Hearing Aids Are So Gosh, Darn Cool

Don’t you just love my “purty” cool headline and photo choice? (And don’t you just love Lipreading Mom’s penchant for Oklahoma twang?)

I confess that I’m a sucker for happy endings. They bring out my inner Oklahoma Pollyanna. When I recently posted the hearing aid financial struggles of my friend “Abby” (not her real name but it’s cute), I went to bat for her. I asked for advice for her on Facebook and Twitter. I shared Abby’s story of not being able to afford hearing aids with my audiologist contacts.

The same response: Free hearing aids are available, but Abby’s household income is too much to qualify for assistance.

And Abby’s insurance company had strict guidelines on when and how much it would pay, which barely covered the cost of one hearing aid. With no credit card to charge the darn hearing doodads (there’s the Oklahoma girl in me again), Abby was perplexed about how she could ever afford the help she needed.

Within the week, our city newspaper ran this ad:

WANTED: 40 PEOPLE TO TRY OUT HEARING AIDS FOR FREE 30-DAY TRIAL. NO OBLIGATION. MUST RESPOND BY XXXX DATE.

If that didn’t smell fishy, I have a breathing problem. Then I recognized the name and phone number at the bottom of the ad. It was my hearing aid provider. A kind man who attends my church and whose kids used to go to school with mine. How could I not trust him?

I delivered the newspaper ad to Abby and told her to call Mr. Hearing Aid Guy pronto. She did and was seen by him the next week. A week later, she had been fitted for two open-fit behind-the-ear hearing aids and got to wear them home.

Not only did she have the hearing doodads, but she received financial assistance in the form of making payment plans to fit her timeframe, budget, and insurance requirements. It was a win-win.

I watched Abby at church the other day and wondered how much of the sermon she could hear clearly. Were the hearing aids working?

As I’ve posted on this blog before, my church just started real-time captioning of weekly worship services for those of us with hearing loss. The words are typed onto a screen by a volunteer while the sermon, worship music, and prayers take place.

Guess what? Abby didn’t need the captions! Her hearing aids helped her to understand what was being said from the stage three rows away. This Oklahoma Pollyanna Lipreading Mom thinks that is a purty gosh, darn cool thing.

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