Thank you for both seeing me and forwarding your book, which I have read all the way through. I thought it was very comprehensive and would have thought that anybody with a hearing difficulty would be very happy to work through it because of all the tips it contains. It amazes me that anyone would want to have a shorter version. On a personal note, I was surprised at how many of the tips I had worked out for myself!
I am still delighted with all the things I can now hear that I wasn't able to before I saw you, so I thought I would write down all my experiences...
I had my reduction in hearing confirmed by my doctor over ten years ago and was provided hearing aids by the NHS. Although these helped me to hear better, I found that still:
1) I was having difficulty hearing in social situations, and that I was beginning to avoid these.
2) I was not hearing people on the telephone and was very reluctant both to use the phone and to answer the phone if somebody else was around to do it. I foreshortened conversations as I either wasn't following them or was afraid I wasn't going to follow them. I felt extremely silly keeping asking people to repeat what they had just said. I even resorted to asking them to spell key words using the excuse that it was a bad line!
3) I couldn't hear the TV when it was obvious everybody else could, and I definitely couldn't join in comments about a programme while the TV was still on.
So I was isolated and just didn't know where to turn. I visited an audiologist who confirmed that my hearing would be improved with more powerful hearing aids, which they could provide for thousands of pounds. I made a note of the aids they recommended, arranged a meeting with another audiologist who confirmed that the recommended aids would help and that they could be provided at half the first price. It was at this stage I realised what a minefield the whole process of finding a good and fair audiologist was going to be. I bought the aids, I could hear better and was a lot happier until my provided stopped trading and any ongoing support was removed.
My hearing slowly got worse and I started experiencing the above problems again. I purchased a phone that used Bluetooth technology and that was a great help with the phone. I was given some "TV ears" which connected me to the TV so I could hear the programmes but if the phone rang when I was using them I didn't know it had. I also found using the loop system was helpful. Then a fellow book club member received a letter from your firm inviting her to an open day at your new premises. I came to see you and the first thing I noticed was that you listened to what I told you about my hearing problems and commented on my problems not on generalisations. You were the first person to test what I could hear with my hearing aids in, and you were prepared to spend time on the smallest detail. Your solution was not to throw money at the problems but to work with what I had got. To go away and see if the adjustments you did would work in my life, and if they didn't, I wouldn't have to pay anything. What did I have to lose?
After your adjustments, I can now hear the TV and no longer use the TV ears. I use the normal phone and so far I am not having any problems. I am hearing better in social situations, the big test being on Thursday with my book club meeting.
So a big thank you for improving my quality of life and I look forward to telling you I can hear even more by my next appointment.
E. Godfrey, June 2015