What Made Me Go Get Tested For a Hearing Loss?

I have been blogging about my hearing experience for a couple of reasons.

One, it helps me get the information out to more people. People generally ask me the same questions, so it is much easier for me to blog about it, than to repeat the answers over and over. So thank you to those of you who have been reading my blog posts. This helps me a lot.

And two, as some know, writing has been my favorite way of communicating any experiences since I was a child. So it is likely that writing about this is helping me process it as well.

If one of the most asked questions is, "How did you learn?", then hands down, the absolutely most asked question has to be, "What made you go get your hearing checked?"

When my husband and I met, I fell in love with him for his voice. He had such a comforting voice to me, and I loved to hear him talk. Which is ironic now that we know I am hearing impaired.

I would tell him all the time, "I love your voice. It makes me feel at peace."

All along the way, we had many conversations centered around another thing that happens between men and women.

Sometimes my husband would mumble. lol

We talked about this way back when we were 18 and dating. I did not have this trouble with anyone else, so why was this so different. It had to be mumbling.

Never once did either of us suspect I heard differently than the general population.

Each time we would move on from the conversation, like the time before, with him saying, I don't think I mumble, but I will try not to.

Fast forward to 31 years later.

We were sitting outside in the back yard.

We were talking about life in general.

I said to him, "You know, for 31 years, I have wondered why sometimes you mumble." And I laughed.

I fully expected us to get into the usual conversation again about him not thinking he mumbles.

But instead, this time, my husband said, "You know, you have said that forever. I wonder if you hear differently than others."

I quickly replied, "I am happy to get tested. Who knows, maybe I do have a slight hearing loss from when I had my ear drums ruptured."

So off I went a few days later to the audiologist, fully expecting to come back with a sheet of paper that said my hearing is normal. I was going to hold that sheet of paper up, and say, "See, now please stop mumbling." lol

Four of my friends, who after learning about my experience, have done exactly that. All four have had this same conversation with their husbands over the years, and all went in to see if they had a hearing problem. All four told me they went home, held up their sheet of paper, and said to their husbands, "See, now please stop mumbling." lol

But that was not the case for John and I.

Instead, that day I learned that I am moderately to severely hearing impaired, bi laterally.

I learned that I have absolutely no damage to any part of my hearing system. Even my ear drum rupturing, loud music, and all of my constant cleaning my ears out because they felt like they needed to be cleaned did not damage my ears. (More on this in another post.)

I learned that my discrimination is 94 and 100.

I learned that I was likely born this way, and it could have been because of a benign brain tumor.

I was sent to get an MRI to rule out the tumor two days after they diagnosed me as hearing impaired.

When those test results came back clear, I was called and told, I am simply hearing impaired, and that I have never known any different.

No holding up a piece of paper. No laughing about the results and moving on.

I was fitted for hearing aids the next week.

That was the day I  heard the many noises that I have never heard before.

You don't know what you don't know.

One of the things we have figured out with my husband's speech, is that he does not always form his letters fully when he speaks. Maybe this is mumbling, but with my hearing aids I can still pretty much make out what he is saying. It has more to do with the fact that I was not able to compensate on reading his lips, which I had no idea I was doing. Matched with the fact that we also know that his voice is one of the hardest for me to hear.

The irony is not lost on us that I fell in love with his voice when I met him. (Which by the way, I love as much as the voice I fell in love with.)

We are a match made in heaven. Had I been able to read his lips all the time like I could with almost everyone else in my life, we may still not know that I hear so very, very differently than the rest of the world.


This entry was posted on Monday, July 18, 2016. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

Leave a Reply