On 20th March 2017 I found myself sat in the audiologists office having my hearing aids fitted; which I wrote about in What does sound sound like?.
I had previously been told I would only need a hearing aid for my right ear, yet when I arrived at my appointment I was actually fitted with a hearing aid for both my left and right ear; a pleasant suprise, yet a very welcome on. Because in giving me hearing aids for both ears the audiologist was able to programme the strength in each side differently so that I heard the same.
I wont’t lie, I hated wearing them.
It took me a long time to get used to ‘hearing’things again. The little things, like the kitchen clock; the dogs gnawing on their bones; the sound of my feet on the pavement. But (following the audiologists advice) I soon learnt to ‘not hear’ or rather ‘tune out’ these sounds; sounds that my brain had learnt to ignore (just as it does for most people who can hear perfectly well)
I also quickly learnt how little and inconspicuous my hearing aids were. With very few people realising that I actually wore them.
When they were originally fitted, I had them set by the audiologist to automatically adjust with no input from me. However this was not while I got used to them.
In July ((1 beep, 2 beep, 3 beep, 4) I had my hearing aids adjusted and since then I have gone from strength to strength in using them and wearing them each and every day, just as I would with my glasses (even though I now get so little from wearing them-wearing them is a daily habit)
I have also added to my ‘tech’ to go with my hearing aids, with my amplicomms personal t-loop system I am able to listen friends in busier environments, have calls streamed directly into my ears with the microphone around my neck; I am also able to listen to audible and music too.
My CPiC and I are working on using it as an aid to my climbing….. But that is a whole other blog post!!
So, what have I gained in the last year?
I have learnt that just like glasses for me, hearing aids to not ‘fix’ my hearing; however they do enable me to hear more and clearer than if I don’t wear them.
I have been able to feel safer out and about, especially with hearing traffic and its direction. So much so, that in recent months I have gone back to enjoying walking into town (about 2.5 miles) with Fizz guiding me.
I have also learnt that I can ‘shut out’ noise if I want to sit quietly with a cuppa or a cold pint, then I can turn my hearing aids down, put them into the induction loop setting and I can sit peacefully. So I can have ‘selective’ hearing too!!
Its been an interesting year of wearing hearing aids, I would be lying if I said I am getting used to them….. But I am finding the postitives with them, both with my own hearing and with the connections I have made with other people who have hearing and sight issues.
I am still wanting to work on fundraising for my own pair or ReSound Hearing Aids, which are so much more ‘tech’ friendly with my iPhone and Apple Watch, but that is a work in progress.