I Can Hear You Now: My Journey to Hearing Aids!

Photo Credit: Alysia Loerch Photography

Two months ago, I got hearing aids and I mostly LOVE them. I’ve wanted hearing assistance since I was 5 years old and first learned that my hearing was pretty bad. I was never a good candidate for standard hearing amplification because I also struggled badly with background noise.

Until this summer!

Technology has advanced so much in the last few years that I could finally benefit!

Life before my hearing aid had some annoyances. I was pretty practiced at just smiling and nodding in agreement when I still didn’t understand what someone said after the third time of asking them to repeat themselves. My daughter got frustrated with me because I couldn’t understand what she was saying when we were driving together. The combination of her rear-facing car seat and road noise made it practically impossible for me to hear her unless we were at a stop. I was weary of trying to keep up in large meetings and filling in the gaps of conversations I could only half hear. No one wanted to sit on the couch with me and watch HGTV because I had the volume up so loud.

Mamas – if you’ve been on the fence about getting hearing aids because you’re afraid of what people will see, or think, or that they won’t really help your situation, you owe it to yourself try again!

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you do get hearing aids:

  1. Sound has so much texture! I had been cautioned to go right home after being fitted with a hearing aid. My brain would be processing so much and Walmart would likely be overwhelming. The day I got my hearing aid, I got home before my husband and three year old. I did a bit of cleaning up and could hear the sound of wiping down the counters. I had no idea wiping counters had sound! Or that sweeping a wood floor sounds different than sweeping a tile floor. It makes sense, but I had never heard the sound of texture well.
  2. My body is noisy! I had felt my knees pop before, but now it sounded like bubble wrap popping with every stair I climbed.
  3. Paper, plastic, and food packaging is loud! I had heard paper crumpling before, but never the sound of my fingers on toilet paper. Opening bags of chips has never been silent for me, but I had never heard how loud a crinkling bag was.
  4. Being able to communicate with my daughter when she is buckled into the back seat is glorious!
  5. Hearing her screech in my ear makes me wish for a “toddler screaming” setting on my hearing aids. I now also understand why nails on a chalkboard is a terrible sound and why there can be anger issues surrounding the sounds of chewing.
  6. I thought I was a pretty quiet person—stealthy even—at least when I can control my clumsiness. Hearing aids quickly dispelled that myth. Not only were my clothes loud (I thought only stiff fabrics like taffeta rustled), my shoes were unbearable! I had to replace three pairs of cheaper shoes with some better made ones because I couldn’t stand the weird sounds the cheap ones were making!
  7. Birds being loud enough to hear inside of the house is really a thing!

Life is Better!

I am astounded by how my quality of life has improved with my new little device. I’ve always loved music, played instruments, and sang. Listening to music with a hearing aid is like seeing art after it has been cleaned and restored – more vibrant, layered, textured. My husband and I got season tickets to the philharmonic and I practically weep with the anticipation of hearing Itzhak Perlman on violin in January with full hearing.

Not all new sounds are as pleasing as a violin or my girl’s laugh. But I’ll take the momentary discomfort that comes with screams of delight.