Grateful for hearing aids...
I've had hearing aids since I was 5 years old. I remember the first time I tried it on. All of sudden, I could hear these sounds that I had never heard before. I was so excited! Everything was multiplied. It was like opening a door to brand new world; the ‘hearing world.’
However, there were still times where I found myself struggling. I couldn't hear as well as my friends and I always had trouble following conversations in a restaurant or at a party. I often got tired of asking people to speak up or repeat what they said. It made me realize that even with hearing aids, I would still have challenges. I would never completely fit in with the ‘hearing world’ no matter how much I tried.
This past year was tough and unpredictable. In November, the ear mold in my right ear gave me a skin infection. It got so painful that I had to stop my wearing my hearing aid for a while. Then in January, my hearing aids kept squealing (feedback noise) and eventually, they broke. The temporary hearing aids that I was given were horrible. I couldn't hear my own voice when I talked! And everyone else around me sounded like they were underwater. A few weeks later, I had to give a presentation in class. Since I am terrified of oral presentations; not being able to hear myself, made it even scarier! I had to learn to adjust my voice at the right level, which took a lot of practice. I had to ask my friends “am I speaking too loud? Too low? How do I sound?” It was tough relying on others, but luckily I had close friends who supported me and helped me through it. Despite the tough circumstances, I was still able to give a great presentation! My professor and classmates told me that I spoke very well; professional and articulate!
It can be exhausting to re-adapt to new hearing aids over and over again. I am now on my 3rd pair of hearing aids this year. They are not perfect, but then again... there is no such thing as a perfect hearing aid. What I realized this past year is that I should be grateful for hearing aids, no matter what. Even though they might cause a lot of trouble, I am still grateful for this device that helps me to hear and communicate verbally with others. I am also especially grateful that I can listen to music! Whenever my hearing aids are giving me a hard time, I try to calm down, take a deep breath and tell myself “at least you CAN hear, even if it’s just a little. No matter what the situation is, it could always be worse. So be grateful for the sounds that you can hear and take it one day at a time.”