Every once in awhile, my experience working with a patient is so powerful that it reminds me why I got into audiology in the first place.
A few weeks ago after a hearing aid fitting, I comforted my patient as she wept tears of joy in my office. It’s a humbling and moving thing to see firsthand how transformative compassionate hearing treatment can be. Moments like these make me feel honored.
Just to be a part of the process, to be a conduit by which the people I serve can reconnect to their loved ones, their worlds and their lives.
By the time this particular patient had made her way to my office, she had almost lost hope.
She’d lived for years with profound hearing loss, serious damage that had only worsened as time went on. Despite a trip to one of the most renowned hospitals in the world for the treatment of ears and eyes, she’d been turned away with no real answers.
They told her that as advanced as her hearing loss was, her only option was to undergo a lengthy, expensive surgical procedure. A procedure she didn’t want and couldn’t afford. The grim diagnosis shook the foundations of her world and left her devastated and depressed.
She and her husband came to me as a last resort. A last-ditch effort to stave off what they thought would become a lifetime of silence and pain.
Even as they told me of her previous diagnosis. I had high hopes for treating her myself. I told her I would see what I could do. And after guiding her through the typical battery of tests, fit her for a pair of hearing aids.
Within minutes she was visibly overcome with emotion. First her eyes widened, then the tears started. As years of repressed hopes and dreams burst through. The fear and frustration of a world without hearing replaced by a world of possibility.
In a later follow-up appointment, I learned I didn’t know the half of it. Her friend told me that my patient’s world had been completely opened up. That she had been engaging in brand new ways with the people she cared about.
She’d been restored, transformed, uplifted.
She told me that my patient was the type of person to always put others before herself. And that her restored hearing enabled her to fully be the gregarious, giving person everyone knew her to be.
Of course, I can’t take credit for this transformation. My patient is the one that decided to keep seeking answers after she received an incorrect diagnosis. She like hundreds of others I’ve guided toward better hearing over the years, had been an advocate for herself.
The key I’ve learned is not to give up.
It’s important that you listen to your physician. But understand that without an audiologist with years of experience treating patients just like you, you cannot possibly know the full breadth of your options. Even if you’ve been told your hearing will never improve, that hearing aids can’t do anything for you, or not to bother seeking care, keep looking for answers.
If you want to discover all that comprehensive hearing treatment can do for you, give me a call at 617-934-8155 or schedule an appointment online today!