Saturday, 5 January 2013

More about my deafness / hard of hearing ness!

I have had hearing problems now since I was about 8 years old. First it was typical glue ear which I had Gromits fitted for. But it has never improved  and when I was about 14 I was told I needed hearing aids at this stage in my life I struggled with them and ended up wearing them for about 10 mins.
From that point I coped - not very well but I have basic lip reading skills and alongside that I can hear sounds so I use a lot of guesswork using sounds and lip movements combined. But a couple of years ago I began to suffer chronic ear infections, which consist not just of pain /throbbing /popping eardrums but I get gunky discharge / pus leaking from my ears. After a couple of these horrible and gross ear infections my other half and the kids had noticed I was struggling more with day to day noises and communication. So it was back to my local ENT department.

Originally they said I needed hearing aids and gave no explanation as to why my ears kept hurting and producing this disgusting gunk. So I gave into the idea of been 28 years old and relying on hearing aids to communicate. I didn't give in that easy though, I didn't get the full benefit because I only wore them when I wanted / needed to. I should have been wearing them full stop. Several more infections later I was getting mad at not getting any explanation as to why I was gunky and sore, so I went back to the hospital again. It was decided I needed stronger hearing aids - which meant they were even more visible on the ear. The only good side (as I believed then) was the fact I could chose the colours! I decided to go for a silvery black aid and glittery moulds. (The photo doesn't show the proper glitteryness of them!)

Slowly over the past couple of years I have become more accustomed to wearing them and even make the odd joke about them - mainly how i can lower the volume when the kids get noisy or take them out when in an argument. And now I am at the stage where I panic when I have to cope without them, it is such a struggle and for this reason my batteries are my best friend. I have spare packs of batteries everywhere in case I hear the dreading warning beep in my ear.

I still haven't got much further with the ENT dept - I had a scan which did show some moderate disease in my left ear canal, so on the 26th November 2012 I underwent a minor op to have a T-tube put in. This is like a gromit but more permanent and bigger. I would like to say this has helped but since the operation I have had nothing but pain and gunk. So its back to the drawing board with docs and hospital appointments. Watch this space.....

Just to clarify -
I am not properly deaf - the correct term for me is Hard of Hearing (HOH). There are 6.6% of the population between the ages of 6-60 who have a hearing loss. (RNID website) So I am not alone in my predicament. And I would be really interested in meeting other people in my age group who suffer like me - especially those with families. I should really look for support groups in my area and online... (I can sense another post coming on this in the near future.)

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Any comments and/or questions I am always happy to answer and will get back to you as soon as possible.
B xx