As I sit here on Christmas Eve, looking forward to a holiday spent with family tomorrow, I have been thinking over the past year and how much change and growth in terms of my hearing loss I've experienced.
Prior to this year, I had used the same hearing aids for around a decade. They were digital, but the brand had long since faded, rubbed away from days of constant use. I got them when I was around twelve years old, to replace an analog set. I still remember my audiologist - the same one I have today - telling my dad all about new digital hearing aids.
Of course, no technology is meant to last, and particularly not tiny technology that is situated precariously behind the ear. I had been noticing issues with my aids for about two years, I think. I had to have things repeated to me often, and it seemed as though I was never quite catching all of a conversation. On top of that, my right hearing aid had begun to break down, and would refuse to work sporadically. So, a few months ago, I went in to talk to my audiologist. He did a hearing exam and determined that I had lost a bit more of my hearing and that new hearing aids would benefit me.
I already knew all about the model I wanted to get, the Oticon Epoq. I had heard about "Bluetooth hearing aids" before, and thought they were awesome. In thinking about new aids, Oticon's web site was one of the first that came up, and I liked the Bluetooth functionality right away. I was so happy when I found out that my audiologist recommended them for me. I picked out purple and white as the colors for the aid, and got silicone earmolds. I also picked out a cellphone that had a lot of features I wanted to work with my aids.
Around this time, I also started looking more into actual causes of hearing impairment, technology and the way people cope with their difficulties. I learned so much that I had never even imagined before. My knowledge of hearing impairments prior to this year was limited to what I learned in my ASL classes in high school and what my audiologist told me. Researching online opened up a whole new world for me, as I learned about genetic causes of deafness, my particular type of deafness and ways to cope with the hearing world.
I decided to start this blog in October as a way to share information and learn more. I'm really happy with the way things are going so far. 2009 has been a wonderful year for me in terms of learning about my loss, coping with it, and meeting wonderful new people.