Hello. My name is Ricia Vigil, and I am Hard of Hearing.
I don’t know when I started losing my hearing before I realized I could no longer hear clearly. This has been a surprisingly positive influence on my aging journey.
Little by little, I began asking people to repeat themselves. The usual phrases would spew forth like mantras such as… “What is that?” “Say again.” “I can’t hear you.” “Eh?”
I went to see an audiologist who tested my hearing and announced a diagnosis of mild to moderate hearing loss. I already started to figure that out myself. I knew this because I could no longer hear clearly. I left the doctor’s office that day with the gift of a computerized graph showing my hearing loss in the shape of two squiggly lines heading south. Joy.
People often notice small changes in their other senses once their hearing abilities began to weaken. According to Audicus.com, many scientists and those who are hearing-impaired report a correlation between hearing loss and improvement of other senses, like sight and touch.
After going through the task of learning about something I never had to learn about before, I was awarded with a small microphone and receiver that looped unnoticed into my ear and above the top. My left ear is now adorned with My Forever Hearing Assistant. Although battery-operated, it requires manual insertion, cleaning and brushing, and after a week or so, a replacement battery. Every day is a routine of inserting, cleaning and brushing. I have to do this on the days I want to hear, which is every minute of every day.
I line up My Forever Hearing Assistant kit next to my glasses, toothbrush, vitamins and eye drops, adding to the myriad of daily self-care machinations.
I love the ability to hear clearly with the help of My Forever Hearing Assistant. Having hearing help gives me a renewed awareness of sounds that I was no longer hearing: the scritch-scratch of the neighbor raking leaves, the unseen chirping of birds in the trees, the ding of the oven timer long forgotten.
Since My Forever Hearing Assistant is so important to my every day living, I consider naming it. Something like Heara or Listena. Maybe Audia.
As with any new forever acquisition, it is essential to bond, get accustomed to and become familiar with the item. I will get used to the feeling of having something in and on my ear. I know that I cannot hear perfectly even with hearing help, so I will use my eyes to seek out sounds. I will learn to know its every nuance.
I will insert, clean and brush My Audia every day. In return, My Forever Hearing Assistant helps me to hear what I cannot hear without it.
Relationships succeed with a balance of changing, learning, meeting needs, patience, listening and hearing.
I am so happy that science has given me the option to hear or not to hear. My Listena lets me choose when and what to hear. Those times that life gets too noisy, I can simply choose not to hear and that’s a good option too!
It’s part of the aging process, this I fully understand. I know that I am somewhat on the younger side to experience such hearing loss at this time in my life, but I am thankful nonetheless.