I was referred to Harmony Hearing by my primary care physician for an evaluation after telling her of a significant decrease in my hearing ability over the previous six months. For the previous fifteen or so years, I knew I wasn't hearing as well as those around me, but I let it go thinking it would either get better on its own, or I would simply get used to it. I did get used to it, but the people around me, including my students and my family, had to listen to my almost constant, "Will you repeat that? I was listening , I just can't hear you." My family was a little more forgiving, and they would joke about when I was going to get my hearing aids. My students, on the other hand, would say, "Never mind; it's not important." I'm a firm believer in the importance of verbal communication, and in a classroom environment in which I worked hard to convey mutual trust, it was extremely difficult for me to think that my students may think I thought so little of what they had to say that I simply wasn't listening to them. I know it was vanity standing in my way of hearing - I didn't want to wear those ugly devices at my age. Oh, my gosh, what would people think?!
After biting the proverbial bullet, I made my first appointment at Harmony Hearing. I was greeted by the receptionist and then called back to the exam room. It was an environment I remembered fro my childhood, but I was so nervous. Trisha, the intern who would en up being the person who took care of all my hearing loss needs over the next few months, immediately put me at ease. She was compassionate when telling me she believed I have a genetic hearing loss, which shouldn't have surprised me since I'd been dealing with it for years. When discussing the appropriate hearing devices for me, I immediately told Trisha I didn't want anyone to know I had the aids in when I was in public...it was a vanity thing, I told her. She discussed a few options with me, and I went with a high end in the canal device; they were fitted, and I returned to have the devices placed in both ears within a week of the order. I immediately loved them! I could hear! I mean, really, really hear! I almost skipped out of the office because I was so overjoyed. That lasted until I started my car. The noises from the parking lot, the engine, the key in the ignition were really loud. I told myself that my sensitivity was normal. I drove out of the parking lot, hating that there was something in the back of my car moving around (a soft bag on the carpet) and hating the noise fro the heating vents and from a window apparently not properly sealing. I made it about an hour, and then I called Harmony Hearing and told Trisha these hearing aids were driving me crazy! Trisha told me to come in and she would make an adjustment. I was almost in tears when I got there, but Trisha and Dr. Perry put me at ease by letting me know my experience was perfectly normal. The adjustment was made, and I was on my way, only to return the following day for the same reason. I was treated, once more, with utmost respect and compassion.
Before my trial period was over (three months trial to see if I liked them, wow!), I made several visits to Harmony Hearing and met with Trisha. I really didn't like those hearing aids, but eureka!, I realized I wasn't as vain as I originally thought, and asked Trisha and Dr. Perry if I could try a different type of hearing aid. I didn't care if anyone could see it. I wanted to be able to make adjustments to the volume or direction from which sound was coming. I wanted something that fit a little better in my ears and didn't feel like it was going to fall out when I smiled or laughed. Trisha listened, and I was fitted with a brand new brand and model. I LOVE my new hearing aids even if someone can see them if they look closely. I don't like to take them out - I can hear sounds I haven't heard in a very long time, and seldom do I have to ask someone to repeat what they've said. I find the devices are easy to take care of, easy to wear, and not one person has seemed to notice them at all.
I owe the caring and knowledgeable doctors and staff at Harmony Hearing more than I can ever repay, and it's not money I'm talking abut - it's a new feeling about life! It's my new sense of hearing and my appreciation for all the beautiful (and not so beautiful) sounds I hear all around me every day! My life is richer because I am wearing hearing aids!