Heroes of Hearing Heroes Blog/Podcast/Episode 3: Special Interview with hearing aid wearer Jean G. (Part 1 of 2)

Episode 3: Special Interview with hearing aid wearer Jean G. (Part 1 of 2)

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So the big question is this, how do we help family and friends that are developing hearing loss navigate their changing world and guide them to the treatment they won't admit they need? That's the question, and this podcast will give you the answer. My name is Russell Broadhead, and welcome to the Heroes of Hearing Podcast.

So this is Russell Broadhead and I have a special guest with me today. I'm gonna have her introduce herself and tell you where she's from. My name is Jean Graham and I am living here in Tucson now, and one of the questions I had for Jean was, what was the problem or some of the problems you had before you had hearing aids in regards to your hearing? I've had hearing aids for. 15 years at least, and I have gotten to the point where they were helping me. So it sounds like you have hearing, you had hearing aids and they weren't working like they were at the beginning when you had 'em. Correct. Because my hearing has gone to from moderate hearing loss to more hearing loss.

Okay. So because your hearing has changed, It sounds like you were starting to struggle mainly with just clarity. Yes, and I was not hearing people, the words they were saying in a sentence. I don't even be able to pick up some of the words. So if we jump back 15 years before, before you even got hearing aids to begin with, what were some of the things that you were noticing with your, with your own hearing? I was not hearing PE what people were saying to me. I have to have them repeat it. And the TV, I had to have a lot louder. My radio, I had to have a lot louder, just everything I wasn't picking up. Hearing what I should have been hearing. Yeah. And that it sounds, that's kind of a normal thing that happens when we start to notice that we're struggling with our hearing.

Our brain says, Hey, I'm not getting it. So we make adjustments. So we'll raise the volume on the tv, we'll crank up the stereo a little bit louder, and then all of a sudden, it sounds fine. Um, or we can start asking others to repeat. What, what are, what are some of the results that you've gotten, um, since you came here to Heroes of Hearing and we fit you with new hearing aids? I am hearing more sounds, hearing more the words, and understanding the words when somebody is talking. Um, I don't have to have the TVs loud. I don't have to have the music as loud, and I not do not have to constantly say, will you repeat that to me? That's awesome. So it sounds like you're getting better clarity, which is what you were lacking with your old hearing aids.

Um, tell me about the phone, or you had told me earlier that you had kind of, that you weren't on the phone as much because you felt like you weren't getting as much of the conversation. What's changed now with your new hearing aids in regards to the telephone and having conversations on the phone? I am understanding more what somebody is saying to me on the phone. I would get frustrated because somebody would say something on the phone and I'd have to repeat, tell them to repeat that, and it, I wasn't picking up only half the words of what somebody was trying to say to me. Which is okay for PE when you're getting a robo call, but when you're trying to talk to a doctor's office or a friend or something, and you have to keep saying, I'm not understanding what you're telling me.

Yeah, that could get really frustrating. So it sounds like now you're just getting that better clarity and understanding those, those calls, you're hearing a lot better. You're not a, you don't feel like you're out of touch with life like it started to get to. Tell me a little bit more about those what was happening when you were getting calls from doctors?

I would not understand what they were saying on the phone. And so I get frustrated and I have to tell 'em to repeat that over and the thing, and I was still just picking up different parts of words. Yeah. And I, and that, I think that's the biggest thing with where your hearing's at. When we look at most people that have like a high frequency hearing loss. They're missing the consonants, they're missing that clarity. The clarity in speech. I definitely had all that. So then what happens is the brain's trying to figure out, did, did she say peach or did she say teach hot or pot? And we joke about it and we laugh, ha ha, ha ha. You know, we're close to it and sometimes we can be all the way out in left field and not even be close to the word, to the word. Um, But it sounds, it sounded like before that's what was happening. You had these older hearing aids that you've been wearing and you're trying to converse with somebody on the phone for your doctor's appointments and just weren't, you just weren't getting the clarity that you, that you were hoping for.

And especially talking to my grandkids, their great grandkids, their voices were low, that I was not picking up what they were saying. So I was not, Talking to them is much. Okay. So you weren't engaging with them because you were struggling with understanding what they were saying? Yes. And that's the hard part that a lot of people don't realize. And I had this with my own grandfather. We'd run over to my grandfather's house and so excited to see grandpa and I'd look around, where's grandpa at? Well, he was back reading the paper, watching the news, and. He knew we were there and then all of a sudden he would just stay there. And as a little kid, I thought, well, does my grandpa not like us? Like, why isn't he talking with us? And it sounds like you've had similar things with your own grandkids where their voices are so soft or they're muffled or mumbling to where they're not as sharp or clear to where you don't engage as much with them. And that, and that's the problem, that it can send a mixed signal.

And for me as a kid, I thought, oh, maybe grandpa doesn't like me enough that he doesn't wanna talk to me. And I know as a grandparent, that's something that we don't want ever to have happen. Um, but it's something that's just a silent thing that happens. Um, and I had a patient when I was out in Chicago where, same thing with him. He came in, I said, what brings you in today? He said, well, I was talking with my grandson. And all of a sudden my son came up to me and said, Billy says you don't love him anymore. And I said, what I love Billy, what are you talking about? And he said, well, Billy's talking to you and you don't respond back to him.

And Billy thought, oh, grandpa doesn't love me because he's not answering and talking and having conversing with me when that's not even close to what was happening. So with hearing loss, it's definitely something that can sneak up on us. That we don't realize, um, until it's made known by somebody else, Hey, you're asking me to repeat or you're not, we're not having a good conversation. When you were having these issues with the TV people talking, um, raising the volume on the phone, when did you f what? When I was at work. I was not hearing conversations, I was not in meetings. I was not picking up everything. And you, you yourself, you know that you got a hearing problem, but you really don't know what to do about it until more people all the time are.
Started asking you, can you hear this? Did you hear what I said? Yeah. So it sounds like other people were bringing it forward to you saying, Hey, we're noticing that you're not hearing us and communicating with us correctly. Um, it's something going on, but it sounded like you had no idea where to go or who to ask or what to do.

Um, what. How did you get through that point? How did you find, was it, did you receive a phone call? Did you get things in the mail? What did you, what did you get that said, Hey, I bought my first set at seas. We were in seas and they gave free huge Tesla. I decided I'd go get a hearing test. Oh, so you were just kind of walking around Sears and then saw, hey, they do hearing tests. I'm struggling with my hearing. Let me go test it and see what's going on. Yes, them hearing aids liced for me and then I got another set and he sat was more modern, but then I got to the point where I knew my healing. I was losing more of my hearing, but the hearing aids themselves were not doing the job for me anymore, so I needed to find some place to go so I could have hearing aids that would help me with my loss hearing.

Okay. And then did you receive anything in the mail or No, the doctor. When I talked to the doctor about my hearing loss she gave me a pamphlet of a company that my insurance would pay part of my hearing. Okay. So she gave you, again, information from your insurance carrier that they had, it sounded like a, a program or part of the policy where they would actually help with the hearing devices. Um, yes. And that's kind of who you looked to to help what is how I came to you. Awesome. If there was somebody that was going through the same situation that you are going through, struggling communicating with people, asking people to repeat, raising the volume on the tv, what, what would you, what advice would you give them or what would you recommend for them that are kind of on the fence about doing anything about their hearing?

I'd have them come and see you. And you could, and you would help them understand what hearing aids could do and how much better off you will be once you get hearing aids that are programmed for you for your problem of hearing. What are some of the things that you feel are things that hold people back from getting help with their hearing? Well, I don't want every, but I that they don't want everybody to know that they have to wear hearing aids. So it sounds like one of the main concerns is I don't want people to know I even have a hearing aid on, is, that's kind of what I'm understanding from what you're saying. That was my problem when I first got hearing aids. But then after you have them for a while, they just become part of you, just like you wearing your glasses and nobody mentions or sees you that you got the hearing aids in. Well, that's all the time we have for today. To hear the rest of Gene's story tune in tomorrow. And again, thank you for subscribing to our Heroes of Hearing Podcast. Have a good day.

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