Guest Author - Cathy Brownfield
“I hate them!” I greeted my audiologist who had fitted me with my new hearing aids. I truly did hate them. Yes, they were hidden away in my ears so I wouldn’t be labeled “handicapped” or “disabled.” That was an important factor to me. But what good were they at $2,200 each if I couldn’t hear better? In fact, I thought I heard better with NO aids, even if my husband disagreed.
Genie made an adjustment to eliminate the “tinny” sound of my voice, the bottom-of-the-barrel sound of my own voice that made me NOT want to talk to anyone. She also took a new set of impressions of my ear canal so she could order a different kind of hearing aid, the Delta. She likes the Delta better, and when I returned a week later to try the new ones, I could see why.
She made adjustments for the “tinny” sound of my voice, reiterated that if I had ANY problems to call and she’d get me in right away. “If you have problems, call me. Don’t wait for the next appointment.”
It was fantastic to be able to hear clearly. Would I still be able to hear this well when I got outside in the parking lot? In the car? At home? I picked up my grandson from the bus stop. He chattered all the way to his home, a distance of a couple of miles. I never had to ask him once to repeat anything he said. How cool was that?
At home I sat down at my laptop. My daughter had used it earlier. It was sounding a loud clattering of keys and I thought, “What did she do to my computer?” Then it hit me. It was one of those sounds that I WASN’T HEARING. Leslie had done nothing to my laptop. I just had not heard the ‘noise’ before…due to my hearing loss. A. Maze. Ing.
I can hardly believe how much I was missing—the little things I’d been taking for granted for—how long?!
If I have worn glasses for all of these years because my eyes don’t work properly on their own, why would I NOT get hearing aids that will help my not working properly ears?
If you think you can’t afford the hearing aids, there are financial resources available to help you. Does your medical insurance cover hearing aids? Ours covers up to $2,500 over five years, but I was told it was rare for folks to have hearing aid coverage. You’ll want to check and see what you have in your insurance plan. Additionally, our state’s Rehabilitation Commission representative sat down with me to determine my eligibility for assistance from them. The commission is picking up where my insurance leaves off.
Don’t be shy about pursuing information about hearing loss and treatment. You could be missing so much! If the first hearing aids you try don’t work well for you, speak to your hearing aid specialist. Can adjustments to the aids fix the problems? Are there other styles that may work better for you?
Genie said she doesn’t bill until the client is satisfied. I think it’s safe for her to bill now, though I still have a couple of questions such as the life expectancy of batteries (After only four days I had to change the batteries…and of course it happened when I was driving) and how much of the time should I wear them? All the time? When I’m around people? Not when I’m alone? Will using hearing aids affect the hearing ability I still have without them? (I sure notice a difference when I remove them.)
The most delightful things are these:
· I don’t have to say to one of my beloved grandchildren, “Stop! Look at me so I can see what you are saying!”
· When someone speaks to me and looks at me as if waiting for a response, I have heard every word and can answer them back.
· I hear the birds singing outside my window…and also the generator at the remodeling site next door.