Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Reconnected with the World

For the last two weeks, I've struggled along with one hearing aid while the other one was getting fixed.  And not very successfully - I had a hard time even with one-to-one conversations in a quiet room. Sometimes I needed 4-5 repetitions to understand, and by that time the whole communication interaction was ruined.  After awhile, I stopped asking and found myself more and more disengaged from conversation.  I was also emotionally and mentally exhausted from the effort of listening.  At one difficult meeting at work, I found myself circling the table so I could stand immediately across from whomever was talking.

Today I picked up my repaired hearing aid and immediately felt reconnected with the world - I could hear small background noises, bits of passing conversation, and the sound of birds and leaves rustling in the wind.  I thought back to when I was in 2nd grade and wore glasses for the first time - I could see leaves on the trees!  Frankly, I was surprised that I could hear so much more wearing the second aid- twice what I could hear before - even though both ears are bad and amplification is far from perfect.

I am so grateful to my very patient Kaiser audiology folks - Leslie Hojem, my audiologist for at least the last 10 years who is always there for me, and to Mary, the scheduler, who will always try to fit me in, and to Terri, the audiologist who will see me when Leslie can't.  I could not function without their combined support.  Thank you!

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