So I was on a quest to find someone in my community who worked with and could help me obtain a hearing aid from the company I had researched. I contacted the company directly but they only had a directory of hearing aid dispensers, no audiologists. I believed, and still do, that I needed the assistance of an audiologist.
The audiologist I worked with when I got the CROS system had since moved to a new job with the VA, so she wasn’t available. I remembered that one of the other ladies who worked with her, and who I had seen once or twice, had recently opened her own practice – perfect!
7 days after my appointment with the ENT where I was cleared to get a permanent hearing, I finally had an appointment with an audiologist, Angela Esterline at Hearing Healthcare Center. We discussed my research and although she didn’t have a ton of experience with the hearing aid and accessories I wanted, she was willing to learn about it and agreed to place the order for me. Needless to say, I was very excited!
The following day I wrote this in my journal
I wonder if I’ve had more hearing loss. Things somehow seem more quiet.
I didn’t say anything to anyone about this. I thought I would just pay closer attention for a couple of days. Unfortunately, things continued to sound not as loud. On July 8, 2013 I called the ENT office and was scheduled for a hearing test and an appointment with the doctor following. My hearing in my right ear, the ear that I had the series of 3 intratympanic steroid injections in, had declined again. I remember how sad I was. After all I had went through, here I was again.
The ENT suggested we try another round of intratympanic steroid injections, and I agreed…I had nothing to lose. My doctor told me that my eardrum should still be numb which was a huge relief to not have to go through that again. The protocol was the same. 3 injections, each about a week apart.
During this time, I kept my focus on July 18th, the day my new hearing aid would be in. If my hearing loss was going to be permanent, at least I was going to be using a hearing aid and accessories that I knew would help me. At my appointment on July 18th, I took my hearing test from my appointment on July 8th. We did a partial hearing test at the audiologist’s office to verify if the results were similar as then, and they were. Unfortunately, my hearing had dropped to a point that would require a stronger processor in the hearing aid so we’d need to send it back to get that swapped out – another setback! There was a bright spot, however. Angela suggested that I consider also getting a hearing aid for my left ear.
Going back to 2008, when I got the CROS system, I was told that a hearing aid would not help my left ear. I had carried that belief with me all those years. I shared that with Angela and she explained to me that at that time, since my hearing in my right ear was “good”, I would not have had much, if any, benefit from a hearing aid in my left ear. It wasn’t explained to me that way then. I wasn’t sure if I should be happy that I would not benefit from a hearing in my left ear or I should be sad that my hearing in my right ear had declined to the point where that was true.
I decided that since the hearing aid for my right ear had to be sent back to get a stronger processor, I’d go ahead and order one for my left ear. The thought of hearing in “stereo” was cool! I’d only heard in “mono” for the last 5 years.
Next up, finishing up the second round of intratympanic steroids and the arrival of 2 new hearing aids.