asking trivia questions. This stressor is affectionately know as "The dreaded sound booth."
For those losing hearing, this booth is equivalent of a torture chamber. You may go into it full of confidence, but when you come out, you are stressed.
I don't know how many trips to the booth I had while in the process of going deaf, but I am sure it was monthly for at least the first 2 years. Every time it was the same instructions. "Press the button when you hear the beeps." "Repeat the words and sentences."
At first it was no big deal. Then beeps started to disappear. Words such as "sidewalk" and "baseball" sounded like "wah-wah." Sentences became strings of "wah-wah-wha-wah-wah-wah-waaah." Ultimately, the words and sentences disappeared as well. There may be no greater feeling of failure than to go into a hearing test thinking you are doing OK, and then come out hearing nothing, or far less than you thought.
Part of this feeling of failure is that, when you going deaf, you don't know what you are missing, so you don't know you are missing it, until you take a hearing test.
Going through these tests is one stress after another. They become a dread. The mind starts racing, "How much worse will I do this time?" And usually it is worse every single time. It usually spins downward into a mix of profound sadness, anger, and for some, depression. A person instinctively retreats into a world of isolation because, why go anywhere when you can't hear?
This all changes when a person becomes successful with Cochlear implants. The booth may still be a stressor, but the trend changes from downward to upward in scores. People joke that they can't wait to get in the booth to see how much better they are doing, or at least to remember how bad they were doing compared to today.
And speaking of today, I reentered the booth for the first time in 2 years. This time, prior to the reprogramming of my Cochlear implant. It is refreshing to know that after two years of not being tested, my results were stable. I do extremely well with my Cochlear implants, and have no complaints. It would have been interesting to see if the minor tweaks to the programming would have made any difference in my scores, but nobody lives in a sound booth anyway.
It's just nice to know that I can walk out the door of the clinic and hear.
'til next time
Just a guy trying to live with an invisible, potentially debilitating illness