Being ‘deaf’ has always been a part of my life whether it sometimes be big or small, depending how I felt that day. but I can honestly say thanks to my new hearing aids fitted by Rob in February 2016 I now only see it as a positive.
I have never really been given an explanation to my hearing loss but it’s always been there and at about 7 years old I got my first set of hearing aids through the NHS. They were huge! Like big brown boxes on the back of my ears and moulds that made my ears stick out like Dumbo’s. The novelty quickly wore off and before long I hated them, they officially made me ‘the deaf girl’ at school. My teachers were always very mindful and respectful, the students, not so much. After a few years I tried to embrace the situation, there was no hiding them so why not go bold or go home. The NHS trying to be ‘hip and down with the kids’ offered me the chance to get new hearing aids, obviously with advanced technology but the main selling point was the bright colours and glitter. I went with bright green at first then purple. WhIlst the moulds were glittery and even had a dolphin cartoons on.
Then my teenage years hit. That was it, I was too old to be the girl with hearing aids any longer. Almost over night I stopped wearing them. At first I’d take them out on my way to school, hide them in my bag and put them back in when I got home. I started dropping hints to my family that I no longer needed them, it was a miracle I was cured! Of course not true, I just hated the way they seemed to define me, they effected my self confidence so much that I’d rather struggle. At the time I had no idea how much I’d be missing.
I then went the next 5 ish years with no hearing aids, granted my lip reading got rather good, I had no concept of how much I was missing, the little things especially. For a long time I had convinced myself I didn’t really need them ‘I was coping just fine.’ In reality I frustrated everyone with my constant ‘eh? What? Pardon?.’ I’d need the TV blasting or even with subtitles, I’d jump so easily as couldn’t pick up my surroundings, I couldn’t locate voices and sounds to save my life. The list goes on.
Some thing suddenly clicked at 21, I knew I was kidding myself I needed hearing aids. And having had a free trial from Rob at 18 I knew they were fantastic, I just had to bite the bullet. Rob and his team provided me with a unique, personal and highly professional service. I now love surprising people with my secret, hidden hearing aids. I feel so much more confident socialising, especially in large groups. Where I’d once ask someone to repeat themselves a few times, still not hear, so just smile and nod. I feel included and involved in all aspects, I can laugh along because I actually got to hear the joke before it was no longer funny. When Rob first fitted me with my hearing aids, I walked to my car and for the first time heard it unlock. I didn’t even know cars did that! Just the start of a long list of little things I didn’t know I was missing. Along with the com pilot gadget I am now even the envy of my friends and colleagues. I can listen to music and answer calls through the best headphones on the market.
In short; Thanks to Rob and my new babies, My confidence has grown, my frustration gone and being ‘deaf’ in no way shape or form defines me.
Lucy K, 21
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