Let’s go back in time to the winter of 2001 when I became Lipreading Mom…
My days were spent holding a blissfully sleeping newborn boy. My nights were spent holding a wide-awake newborn boy since he developed this sleep-all-day, night-owl fascination. When my ears rang uncontrollably, I thought it was a side effect of sleep deprivation.
The nights I had the baby monitor cranked all the way up and couldn’t hear my son wailing in the other room were a clue that something wasn’t working properly. The monitor, maybe?
The days I couldn’t hear the phone ring in a quiet room were another sign. I did hear the answering machine if it was turned up extremely loud. What was going on with my phone?
The evenings when my husband waltzed through the door, asked me “How was your day?” and I didn’t respond were the worst. I didn’t mean to ignore my hubby.
What was going on?
If I could turn back the clock to that time—10years, 9 months ago—I would answer all of those questions with one word.
I needed to understand why I couldn’t hear my phone, my baby, my husband. Not assumptions, but real answers. If I couldn’t understand why my world was becoming softer, how could I know to get help for it?
Finally, FINALLY I visited my family doctor, received a referral to an Ear, Nose, Throat (ENT) specialist, and got a hearing test. That test, an audiogram, provided concrete understanding of why I couldn’t hear the people I loved. The test was enlightening, humbling, and blatantly true. I had hearing loss, and I needed help.
Did I get that help immediately?
It wasn’t until my son could walk, talk, and go to the bathroom by himself that I purchased hearing aids. I lived without help for two-and-a-half years. Two-and-a-half VERY LONG years of denial.
To be able to hear my growing son today (all 85 pounds of him) is my new reality. When we drive to school and he asks me questions, I am thankful for my hearing aids. When my boy chats at bedtime about his day, I am thankful for my aids.
Nearly 11 years ago, I struggled to hear my baby boy and the world around him. His cooing, his delicate breath, his cries from the other room.
These days, my life is so much brighter than my first winter as Lipreading Mom, as if the sun has finally burst through miles of clouds… because I got a pair of hearing aids.
That’s a gift.