Met a patient whose wife became deaf when she turned 30. Shortly after that, she went for an eye op, which turned her blind in both eyes.
How do people communicate with a woman who is both blind and deaf? She'd be able to talk and shout and yell...she'd be able to feel people around her touching her and patting her on the back.
In short she'd be able to express herself, but wouldn't be able to receive input from others. She'd be without any sense of hearing and seeing...the two big ones for getting around. Sure, she'd be able to taste, and be able to feel and be able to smell..but how frustrating not to see and hear..
It doesnt matter if she's asleep or she's awake. Actually, she'd probably prefer to be asleep, cos' she'd probably hear fine in her dreams. While awake, though, it'd be a dark and silent world, punctuated with sudden touches that would probably shock her momentarily. She'd be irritated, scared and apprehensive at first, but later on, she'd probably welcome these touches...if only to prove to herself that she's still existing...that around her is a living, vibrant, noisy world, of which she can no longer enjoy.
Life does have a way of putting things into perspective.