As her hearing declines, Bella searches for her place in either the deaf or the hearing world. Isn't deafness something that happens to old people?
In 1997, Bella Bathurst began to go deaf at the age of 28. Within a few months, she had lost half her hearing, and the rest was slipping away. She wasn't just missing punchlines, she was missing most of the conversation - and all of the jokes. For the next twelve years deafness shaped her life.
Sound draws on this experience, exploring the practical and emotional impact of losing your hearing, and what it teaches you about listening and silence, music and noise.
Today, Bella tries to find her deaf identity. Can someone who's losing her hearing at the age of 28 ever be part of the deaf-from-birth community? And how can she continue to relate to her friends and family if she can't work out what they're saying?
Read by Adjoa Andoh
Abridged by Jo Coombs
Produced by Hannah Marshall
A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4.