I have been deaf in my right ear and hard of hearing in my left ear my whole life. It started when my brother had the German Measlees while my mom was pregnant with me. She contracted Rubella. The Dr.'s urged her to get an abortion, telling her I would be born potentially with issues that weren't life sustaining. A hard decision for her and my dad, but, she chose to see the pregnancy through. Back in 1968 they didn't do hearing tests on babies as a regular thing, so when I was born my mom breathed a sigh of relief as there didn't appear to be any effects to the Rubella.
At about the age of 5 my grandparents called the house. My mom handed me the phone. I handed it back and told her noone was on the line. She got back on the phone and said, yes they are. That was the beginning of numerous audiology appts. I had surgery at the age of 6 on my middle ear, which proved not to be helpful with my hearing loss. Eventually the dr's determined I have bony spurs around my cochlear membrane.
I was a shy kid throughout my school years as I had such trouble hearing anyone. Hearing aides at that time would not help me hear any better. In my early 30's I took my 2 year old son in for a hearing test as he had some speech delays. Sitting there talking with the audiologist I found out she might be able to fit me for a hearing aid in the ear that I have some hearing in. This was fantastic news. And, at the time my husband's insurance paid 100% of the cost. AMAZING. My life changed with that hearing aid. I could finally hear most of conversations (not all as they don't replace hearing, and, I was still deaf in my right ear).
10 years later I was fitted with a more advanced hearing aid that could connect to a device on my TV and to my iphone. This time it cost me about $3000 for the hearing aid because my insurance didn't cover aids at this point. I cried the first time I watched the TV connected to the device. My husband looked at me and said, "Amy, it is a funny movie, why are you crying". My response was that it was the first time I could hear the whole movie. Before this hearing aid I could only hear about every third word and then I would piece together the other words.
My next hearing aid ended up costing me about $1000 as my insurance at that time covered part of it. This one had a t-coil receiver built into it so I could hear movies in the theatres that had t-coil. Another world open to me!
2 years ago I got a tattoo behind my deaf ear that states "Out of Order". I am bald due to alopecia universalis, so people see the tattoo and ask me what it means. It is my way of opening conversation about my hearing loss.
I am doing this walk because the exorbinant cost of hearing aids is out of range for many people. I want to help raise funds to help make a hearing aid more affordable for whomever needs them. I am also all about education and knowledge.
Please consider giving the gift of helping someone hear more clearly by donating to my walk.
The below information is from the Hearing Loss Association:
Do You Know Six People?
If so, chances are you know someone with a hearing loss. That's because 48 million people in the U.S. - or 1 in 6 - have some degree of hearing loss.
I'm participating in the Walk4Hearing to raise funds and awareness to help improve the lives of people with hearing loss, starting right here in my own community. I want to let others know that they are not alone, that there is help, and that they can live well with hearing loss. The funds I raise will go directly to the national and local programs and services dedicated to supporting those individuals.
Hearing loss is permanent, there is no cure and it can't be reversed. But it can be screened for, treated, and in many cases, prevented. In fact, if gone untreated, hearing loss can have a significant negative impact on quality of life. So I am issuing a challenge:
Take charge of your hearing health and get your hearing screened!
A hearing screening is painless, easy, and fast, but its benefits can last a lifetime. I am asking you to take charge of your own hearing health and encourage your friends and family members to do the same. In fact, I want you to let everyone know about it. Follow HLAA Walk4Hearing on Twitter @Walk4Hearing and Tweet using #screenURhearing to let people know that you got your hearing checked or encouraged someone else to. Don't forget to like the Walk4Hearing Facebook page and even follow @hearinglossassociation on Instagram, be sure to utilize your social media network!
I'm walking because I want to make an impact on the lives of people with hearing loss. Can I count on you to take the first step and support me?