At the behest of my wife, I went for a hearing test to determine how much hearing loss I had... with her accompanying me. I'm not ashamed to say (now) that scared the shit out of me. In this weird panic, I was worried she'd see how bad it is was and say, "Screw this!" and leave me.
Maybe people assume hearing loss is just a minor indignity of age, on par with getting reading glasses, or perhaps because one can't tell what the hearing-impaired are missing, it's easy to get frustrated with them, and harder to be sympathetic.
What surprised us more than the idea that deaf people could get deafer was that Lily has no self-pity, no bitterness. Instead, we saw a determination to help others who are deaf.