Bad News, Indeed

After my boss approached me a couple of weeks ago, I immediately made an appointment to see the audiologist. This was not the same doctor that I saw five years ago, but in the same clinic. At this appointment, the doctor did another hearing exam to see how much my hearing loss had progressed in the past five years. It was a pretty significant loss.

The doctor told me that, based on my test results, my hearing loss was genetic. She encouraged me to speak with my siblings about their own hearing loss, if any. I did speak to my siblings, and none of them have hearing loss to any degree. It is a little overwhelming thinking that my hearing loss is genetic though. I would need to undergo genetic testing to confirm that for sure, but I will probably skip that for now.

The doctor that I saw was very helpful, but she wanted to determine the cause of the hearing loss. She told me that she would not approve me for hearing aids until I saw the doctor that I saw five years ago, and that doctor cleared me to go ahead with hearing aids. I made another appointment.

I saw the original doctor on Monday, March 26. After a peek inside my ears under the microscope, the doctor stuck with his original diagnosis of nerve damage. Unfortunately, there is no cure or treatment option for nerve damage. I was told that hearing aids would be very helpful for me, because I am able to hear sufficiently as long as the volume is turned up. He signed off for me to go ahead with fitting a hearing aid. Once I get to a point where I can no longer adjust the volume and hear what is going on around me, then I can look into getting a cochlear implant.

This is still a little overwhelming. Hearing aids do cost a small fortune, and unfortunately most insurance policies do not cover any hearing aids. Even with my boss offering financial assistance, there is quite a bill to be paid. Luckily for me, I do have the means necessary to go ahead and get my hearing aids. Many people do not have this option, and must literally suffer in silence.

My first fitting for my hearing aids will be in about a week. And I will have to go back several times to have them adjusted to fit me. I am anxious about being able to hear more of the conversations, and I am wondering how this will affect my social life. Sometimes it is so much easier to simply stay at home alone than it is to go out and not be able to actively participate in a conversation because you have no idea what is going on. I am excited and nervous. But mostly, I can’t wait!